Catholic community to hold candlelight prayer service across 11 churches in Mumbai and Thane against notice to St Peter's Seaside Cemetery

Catholic community to hold candlelight prayer service across 11 churches in Mumbai and Thane against notice to St Peter's Seaside Cemetery

BMC had issued a notice to the century-old cemetery stating that the plot on which the cemetery stands will be taken over for a proposed road widening project.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Thursday, February 02, 2023, 10:46 PM IST
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Mumbai: The Catholic community will be holding a candlelight prayer service across 11 churches in Mumbai and Thane on Saturday (Feb 4) against the notice served to the St Peter's Seaside Cemetery, Bandra. Members of the community have already held protest meetings and organised a candlelight march from St Peter's Church to the cemetery. They have been demanding that the notice be revoked altogether and a parallel road be widened instead.

“We want the notice to the Bandra cemetery revoked and demand withdrawal of the amendment made to the developmental plan," said Dolphy D'Souza of Bombay Catholic Sabha which is organising the special service.

Meanwhile, the Catholic community had another issue at hand and got some respite only after they took it up with the Juhu police that intervened and got a gate blocking access to the Shrine of Our Lady Velankanni, Irla, removed. “This particular passage has been used since 1967. A large number of people visit the church and this is the main access road. Parishioners have been using it for over 50 years,” Mr D'Souza said.

He added that the main road is the Irla society road and the Shrine can be accessed by taking a left. “This is a passage for three societies. Twice the road was built with funds from Krishna Hegde and Ashok Jadhav. Now the builder has purchased a house and was looking to block access. This is unnecessary harassment,” said Nicholas Almeida of the Watchdog Foundation.

Senior police inspector Ajitkumar Vartak of Juhu police station said no case has been registered as it was a misunderstanding. “The builder has a plan sanctioned by the BMC but there was a slight dispute regarding the gate. However, he has agreed to cooperate and has removed the gate,” he said. FPJ could not get in touch with the builder who put up the gate.

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