Priest hit by car in Kerala for objecting to high speed driving in church premises

Following the incident, the boys were taken into custody and a protest was held within the church grounds by other priests.

ByPTI

Published Feb 24, 2024 | 10:52 AMUpdatedFeb 24, 2024 | 10:38 PM

St Mary's Forane Church

Twenty-seven people, including 10 minors, were taken into custody on Saturday, 24 February, in connection with a priest being hit by a car at a church in Kottayam a day ago, police said.

An officer of the Erattupetta Police Station said the boys, all Class 12 students, had gone to St Mary’s Forane Church at Poonjar on Friday afternoon, 23 February, to take pictures after a farewell party.

The students went there in their personal vehicles and while at the church, they made noise by loudly revving their cars. The priest had objected to it and asked the students to leave, saying prayers were going on at the church, the police said.

However, as the students did not heed him, the priest tried to close the gates of the church.

Seeing the gates being closed, the students tried to rush outside in their vehicles and in that attempt, one of the cars allegedly knocked down the priest, the police added.

Action taken

Of the 27 people taken into custody, 10 were minors and would be produced before the Juvenile Justice Board.

The arrest of the remaining 17 was recorded and they will be produced before a magisterial court to be remanded to judicial custody.

A case under Sections 307 (murder attempt), 447 (criminal trespass) and 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against them.

All the eight vehicles used by the students have been seized, the police said.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, the president of Kerala Catholic Bishop Council (KCBC), condemned the incident and said it has shocked the entire Kerala society, according to a statement issued by KCBC.

He termed the incident as a “heinous” attempt to disrupt the prayers at the church, the statement said.

The cardinal demanded that the culprits be punished. He also alleged that it was a “covert attempt at disrupting the communal harmony” in the state, the statement said.

The priest, who was knocked down by the car, was admitted to a private hospital for treatment and is said to be in a stable condition.

Also Read: Churches change Sunday worship timings in view of ‘Attukal Pongala’ in Kerala capital

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)