Church feud ends 94-year-old laid to rest after 10 days
Caught in a row between two factions of a church, a 94-year-old man, who died 10 days ago, was finally laid to rest early Tuesday, amid heavy police protection.
The burial of Varghese Mathew, who passed away on November 3, was delayed following a stand-off between the Jacobite and Orthodox factions of the Malankara church over the ownership of a church at Kattachira in Alapuzha district. Mathew's body had been kept in a mobile mortuary at his house since November 3.
The funeral was delayed after the Orthodox faction refused to allow the the family to conduct the last rites at the St. Mary's Church.
However, the funeral was conducted Tuesday under heavy security and the lastrites were led by his grandson,Georgy John, a priest. "We decided to conduct the funeral under security as we have to consider the dignity of the deceased," District collector S Suhas told reporters.
The church had been under the Jacobite faction for the past several decades. Though the Supreme Court had issued an order favouring the Orthodox faction, it has not yet been handed over.
(With inputs from agencies.)