Chennai: Remember the story of a mysterious hospice near Chengalpet that hit the headlines earlier this year for burying the bodies of its inmates inside the campus? Same is the case here at a church in Pozhichalur, but with a Slight twist.
What changed a silent narrow lane into a crowded Ranganathan Street-like, is this St Alphonsa Syro Malabar Catholic Church and the mystery of a ‘body’ buried inside it. The news was first taken to the public last night by a resident here, who belonged to a Hindu group and as the information started spreading across this tightly-packed residential area, it shocked them to the core.
Within minutes, it eventually hit the social media and a huge bunch of people marched here overnight. Soon, the police stepped in, raided the place and retrieved a body that was buried inside a chamber in a concrete cemetery in the church. Then they buried it at the Pozhichalur burial ground, after completing legal formalities.
Still, the social media posts claimed that there were more than seven corpses buried inside the campus. Adding to this, it was also said that more chambers were found inside a room in the church. Following this, News Today visited the spot this morning to find out what has really happened.
“This is a Malayalam Roman Catholic church. We are also Roman Catholics, but Tamils. We all used to go for a common church before two years. But, some of their (Keralites) customs differ from us. So they bought a land here and built this church. One of their main practices is, burying the dead bodies in a cemetery that is built inside the church premises. This custom is followed widely in Kerala. Even in Tamilnadu, they do this in areas like Thoothukudi,” said Kannan, a resident here.
He further said, “Following the same, this church members too built the chambers to bury the body of its members. They also claimed that they have applied for license, to make the process legal. But, before they got the approval, one of the members, a 75-year-old man, originally from Kerala, who resided at Pammal with his family, was dead. So, expecting that they would get the license soon, they buried this man here, a week back. The body was kept inside a box and a cement memorial cemetery was built around it.”
“However, the police demolished it completely and recovered the body. As it was just a week back, the body was not in a bad condition,” he stated.
Other residents showed their strong opposition towards this activity. “This is a pure residential area and we don’t want these kinds of activities here. The government should never grant the license. Such activities are strictly condemned,” said an angry resident, G Mohanasundaram.
Speaking to News Today, Shankar Nagar Inspector of Police (Crime) Bhooma Devi, said, “we visited the spot after the complaint and recovered a body. Revenue officials are set to conduct an inspection at the church today. Investigations are on.”
This incident has brought in much chaos overnight and many residents who spoke to this reporter stressed that they would not allow a cemetry setup in their neighbourhood.