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Catholic Church vandalized in Delhi

Latest incident is fifth attack on a Christian place of worship in the capital in two months

Ritu Sharma,  Delhi

Ritu Sharma, Delhi

Published: February 02, 2015 09:29 AM GMT

Updated: April 24, 2015 03:17 PM GMT

Catholic Church vandalized in Delhi





Vandals attacked a Catholic Church in south Delhi early on Monday, the fifth attack on a Christian place of worship in the city within two months.

The attackers broke open the main gate of St Alphonsa’s Church in the Vasant Kunj area and entered the sacristy, before opening the tabernacle and scattering the host, Delhi archdiocese spokesman Father Savarimuthu Shankar told ucanews.com.

The attack comes five days before state assembly elections in the nation’s capital. Church officials believe this and the four previous attacks are part of a campaign to polarize the Christian community.

They refused however to blame any political party or religious group citing a lack of proof.

“These attacks are definitely aimed at polarizing the community before state assembly elections but we cannot blame any political party until we have evidence,” Fr Shankar said.

Police however dismissed the claim, saying the motive behind Monday’s incident was probably theft.

“It is simply a case of robbery. We have filed a case and investigation is on,” Virendra Jain, area police officer, told ucanews.com.

The Christian community has seen a spate of attacks since December 1 when St Sebastian Church in the Dilshad Garden area of the city was allegedly torched.

A few days later rocks were thrown at a Catholic Church in Jasola district, causing minor damage.

A crib for a Nativity scene was found burned earlier this month at a church in Rohini district, while on January 14, a Catholic church was attacked and its grotto smashed by three unidentified men.

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So far police have arrested three people in connection with the January 14 incident.

Fr Shankar said the Christian community planned to hold a candle light vigil on Monday evening to protest against the St Alphonsa Church attack.

He also said authorities have done nothing since Church officials spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee about the earlier attacks.

“It is getting very disturbing now. The community is left with no option but to come out on streets and protest,” he said.

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