CSI Church row: One injured as protesters clash with police

A section of members of the Church of South India (CSI) South Kerala Diocese, who staged a protest march on Sunday against CSI Moderator and Bishop of South Kerala Diocese, Dharmaraj Rasalam, demanding his resignation, clashed with police in Nandavanam, leaving one injured.

Santhosh SL, a participant in the march organized by the CSI South Kerala Diocese Action Council, was hospitalized with head injuries, action council leaders said. They alleged he was injured in the police action.

Forty-three protesters were detained at the Armed Reserve Police Camp in Nandavanam and six others at the Museum Police Station following the incident. They were later released on bail, said PS Dharmajith, a police station officer from the museum police station.

money laundering case

The action council had organized the march demanding the resignation of Bishop Rasalam, Diocesan Administrative Secretary TT Praveen and Dr Somervell Memorial CSI Medical College, Bennet Abraham, who are facing an investigation by the Enforcement Branch of the Law (ED) in a church-related money laundering case. – manage establishments.

Police reportedly refused permission for the march citing public order concerns. But action council leaders claimed they had obtained permission from the city’s police commissioner to march the march through Museum and LMS Junction to Palayam where a protest meeting was planned.

The march started around 3:30 p.m. The police blocked it near the museum police station and diverted it via Nandavanam where the protesters clashed with the police. Afterwards, the demonstrators gathered at the column of martyrs for the meeting. They blocked the road to demand the release of those detained by the police.

Scorched police action

Jnanadas Karichal, deputy chairman of the action council, strongly condemned the police action. ”We have no policy. Our membership includes people affiliated with the Communist Party as well as Congress. The bishop does not have the right to continue in office. He should step down. Democratically elected committees should be established for the administration of the Church,” he said.

On July 25, the Law Enforcement Directorate had raided Bishop Rasalam’s office, Karakkonam Medical College and the residences of Mr. Praveen and Dr. Abraham, in connection with the alleged money laundering scam. of money tied to the medical school and other churches. run establishments. The Bishop was prevented from leaving the country by emigration officials at Thiruvananthapuram airport.

Museum police are likely to register a case of unlawful assembly and rioting in connection with Sunday’s incident.

Jerry B. Hatch