Priests, Nuns Arrested For Violating Lockdown Norms In Kerala
By Matters India Reporter
Mananthavady, March 29, 2020: Police in Kerala on March 29 arrested two Catholic priests and eight others, including two nuns, for conducting prayers with public participation violating lockdown norms to contain coronavirus pandemic.
The incident occurred at 8 am at the minor seminary of the Missionaries of Faith at Chetapalam village in Wayanad district.
The Mass was offered by rector Father Tom Joseph and his assistant Father Prince in the seminary chapel.
Others present were Sisters Santhosha Nithya and Mary John. seminarian Brother Santhosh and five students.
They were booked under Section 269 (negligence likely to spread infection) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code.
They were accused of conducting prayers in a way that was conducive for the transmission of coronavirus, the police said.
They were later released on bail.
The police reached the seminary after someone alerted them about the Mass being conducted with people’s participation.
Police said that the ten will be charged under the Epidemic Diseases Ordinance Act 2020.
The arrests were made by the police team led by Mananthavady Circle Inspector M M Abdul Karim and Sub inspector C R Anil.
The congregation, Missionaries of Faith congregation, was founded in Italy in 1981. It works in various parts of the world including India where it entered in 1989.
This is the third case of Catholic priests getting arrested in Kerala for violating the social distancing norms during the coronavirus attack.
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