Unknowns vandalise St Thomas Catholic Church in West Bengal
Unidentified persons entered into the St Thomas Catholic Church at Taherpur, in Nadia District of West Bengal on Thursday night, July 09, 2015 and vandalised the church. The holiest item inside, the tabernacle, wrenched free from its moorings and thrown in the driveway outside. Father Satish Makal, who is in charge of the church but was away from Taherpur last night, said, "This is religious harassment. The most valuable item in the church was removed. It is very painful." He also recalled that a church had been attacked and a nun raped at Ranaghat, also in Nadia district, in March.
Early Friday morning, the caretaker of the church, Tapan Kumar Mandal, had come to ring the bell as usual when he noticed one of the doors of the church forced open. "I had locked up the church yesterday. When I saw a door open, I checked and saw that the tabernacle was missing. I immediately informed the church authorities," he said.
The police rushed to the spot. Investigations revealed there was no theft of any item but some items had been displaced and a wooden box forced open. A door had been broken, apparently with a crowbar. Vijay Bharati, District Magistrate has confirmed the incident. Bharatlal Meena, Superintendent of Police said, unidentified persons attempted to steal valuables.
“Though all the valuables of the church are intact, we are trying to find out how they managed entering the church despite the main door and windows were locked from inside,” a senior police officer of Taherpur police said. “We have received a complaint from the church authorities and started a case of attempt of theft,” he said.
During the initial probe, the police found that nobody in the church’s densely-populated neighbourhood “heard anything suspicious” on Thursday night. The police had questioned two priests and a couple of medical officers staying at an adjacent building.
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