Thiruvananthapuram: Hours after an official team led by Idukki district collector G. R. Gokul demolished a cross structure in Munnar as part of an eviction drive, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan Thursday slammed the move.
The chief minister, apparently under pressure from the CPM's Idukki district unit, said the officials should have been more careful in their act. He said they just had to put up a board on the plot, where the cross was erected, if they were sure that it belonged to the government.
The chief minister reiterated his stance on the issue at the CITU's state meet in Kottayam also.
"What mistake did the cross commit? A huge section of the people believe in the cross. It was demolished without asking the government. The action made an impression that the government was against the cross," Pinarayi told the meeting. He also flayed the officials for imposing section 144 in the area.
He said further decision will be taken on the matter Friday.
Earlier in the day, CPM district secretary K. K. Jayachandran said that Gokul and subcollector V. Sriram were trying to hijack the state government when they demolished the cross at Pappathichola and clamped down prohibitory orders in the area.
An official team led by an additional tehsildar had cleared unauthorized structures on encroached land. They had also demolished a giant cross erected on government land in the guise of spiritual tourism.