ucanews.com reporter, Kochi
Updated: December 14, 2011 08:55 AM GMT
The supreme court yesterday urged two southern Indian states to refrain from inflaming passions over a century-old dam in Kerala state, which the court has said poses no immediate threat to residents. “There is nothing serious, grave or emergent about the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam warranting our interference at this stage,” the BBC reported, citing a statement from the court on December 12. The dam is located in Idukki, a mountainous region of Kerala, but supplies water to Tamil Nadu. The statement comes amid reports of violence along the border between the two states. P Chandrashekaran, director general of police in Kerala, said today that 800 armed police have been deployed in Kumily, near the dam site, while an equal number have been moved to the border of Tamil Nadu. “The situation remains tense and we are keeping vigil on the border,” he said. He added that there have been reports of isolated attacks on Kerala residents living near the border. The Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Conference earlier this month renewed efforts to convince federal authorities to relocate the dam, which they say has been affected by earthquakes and high seasonal rains, and poses a threat to an estimated 3.5 million residents in the area. Authorities in neighboring Tamil Nadu say the dam, which they operate on a 999-year lease agreement, does not pose a threat. State officials from both states have met in recent weeks with the prime minister to discuss the issue, and further discussions have been scheduled, according to the BBC report. Tensions among residents in the area remain high. Rev George M Jacob said the Marthoma Church in Kambom near the Tamil Nadu border was looted and burned by a mob of 100 people, and that he has since relocated his family out of fears of more violence. Raju Jacob, owner of a cashew factory in Ramalingapuram, said a mob burned the factory and that police had been deployed to prevent further attacks. Major Archbishop George Alencherry, head of the Syro-Malabar Church, said he regretted the reported violence and appealed for all people to remain calm.
….As we enter the first months of 2022, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.