Church attacked in City

Church attacked in City

Congress demands CoD probe; CM to make detailed reply today

 A nun inspects the spot where miscreants damaged the statue of Mary at the St Francis de Sales Church at Hebbagudi, Hosur Road, on the outskirts of Bangalore early on Thursday morning. DH photo

The incident came to light around 6 am, when the parish priest woke up to turn off the lights in the church.

Two statues of Mary and Jesus, windows and other items were destroyed at the St Francis de Sales church in Hebbagudi, about 20 km from Bangalore. However, the church interior – the sanctum sanctorum and the doors – was not damaged, according to the church authorities.

Traces of ash, indicating an attempt to set fire to the premises were also found.
Word soon spread and more than 200 people blocked Hosur Road, demanding a probe into the incident. As a result, traffic came to a standstill for a few hours.

According to the church authorities and the police, the incident is said to have occurred around 3 am. Fr Selvaraj, Assistant Parish Priest, said the church did not have a watchman, but a helper boy was staying in the quarters.

“The miscreants locked the room of the helper boy before indulging in vandalism. Though the church has a burglar alarm, it functions only when the doors are forced open. They had only broken the window panes but had not entered the church,” Fr Selvaraj pointed out.

Past memories

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Archbishop Bernard Moras observed that the incident was disappointing even as people were trying to forget the memories of last year.
“We are praying that such incidents will not occur again and peace reigns. We are confident that the government will take necessary action. Stray incidents always occur to disrupt peace in the city.”

The Congress condemned the attack and demanded that the BJP government bring the culprits to book and instill confidence among minorities. “People belonging to the minority and weaker sections are under a grip of fear in the State after the BJP government came to power,” KPCC president R V Deshpande and working president D K Shivakumar told reporters.

They demanded that Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa take steps to instill confidence among minorities and weaker sections, identify the culprits responsible for the attack and punish them. Deshpande urged the government to order a Corps of Detectives (CoD) probe into the incident.

In the Assembly, Yeddyurappa assured members that the elements behind the attack on the church in Hebbagudi on Hosur Road will not be spared. The chief minister said he would furnish a detailed reply to the House on Friday and warned that the government would not tolerate any sort of violence. The government is committed towards communal harmony, he said.

Shoot-at-sight orders issued

The police have been issued shoot-at-sight orders against those found to be trespassing churches, mosques and temples or found to be indulging in theft or any mischief,  said Shankar Bidari, City Police Commissioner.