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Church factional feud: Woman laid to rest over a month after death; Case filed

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Church factional feud: Woman laid to rest over a month after death; Case filed
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Alappuzha: The factional feud in a church in Kerala did not spare a 91-year old woman even in her death as her body was laid to rest over a month after her demise on Friday, prompting the rival group to cry foul with police registering a case for alleged violation of law.

Though Mariyamma Rajan died on October 28, her body had to be kept in a temporary morgue all these days in view of the dispute between the Jacobite and Orthodox factions over rights to conduct post-burial rituals in a cemetery now under the control of the Orthodox following a Supreme Court order.

A follower of Jacobite Christian faith, she was laid to rest in the early hours of Friday at the cemetery of the St Mary's Orthodox Church in Kattachira in the district, police sources said.

Earlier last month, the police had prevented the Jacobite faction from burying the body at the cemetery.

The faction had been demanding that a Jacobite priest should lead the post burial rituals of Mariyamma at her home and no funeral rituals should be conducted at the cemetery by an Orthodox priest.

The Orthodox faction rejected the demand of the Jacobites, delaying the burial for more than a month.

On Friday at around 5.30 am, the people belonging to the Jacobite faction took the body of the woman and buried in the cemetery.

The Orthodox faction alleged the body was buried without the permission of the Vicar of the church, who is also the caretaker of the cemetery.

Fr Johns Abraham Konat, spokesperson of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, said a complaint had been filed with the police against those who committed the "illegal act".

Police said a case had been registered against 50 people who conducted the burial violating the law on the basis of a complaint by a police guard who was on duty in front of the church.

There was no reaction from the Jacobite faction.

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