Thiruvananthapuram: A march by the faithful to the ‘Kurishumala’ (Mount of the Cross) in nearby Bonacaud today allegedly turned violent leading to lathicharge, the police said.
Eight persons, including three police personnel, injured in the incident, had been admitted to the Government Medical College Hospital here, hospital sources said.
Priests and the faithful under the Neyyantinkara Latin Catholic Diocese took out a procession to install a new holy cross in the place of one that got damaged a few months ago.
Authorities had yesterday informed the church that they would not be allowed to enter the forest land in violation of rules.
Trouble started as the participants in the march ‘broke’ the police barricade and a section started pelting stones at them, the police said.
They ran helter-skelter when police used lathis to disperse them.
Hospital sources said around 30 persons sought treatment and, of them, eight had been admitted.
The district authorities held talks with the priests present to find a solution to the issue.
Kerala Pradesh Congress President MM Hassan, in a statement, condemned the lathi charge and said the government’s action in “putting restrictions” on the freedom of worship could not be accepted.
The local people consider Kurishumala a pilgrimage centre and the faithful visit it on the first Friday of every new near.
The wooden cross was found destroyed in November last year under mysterious circumstances.
Police and forest officials had then stated that the cross got damaged by lightning.
A case is also pending in the Kerala High Court on the matter.