'Pope told about recent fire in church'

The Pope, the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church, has been informed about the mysterious fire that gutted St Sebastian’s Church in east Delhi’s Dilshad Garden on Monday.

Christian leaders said the briefing has been done by the the Vatican City embassy in India as a matter of routine.

Apart from the church fire incident, the Bishop of Rome has also been briefed about the alleged atrocities against Christians which have taken place across the country in the recent past.

Sources in Delhi Police said Pope Francis was briefed on behalf of the Catholic community leaders in India who also sought financial help to repair and restore the church that was completely destroyed in the mysterious blaze. The Catholic community leaders, however, denied that any financial assistance was sought from the Bishop of Rome.

“We have not demanded any financial support from the Pope neither there was any briefing from our side. The Vatican City embassy may have briefed the Pope about the matter which is a routine affair,” John Dayal, former president of the All India Catholic Union, said.

When the embassy in Delhi was contacted over phone for confirmation, an official said the concerned official was not available for their comment.

Quick probe

Meanwhile, a delegation of the Catholic community in Delhi approached the National Commission for Minorities and sought its interference for a quick probe and justice in the mysterious fire case. The meeting was held on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the Crime Branch’s SIT team revisited the church along with a team of the forensic experts of Forensic Science Laboratory in Rohini. The forensic team conducted a fresh, but details investigation of the areas which were completely destroyed in the blaze.

The forensic experts also visited the changing room at the church from where the blaze probably originated, as per the statement of Robert Phillip, the security guard who was on duty on Monday morning.

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