Another Delhi church vandalized

Photo Credit: NDTV
Photo Credit: NDTV

A church here was vandalized before dawn, the fourth such incident in the capital in seven weeks, police said.

The incident, which took place around 4.20 a.m., was captured by a CCTV camera installed inside the premises of Our Lady Of Graces Church at Vikaspuri in west Delhi.

“The CCTV footage shows that two people came on a scooter. One entered the church’s premises and smashed a glass window. He also threw the statue of Mother Mary on the floor,” Father Balraj of the church said.

The police received a call from the church around 7.30 a.m.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Monika Bhardwaj told IANS that a case had been filed against two unidentified men for deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage the religious feelings.

Bhardwaj said the police have a clear picture of one of the culprits who toppled the statue of Mother Mary and smashed the glass window. “He might be in his late 30s.”

Father Savarimuthu Sankar, spokesperson of the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese, told IANS: “We see a clear pattern in these attacks.”

He said the attacks on churches occurring at regular intervals had unnerved Christians in Delhi.

He said the attacks took place most on the city’s outskirts and at four different directions within 44 days.

“We cannot say if these incidents are related to the (coming Delhi) elections or the handiwork of some fundamentalists. But it is a matter of concern and police should take proper action,” he added.

Three churches were attacked earlier in separate incidents.

Earlier this month, a minor fire was reported from a church in Rohini in west Delhi. The Christmas crib outside was charred.

Last month, some unidentified people threw stones at Our Lady of Fatima Forane Church at Jasola in south Delhi and broke window panes during the evening Mass.

St Sebastian’s Church, a Catholic church at Dilshad Garden in east Delhi, was burnt down in December. Police confirmed it was a case of arson.

According to the 2011 Census report, Christians number around 130,000 in Delhi, which is home to about 17 million. The Christian population in India is 24 million — of the total 1.2 billion.