Accusing Devikulam sub-collector V Sriram of being a henchman of RSS, the minister likened demolition of Christian cross on encroached land in Idukki to the Babri Masjid demolition.

Minister MM Mani (Left); Sriram Venkitaraman (Right)
news Enchroachment Sunday, April 23, 2017 - 08:35

Following the controversy over a Christian cross being demolished at Munnar in Kerala for being erected on encroached land, Communist leader and state minister MM Mani has said that the bureaucrat who led the demolition drive must be sent to a mental asylum. 

It was Devikulam sub-collector V Sriram who spearheaded a massive anti-encroachment drive in Idukki. And for that, minister MM Mani feels he must be sent to Oolampara, a "popular" mental asylum. 

After taking on illegal structures in Munnar in the past couple of weeks, the revenue department officials - under the instruction of the sub-collector - had razed a Christian cross built on encroached land in Pappathichola two days ago. 

The cross had been erected by a religious group called Spirit in Jesus. 

Minister MM Mani, who had previously in March extended support to CPI (M) members protesting against the sub-collector's move, said on Saturday that V Sriram was "the henchman of the RSS."

"The razing down of the cross in Pappathichola is equal to the Babri masjid demolition. The sub-collector is acting as per the instructions of the RSS. No religious institutions have encroached on government land here," Minister MM Mani said

Meanwhile, representatives of Spirit in Jesus said that they will move legally against the government for demolishing the cross. Terming the demolition of a religious structure as "brutal than ISIS terror," a representative TS John said, “We welcome the chief minister's statement. We want the government to reinstate the cross at the same place for which we will take necessary steps. Else, we will begin a strike until our demands are met."

He also maintained that the cross was not erected on encroached land and said that it was over 80 years old. 

A day after revenue department officials razed down the cross, another wooden cross had appeared at the spot the next day. However, representatives of Spirit in Jesus claimed no role in the same and said that it was a conspiracy against them.

Also read: After razing of Christian cross on encroached land in Munnar, another one appears; 2 arrested

A massive cross was demolished in Kerala, but Christian groups didn’t protest. Here’s why

Senior CPI (M) leader speaks out in favour of cross demolition