Miscreants ransack church for gain

Police say it is a case of theft and not of desecration or vandalism

Miscreants ransack church for gain

Police said the parish priest and the parishioners of St Antony’s Church were shocked to see offering boxes open and religious objects in the tabernacle displaced.
Parish priest of the church, Fr Arockiadoss, said: “When I went to open the church doors at 4.30 am, it was already broken into. The offering boxes were broken and the tabernacle, where the sacred host is kept, was open and the host was thrown about the place.”

Archbishop Bernard Moras rushed to the spot at 6.30 am and spoke to the parish priest and a large gathering of over 700 parishioners, who had arrived for the Sunday service.

The archbishop said he spoke to Home Minister V S Acharya over the phone and said that he was deeply disturbed over the incident. The Home Minister, who is in New Delhi, assured the Archbishop that he would ask the police to look into the incident immediately.

A dog squad, finger print experts and several police officers were deployed at the church.

The archbishop also spoke to Police Commissioner Shankar Bidri, who was on his way
to Belgaum, seeking his immediate intervention and an investigation. ADGP Pujar visited to the church.

Later in the morning, more than thousand people gathered at the church and began prayer and reparation along with the archbishop and other priests from the archbishop’s house.

Police ruled out any case of vandalism or desecration of the church as the incident reflected a case of theft. “The thief who attempted to rob money and valuables was not successful, as the church staff had already deposited the offering money in the bank. It is a case of theft and not of vandalism, as per the preliminary investigations,” a police official said. A case has been registered at Devara Jeevanahalli police station.

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