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Wooden crosses removed from Panchalimedu, Kerala HC directs government to find out who owns the land

The Hindu Aikyavedy led by K P Sasikala Teacher were headed towards Panchalimedu to protest against the Church's encroachment. They were however prevented from doing so by the Police.

Yesterday, out of the 17 illegal crosses planted in Panchalimedu, three wooden crosses have been removed. In a petition that was heard today against the encroachment of land, the Kerala HC has directed the government to clearly identify the true owner of the land.

After the intervention of Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan stopping the removal of the crosses, the Hindu Aikyavedi had filed a complaint before Idukki district Collector H Dineshan alleging that the St. Mary’s Church at Kanayankavayal were trying to encroach upon the revenue land.

The Collector had then ordered the removal the wooden crosses which were planted by church authorities last Good Friday. He stated that the church installs a wooden cross every Good Friday and removes them a few days later. However, this time they had failed to do so. The trident that was placed in front of the cross was also removed. Presently, there are 14 cement crosses which the Church claims were installed 65 years ago.

Yesterday, a petition was filed in the High Court against the Church’s attempt to encroach upon the lands of Panchalimedu.

As per reports, the High Court while hearing the petition today asked whether the land belongs to the government or the Devaswom board. The government has been given 10 days time to respond to this. The case would be heard again on July 1st.

The Hindu Aikyavedy led by K P Sasikala Teacher were headed towards Panchalimedu to protest against the Church’s encroachment. They were however prevented from doing so by the Police.

Last week a village revenue department official had ordered the removal of the crosses and had given the Church time until Monday to do so. However, the CM directly intervened to stop the removal of the crosses and the state authorities had filed an FIR against the ones who placed the Trishul in front of the illegal crosses. Allegedly the communist government has been aiding the Church in encroaching upon the sacred lands of Panchalimedu.

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