After almost a month since her death, 75-year-old Annamma was finally buried on Thursday morning, and that too, as per her wish, at the cemetery of Jerusalem Marthoma Church in Kunnathur taluk in Kollam district. It was a long drawn-out battle for the family.
Annamma, who died on May 13, could not be buried for the last one month owing to opposition from the residents in the area. They protested alleging that burying dead bodies would contaminate the water source near the cemetery, and so the family was barred from burying her.
Her body was finally buried in the cemetery, exactly a month later, after the family made some renovations in the cemetery. The District Medical Officer had directed the family to renovate the tomb as well as construct a fence along the perimeter of the cemetery so that the water source in the area does not get polluted.
Meanwhile, some residents, who had opposed the burial, protested during the funeral on Thursday as well, the Sasthamcotta police officials in Kollam told TNM. “One person even threatened to take his own life when the funeral was over. We have taken him in custody and brought him to the station,” a police official said.
According to reports, though Annamma’s body was buried, there are no provisions to conduct other funerals in the cemetery as of now.
The issue regarding the burial of bodies first came up back in 2014 when some residents in the area, reportedly along with some local BJP members, created ruckus in the church, stating that no bodies should be buried there as it was polluting water source in the area. Though the District Collector intervened in the matter and stated that funerals could be conducted after fencing the cemetery, the church officials decided that burial of church members could be conducted in the cemetery of Immanuel Marthoma Church, another church in Kunnathur taluk.
The issue once again cropped up after five years when Annamma, a member of Jerusalem Marthoma Church, passed away last month. It was Annamma’s wish to be buried in the same place where her son was buried.