Thrissur: Two factions of Malankara Church in Kerala, locked in a long-standing dispute over its control, clashed at a church here resulting in injuries to at least 15 people Friday, prompting the district administration to ask both sides to pull out of the place of worship.
The Orthodox faction members, who have been camping outside the church at Mannamangalam for the last few days, allegedly entered it, resulting in stone-pelting and minor scuffle with the Jacobite denomination, police said.
Over 35 people were detained after the scuffle and a case registered in connection with the incident, they said adding at least 15 people were injured.
Yuhanon Mar Meletius Metropolitan, Bishop of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, has been arrayed as the prime accused in the case, police said.
Hours after the incident, members of the Orthodox and Jacobite factions Friday evening met District Collector T V Anupama who asked both the groups to pull out its members from the Mannamangalam church and also warned of stern action in case of any more law and order problem.
"We have asked both the groups to leave the church. They have agreed to our proposal. Jacobites have sought more time to discuss the matter with the superior authorities of their church," Anupama told PTI.
"We have also told them that in case of any more law and order issue, the district administration will take strong action against those involved," she said.
Recently, a famous church in Piravom, controlled by the Jacobite faction, had witnessed high tension as police entered the premises to implement last year's Supreme Court order giving control of it to the Orthodox faction.
In its order, the apex court had ruled that 1,100 parishes and their churches under the Malankara Church should be controlled by the Orthodox faction as per the 1934 Malankara Church guidelines.