Millennium Post

Police yet to get leads in Mumbai church attack case

Police yet to get leads in Mumbai church attack case
There are no eyewitnesses to the incident and the scanning of CCTV footage has also not thrown up any substantial leads to identity the attackers, police said.

According to Khandeshwar police, the attack was carried out by two masked persons who were riding pillion on a motorcycle around 1.30am when they hurled stones at the Saint George Catholic Church located near a bridge in New Panvel.

In the incident, the covering glass outside the statue of Saint George got damaged.

The trio, comprising the motorcyclist and the two pillion riders, had their faces covered, a police official said. “We are questioning several people on grounds of suspicion of their involvement in the crime. However, we are yet to lay our hands on concrete clues,” Assistant Police Commissioner S B Suryavanshi said.

Asked about clues from the CCTV footage, he said, “The attackers covered their faces. There is nothing much to get from the CCTV.”

However, offences have been registered against the unidentified men under sections 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) and 427 (mischief) of the IPC, police said.

With no eyewitnesses, the investigators are struggling to identify the perpetrators of the crime, sources said. The church was built in 2007 and can accommodate over 800 people for prayer. Meanwhile, security has been stepped up at places of worship in the area, police said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the culprits will be arrested soon. “Police are analysing the CCTV footage. We will arrest them soon,” he said.

Hindu activists accused of Jabalpur church attack

A church and a school premises were vandalised and some members of the Christian community assaulted and threatened allegedly by activists of right wing Hindu outfits Dharma Sena and Bajrang Dal who accused them of carrying out conversion at Jabalpur in MP.

Police have booked leader of Dharma Sena, Yogesh Agarwal, and some others connection with the incident that took place on March 20, but no arrests have been made so far.

“Dharma Sena leader Yogesh Agrawal and Raju Rai and a few others have been booked under relevant sections of the IPC and efforts are on to track down and arrest them,” Jabalpur SP HC Mishra said on Sunday.

The church authorities said the attackers, including Bajrang Dal activists, stormed into a Cathedral premises and a school housing a grotto with St Mary’s idol, alleging religious conversion had been taking place there. They allegedly broke earthen pots and shattered glass panes of windows at the parsonage, accusing vicar Father Thankachan Jose of converting Hindus to Christianity.

Ravi Francis, who claimed that he was present at the spot, said he was roughed up by a group of Dharma Sena and Bajrang Dal activists after they stormed into the Saint Thomas School campus.
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