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Goa archdiocese issues security advisory

Police request churches do more to protect premises

Goa archdiocese issues security advisory
The chapel within Se Cathedral in Old Goa
Bosco de Sousa Eremita, Panaji

January 20, 2011

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Goa archdiocese has issued a security advisory asking all church committees in the western Indian state to increase vigilance in and around churches. The 15-point advisory was issued after police asked Church authorities to step up security following a spate of thefts and desecrations of statues. “We need to be responsible for our things,” said archdiocese spokesperson Father Franscisco Caldeira. The advisory states that churches should have at least one security guard from a registered security company on duty at night. If religious institutions can’t afford to employ a company guard they should use volunteers from their locality. “The police may explore the possibility of giving some honorarium to volunteer guards by writing to the government,” the advisory states. The archdiocese also recommended reducing access points to places of worship. “Door frame metal detectors may be installed at an entry point and people should also be subjected to a search if they arouse suspicion,” the advisory continued. Closed circuit TVs should be installed at all strategic points in churches, it added. Peter Pires, a Catholic lay leader, called the police request “ridiculous.” “This means the government cannot protect citizens and their property. In that case, they should stop collecting taxes from us,” he said. Related reports Statue robbers find all that glisters is not gold Goan minister pledges action on church vandals Vandals attack Catholic cemetery in Goa ID12942.1637
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