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Priest in Kerala church knocked down by car, 27 people taken into police custody

Out of the 27 people taken into custody, 10 were minors and would be produced before the Juvenile Justice Board. The priest, who was knocked down by the car, was admitted to a private hospital.

Ashesh Mallick Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 Kottayam Published on: February 24, 2024 23:20 IST
Kerala, Church, Priest, India, Crime, crime news
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As many as 27 people, including 10 minors, were taken into custody on Saturday (February 24) in connection with a priest hit by a car at a church in Kerala’s Kottayam a day ago, the police said. The boys, all students of standard 12, had gone to St Mary’s Forane church at Poonjar on Friday afternoon for taking pictures after a farewell party, an officer of the Erattupetta police station said. The students reached there in their personal vehicles using which they made noise loudly revving their cars at the church.

How did the incident take place?

The priest had raised objection to it and asked them to leave saying that prayers were being performed at the church, the police said.

As the students did not comply, the priest tried to close the gates of the church. Seeing the gates being closed, the students tried to rush outside in their vehicles and in that attempt, one of the cars allegedly knocked down the priest, they added.

Out of the 27 people taken into custody, 10 were minors and would be produced before the Juvenile Justice Board.

The arrest of the remaining 17 was recorded and they will be produced before a magisterial court for being remanded to judicial custody.

Police register case

A case under sections 307(murder attempt), 447(criminal trespass) and 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against them.

All the eight vehicles used by the students have been seized, police said.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, the president of Kerala Catholic Bishop Council (KCBC), condemned the incident and said it has shocked the entire Kerala society, according to a statement issued by KCBC.

He termed the incident as a "heinous" attempt to disrupt the prayers at the church, the statement said.

The cardinal demanded that the culprits be punished, it said.

He also alleged that it was a "covert attempt at disrupting the communal harmony" in the state, the statement said.

The priest, who was knocked down by the car, was admitted to a private hospital for treatment and is said to be in a stable condition.

(With PTI inputs)

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