Funerals will not be conducted if relatives of deceased bury the dead with gold and other valuables, a Goan Roman Catholic priest said on Saturday.
Father Raul Colaco, the priest from Goa Velha, said that he was forced to announce this stern measure after two fresh graves in the Goa Velha church cemetery were vandalised by unidentified people earlier in July.
According to a complaint registered with police, the vandals were in search of gold trinkets which were buried along with the bodies at the time of the funeral.
"We have taken a decision in the interest of the people. Now that the person is dead, there is no use to adorn gold in the coffins. We had some trouble earlier here in the church and as a fallout of this, the (parish) council decided to take a decision to tell the people not to adorn the bodies," Colaco said.
Colaco believes that the followers in his parish should come around to the new dictum easily.
"The people have gladly accepted the decision because if someone notices gold on a body at the time of the funeral, then that particular coffin could be the next target," Colaco said.
He said burying the dead with gold and ornaments also proved to be a source of bickering amongst the surviving family members in the future.
Burying the dead with valuable trinkets is a popular practice in Goa.
Two freshly-dug graves which contained the coffins of Caetano Mendes and Feliciano Fernandes were vandalised July 1 in search of such valuables at the Goa Velha cemetery, about 15 km from Panaji.