Hindu organisations thwarted evangelists attempt to bury a corpse reportedly in land belonging to temples in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. After defiling a temple by using land in front of it as cemetery in Manimoortheeswaram, now they are out to usurp the land belonging to two temples in Tirunelveli district.
A few days ago a pastor and his associates tried to bury a corpse near Sankarankovil, Tirunelveli. But Hindu activists who received information about it went to the spot and thwarted it. The pastor and others had laid the corpse on the Sankarankovil-Tirunelveli highway in protest and damaged a water pipeline as well. Hindu activists had called the cops who controlled the situation by stopping the pastor from defiling the temples and disturbing the communal harmony.
In the videos being shared in social media, the pastor and those who came with him can seen arguing with Hindus who try to stop them from taking the corpse to the concerned land. Hindus say that they cannot bury in the concerned spot as there are temples. Christians threaten to lay the corpse on the road if they are not allowed. But Hindus can be seen asking them to wait for 10 minutes to sort out the issue.
Later cops arrived and tried to persuade the pastor to understand the gravity of the issue and bury the corpse elsewhere. He and others ask where can they bury as they are not allotted land for cemetery. Cops patiently explain that they cannot allow them to bury the corpse in the concerned land as they have no document to show that it has been allotted to be used as a cemetery. However appears that the situation went out of hand as in one of the videos, a cop can be seen asking the pastor and his associates to leave and ask them to bring the dead man’s family.
The Inspector finally asks whether they will abide by law and remove the corpse or not. He says that if they don’t do it he will do it and inform the family members. The pastor and his friends accuse the inspector of overreaching his authority and say that he could arrest them and beat them. The Inspector says as a law enforcing authority he has the power to stop it and that he will stop anything that is against the law. Pastor’s associates say that he is being unreasonable to which he replies it is them who is being unreasonable and asks them where they have been burying their dead so far.
Then they reveal that they had asked for land to be used as cemetery and the Tehsildar said that they can buy ploy if they wish. But the villagers oppose Christians buying and using the plot as cemetery. It is unclear whether the land where they tried to bury and the land they wanted to buy are same. A Hindu Munnani office bearer told Mediyaan that one Thanga Pandi who runs Good Marion Church in Sanakarankovil is the man behind this issue.
Pastor Thanga Pandi has been reportedly converting Hindus of the locality. The Hindu Munnani office bearer says that his church itself is unauthorised and that multiple cases of encroachment, inciting communal violence, etc are pending investigation. He had reportedly encroached a government land and put up a board claiming that it belongs to the Pentecoastal Church. It was removed after it came to the notice of revenue and police department. But pastor Thanga Pandi was let off with a warning.
There are many temples namely, Ayyanar, Sastha, Karumpuli Dharma Sastha, Mayilerum Perumal, Mettudayar Sastha, Badrakaliaaman, Karuppasami and Kurumbudayar Sastha temples, located in the vicinity of where they tried to bury the corpse. As per the information available on social media, the specific land which they tried to use as cemetery is located in between Karumpuli Sastha and Kurumbudayar Sastha temples. There are claims being made that the land belongs to the temples.
Apart from trying to defile the temples, Christians had also broken a water pipeline and allegedly bribed the officials to escape from facing action. One man can be heard telling the cop that they have “taken care of it” when the latter questions about it. In the same Tirunelveli district, AG Church has purchased land in front of the famous Uchishta Ganapathy temple on the banks of Manimoortheeswaram river and have been using it as a cemetery. However it is alleged that the agricultural lands around the temple belong to it and that they have been systematically sold or encroached due to HRCE’s negligence.