Following letter to Archbishop, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, should make you understand the meaning. So far, we have not received any response, but on ground, it is reliably learnt that desirable action has been taken.

Crux of the entire matter is, DMC R South’s letter, bearing Ref. No. DMC / Z VII/ 236/ OD dated 22/03/2017; to Fr. Don John D’souza,  Sole Trustee, Our Lady of Remedy Church, SV Road,Poinsur, Kandivali (W), Munbai – 67; which concludes with following statement.

” Thanking you for your valuable co – operation for surrendering the land under Road Widening to the corporation”.




Constituted under Para 29 of Christifideles Laici

(Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation of H.H.Late Pope John Paul-II)



A/7  Rodrigues Compound, Malwani Village, Malad (W), Mumbai, 400095. Contact No. 98707 19628

E Mail:


(Archdiocese of Bombay)

27th, March, 2017;


H.E. Oswald Cardinal Gracias,

Archbishop of Bombay,

Holy Name Cathedral,

Nathalal Parekh Marg,

Fort, Mumbai – 400001;



Your Eminence,


SUB:-                         BETRAYAL OF THE FAITHFUL


Hope this letter finds you in the pink of health. We keep you always, in our prayers, so that you can lead the community for many long years.


Your Eminence, the Saga of Betrayal, if it is true, is reenacting once again, in this twenty first century. Fr Don John, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Remedy Church, Poinsur; seems to have meekly surrendered to BMC authorities, the piece of land, belonging to the Parish. Most importantly, he has done it in the middle of night, keeping every person in dark, who have been helping him to fight the unjust LAND ACQUISITION NOTICE.


Apart from the parishioners, various other associations and individuals have come forward to help the parish, tide over this Injustice. While Bombay Catholic Sabha (BCS), parish unit was, from day one, with the Parish Priest, other parishioners united under the banner of GUARDIANS UNITED in order to help him. Associations like SOUL – Save Our Land, WatchDog Foundation, Bombay East Indian Association (BEIA), All India Catholic Union (AICU) and BCS Central Unit among others, joined later. All these associations participated in various events, conducted jointly, to send a strong message to BMC authorities that NOT AN INCH OF OUR LAND will be allowed to touch in unjust manner.


Chronology of the events, in this context, is as follows:


  1. BMC authorities demolished the Sadanand Chawl, belonging to the parish. Parishioners gathered on the spot immediately, when the news of demolition was flashed. Even people from other parishes, particularly from Malwani and Orlem, made appearance on the site.
  2. A Human Chain was formed around the Church, to symbolize protection to the land.
  3. On 25th, December 2016; in spite of being Christmas Festival, many Catholics from the parish as well as surrounding Parishes, gathered at the gate near OLRC, Poinsur to register their protest against unjust land acquisition.
  4. 3rd, January, Parish authorities, along with members from associated groups, met DMC and Asst. Commissioner, R South; and discussed this matter at length. At this meeting, yours truly also was present and brought to the notice of BMC administration that the Road Widening Plan is invalid, since it has been drawn in violation of a law, which provides protection to Religious Places. I personally discussed this matter with Fr. Richard Crasto later, who was present at this meeting.
  5. On, 21st, January, 2017; a massive SILENT PROTEST RALLY, commencing from OLRC and marching to BMC R South office was organized jointly by these associations.


All these associations and Individuals feel betrayed. Isn’t it the duty of the Parish Priest, to take them into confidence, and share the reason for this about turn, with them?


We are sure; Fr. Don John is not capable of taking this decision on his own. Then who advised him on this matter to decide on such a drastic step? The People must know.


Your Eminence, we have been hearing a buzz that authorities have assured that they will not take the Cemetery and would not touch the HOLY CROSS, but only the adjacent piece of land. What is the guarantee that they will not come for the Cemetery and the HOLY CROSS later? Besides, the court has granted temporary injunction to the Cemetery and the HOLY CROSS, which the Parish authorities have perhaps, not understood. Have they challenged this court order, granting permission to BMC to acquire the piece of land? They are not taking piece of land for any commercial purpose. It is for road widening, as per the plan which cuts through the Cemetery and the HOLY CROSS. This certainly implies that unless the cemetery land is taken, road widening process will not be complete.


As per little understanding of law that I have, Cemetery has protection from a particular Law. THE PLACES OF WORSHIP (SPECIAL PROVISIONS) ACT 42 OF 1991; and drawing a plan cutting through the Cemetery, for widening of a road, itself is in violation of the law, hence the plan renders INVALID. Therefore, notice for land acquisition, by the virtue of invalid plan, too renders invalid. Then where was the hurry for the Parish Priest to surrender this piece of land? Through a letter, this matter has been brought to the notice of Municipal Commissioner Shri Ajoy Mehta, Chief Engineer (Roads and Traffic) and Dy. Municipal Commissioner, Zone Vll by me, seeking redressal to get this plan abolished.


I had brought this to the notice of Adv. Martina, who is representing the Parish in Court. This is the first blunder, taking the matter to court, committed by Fr. Don John. She said the writ is being amended to incorporate this clause; which is heartening. However, just for your information, in my individual capacity,  have filed a complaint with LOKAYUKTA, seeking stay on any attempt to forcible acquisition of piece of land, till am given a hearing. I am not sure, if BMC waits till then. However, the message has been sent to DCP Zone XI and Senior Inspector of Kandivali Police station, citing the Complaint to LOKAYUKTA, not to entertain any request from BMC to provide any help.


Your Eminence, We have amongst us, knowledgeable persons like Adv. Godfrey Pimenta, Dolphy D’souza, ex President of BCS  who are the guiding force to people, in many such agitations. Why couldn’t they be taken into confidence, before taking the decision to surrender the piece of land?


Your eminence, so far Parishioners are not aware of this development. You can imagine their reaction, when the matter comes to the fore. I will appreciate, if you could seek clarification on the matter from the Parish Priest or any other entity, responsible for the decision.


We would be awaiting a reply from you at the earliest.


Yours always,








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