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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

For demolition of an illegal church, Kerala CM expresses “shock”, Kejriwal denies responsibility

CM Pinarayi Vijayan has expressed his  shock on the demolition of a church in Delhi. Arvind Kejriwal government was forced to demolish it courtesy of a High Court order. However, he denied ordering the same and ‘blamed’ the BJP led central government for it. He assured the encroachers that his local MLAs are involved with the church and that the Chhatarpur MLA Kartar Singh Tanwar is with the church and providing whatever help they need.

Arvind tried to drag in the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) that comes under the centre in the whole saga. However, the DDA clarified that it had nothing to do with the demolition. Such attitude makes one question what makes these leaders jittery when it comes to church-sponsored illegal structures and their conversion activities? 

The Kochi-based Syro-Malabar Church had encroached the land and opened the Little Flower Church at Chhatarpur in Delhi. The temporary structure had sprung up in the heart of the city around 10 years back and even had a priest named Jose. According to the church, the videos of a JCB tearing down the church were heart-rending.

Jose alleged that the demolition was carried out without giving them any information. He even tried to incite violence by saying that there is another church, a masjid, and a temple nearby that remain ‘unharmed,’ but failed to mention whether they were built on encroached land or not. 

Pinarayi termed the demolition “shocking” and said that the state government has limitations in intervening and added that it will see what can be proactively done. He said that a place of worship is meant for offering prayers only and that a situation of tension should not have been created in a church. 

This is not something his communist government has been doing when it comes to matters regarding temples like the Guruvayur and Sabarimala. State-sponsored goons and police have physically attacked thousands of devotees and have filed a similar number of cases against peaceful protesters. This following an irrational verdict against Hindu rituals from none other than the Supreme Court. 

Churches in Kerala too have been asked to be vacated by the same court but there the state still hasn’t taken action and had recommended a referendum and even ordnance. The Supreme Court order remains unimplemented by the CPM regime to date.

Incidentally, Pinarayi appeared at the right place at the right time while Arvind was in Goa. Vijayan though had more pressing matters to attend to.

The Kerala High Court and a CBI court had acquitted Vijayan in the Lavalin case (dating back to 1996-97) and it is the same CBI represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, that is delaying the case. Astonishingly, it was the 27th time the SC was postponing the case following CBI’s request seeking more time to argue the matter in detail. 

There are far more serious allegations this time around that Pinarayi’s earlier acquittal was facilitated by judges who accepted bribes in the form of Kochi Airport shares. The Enforcement Directorate is also interested in looking into the matter.

V Sivankutty is currently the Kerala Education Minister

In yet another development, the Supreme Court on Thursday reserved judgement in the petition filed by the Kerala Government seeking withdrawal of criminal prosecution against 6 CPM MLAs. In 2015, while in opposition, CPM members had rushed the well, created a ruckus, and damaged property including the speaker’s chair. Two of them are sitting MLAs and one is in fact the education minister! The chair was thrown down the well and electronic equipment ripped. Justice Shah even asked why the State Government was interfering in matters between the court and the accused MLAs. 

KM Mani’s memorial was inaugurated by ex CPM MLA and the then Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan

Incidentally, that protest was against a disgraced leader from the Christian belt of Pala, KM Mani, the then finance minister. His son is now part of the current Left Democratic Front (LDF) headed by Vijayan and the CPM. Even though he has two MLAs, the heir and ex-MP Jose K Mani lost assembly elections. The LDF has even spent crores for a memorial and built one in Mani’s name, amidst the corona crisis. 

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