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Cardinal George Alencherry (File photo) Image Credit:

Kochi: Fresh trouble has broken out at the Ernakulam and Angamaly archdioceses of the Syro Malabar Catholic Church, as some priests on Thursday began an indefinite protest at the bishop house seeking removal of Cardinal George Alencherry as the diocesan head.

Cardinal Alencherry's powers as the Ernakulam and Angamaly archdiocesan head was taken away last year after a criminal case was registered against him over a three-acre land deal in Kochi in 2016. However, last month it was restored and since then the faction opposed to him are up in arms.

Early this month, some 261 priests of the Syro Malabar Catholic Church in Ernakulam and Angamaly archdioceses raised the banner of revolt and went on a flash protest seeking withdrawal of suspension of two bishops and threatened to intensify the stir if the demand was not heeded.

On Thursday, the faction opposed to the Cardinal after a meeting with him decided to launch the indefinite protest at the bishop house and said they would not withdraw the protest unless their demands were met.

"We met the Cardinal. He was unable to give us a satisfactory reply on how he was able to get back the administrative powers and also about the reason for suspension of two bishops. We then decided to begin the indefinite protest," said P. Jose, a priest.

Their other demands include withdrawal of the case registered against senior priests, alleged to have made fake documents to malign the Cardinal.

The police is keeping a watch at the bishop house as they suspect things could go out of hand anytime.