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Post church fire: Christmas to be low key affair this year

Post church fire: Christmas to be low key affair this year
Despite assurances from law enforcement agencies to ensure safety and security of the churches after the arson at Dilshad Garden church, Christmas celebration in Delhi will be a low key affair this year.

The churches will organise prayers and perform other rituals but some argued the recent tragedy has marred the festivity to maximum extent. The sense of fear in the mind of community people can be judged from the fact that they hesitate to discuss the upcoming festival and its preparations.

“We saw massive arson at St Sebastian Church with the intention to disrupt communal harmony. Lack of security arrangements and mishandling of the incident by concerned authorities have also added to the woes. While the security was strengthened after the incident, hardly any police personnel can be seen around churches these days. The public-police meeting for restoring confidence among the community has also been scheduled after Christmas,” said Saji, one of the care-takers of St Stephens Church in Dilshad Garden.

A visit to churches in Dilshad Garden corroborates Saji’s fears. 

The churches wore a deserted look with no visitors. “Every year, the devotees would throng to churches days before the Christmas. We are going to organise street prayers and have invited people from different communities to participate in that. But we are doubtful about people’s attendance at the prayers”, said Mathew, an attendant at St. Sebastian Church where the massive arson had taken place a couple of weeks ago.

On the other hand, police officials claimed to have taken adequate security measures to avert any untoward incident. 

“We have instructed senior police officials to deploy necessary force outside each church in the city to ensure safety of the community. Surprise checks by officials are also being conducted to check security measures,” a senior police official, requesting anonymity said.
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