Fear lingers on among church members

Tight police vigil during Sunday service

Fear lingers on among church members

Annie, a church member, who usually attends the 7 am mass along with her family at the church, attended the 10.30 am mass this Sunday out of fear.

Jobins Mathews, another church member said: “The church attack has instilled fear in our minds.”

A police van with personnel, stationed near the church’s entrance was the only sign of security. A few police personnel were keeping a tight vigil in the church premises, while a CID team was busy with investigations. After the Thursday attack, the church had tried its best to continue with the religious services from the next day itself.

Arul, the helper who was locked up on the day the church was attacked, said that although he could hear the miscreants pelting stones, he was too scared to step out.

Father Aloysius of St Francis de Sales Church said that they had never received any threats from any outfits. “The church has a good relationship with the neighbours in the locality. But the attacks have hurt the sentiments and the feelings of Christians and minorities,” he remarked.

Bangalore Rural district SP B A Mahesh said that security will be provided to church as long as it is necessary. “All the leads are being pursued and the investigations are in place. The case is being handled by the CID, who are investigating the matter” he added.

Was infighting the real cause?

While five persons have been detained in connection with the church attack, sources confirmed that it was an outburst of the infighting and confusion between different factions in the church, mainly the Syrian and Latin Catholic groups. Many were sore with the authorities after they were forced to vacate the quarters in the rear side of the church compound, where they were living for decades.

Meanwhile, a section of believers had protested against the prayers being held in different languages and also vented ire over the celebration of Onam inside the church. It is learnt that another section was fuming after the priests failed to give permission to bury Peter, who died three months back.

The jurisdictional police are confident of cracking the case in next two-three days. They have zeroed in on an eye witness and are yet to tie the loose ends to strengthen the case.

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