Kerala, protests against a demolished cross: eight wounded, including a nun

The march was organized by the Kerala Latin Catholic Women's Association. Numerous children among participants. Police used batons to disperse women. The Cross was erected in November to replace others destroyed in a village.

Thiruvananthapuram (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Eight activists, including a nun, were injured in clashes with police in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala (in southern India), while participating in a protest march against the destruction of a Cross .

The incident occurred yesterday near the residence of Forestry Minister K. Raju. The march was organized by the Kerala Latin Catholic Women's Association, a branch of the Kerala Regional Latin Catholic Church. Dozens of nuns and children took part, demonstrating against a Cross demolished in a village in the mountains.

Ramesh Chennithala, leader of the opposition in the state, denounces the use of force by the police, who reportedly used batons to disperse the women. The politician calls for the opening of an investigation against the perpetrators.

M.M. Hassan, president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (Kpcc), condemns the incident and accuses the government "of having unleashed the police and used force to repress popular unrest. Such incidents cannot be tolerated at any cost. Also, there was not even a female agent among the officials deployed to control the demonstration. "

The dispute between Christians and local administration dates back to last August, when demolished crosses were found in the village of Kurisumala, on the peak of Bonacaud. Later, in the same month, after a meeting with representatives of the diocese of Neyyattinkara, the forestry  minister had granted permission to install a new wooden cross. In November, the cross was again destroyed.

Hence the protests of women, who complained of delays in conducting investigations to find those responsible. The activists also attempted to cross the barricades erected by the police to defend the minister's residence. Msgr. Vincent Samuel, local bishop, went to the hospital to bring comfort to the wounded.