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Tamil Nadu: Illegal Christian cemetery built over temple land in Tirunelveli to be shifted to another place

The state government's decision came in response to a legal notice served by an independent legal activism collective named Legal Rights Observatory (LRO) to Tiruneveli Police in November last year.

The Tamil Nadu government has agreed to get the Christian cemetery built in front of Manimoortheeswaram Uchishta Ganapathy Temple near Tirunelveli shifted to another place to avoid any possible law and order problems.

The state government’s decision came in response to a legal notice served by an independent legal activism collective named Legal Rights Observatory (LRO) to Tiruneveli City Police Commissioner Deepak Damoor and Deputy Commissioner (Law & Order) S. Saravana in November last year.

The notice stated that a plot of land belonging to the temple was illegally occupied by Sacred Heart Church which was claiming ownership and title over the land. The notice highlighted how the devotees who demanded action against the Church were illegally detained and slapped with the National Security Act (NSA).

Matter was raised before authorities in August 2019

Earlier, a complaint was filed by the LRO in August 2019, with the Deputy Commissioner Tiruneveli demanding removal of the illegal Christian cemetery on the temple land. Responding to the complaint, the Tiruneveli district authorities had said that the Christian cemetery was located in a private land. The authorities had imposed a ban on carrying out funeral at the cemetery.

According to the Commune magazine, burials kept happening at the Cemetery despite the ban and around 50 graves had come up at the location. Last year in October, Indu Makkal Katchi (IMK) cadres had reportedly demolished some graves in the cemetery. Thereafter, the surrendered at the police station. Christian pastors and some political parties had met Tiruveneli District Collector Mrs. Shilpa Prabhakar Satish IAS after the incident and had demanded the IMK members who demolished graves at the cemetery to be tried under the National Security Act. Eight IMK members were lodged at Nanguneri sub-jail. Seven of them have been released on bail after removing charges under NSA against them while one person remains in jail.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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