Police retreated from the Piravom church after huge protest by devotees and priests. Further action would be declared after the High Court decision on Tuesday, police said.
Police decided to withdraw from Piravam, a small town in Ernakulam district, after devotees of Jacobite faction turned their ire against the police who came to implement a Supreme Court verdict that the church was of the Orthodox faction.
A few devotees, including women, belonging to the Jacobite faction climbed atop the Piravom St Mary’s Jacobite Syrian Cathedral and threatened to commit suicide if the police tried to implement the verdict.
Jacobite devotees flocked on the church premises and locked the gate. They were joined by priests in ensuring that the police, who had gathered outside the church in large numbers, did not enter the premises. The devotees then began ringing the church bell to attract attention.
One of the devotees doused himself in kerosene and threatened to set himself afire. Women got on to the parapet of the church and threatened to jump down. Police had laid a safety net around as a precautionary measure.
Kerala High Court had earlier pulled up the State Government for failure in implementing the verdict when that was not so in the case of Sabarimala.
The Government had said there was the need for consensus through discussions.