Police detain dozens protesting against church attacks in Delhi

  • Agencies, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 05, 2015 15:09 IST

Police on Thursday detained dozens of people for protesting against recent attacks on churches in Delhi in recent months, accusing government of inaction to prevent or investigate the incidents.

Police said the protesters were detained as they marched toward the residence of Home minister Rajnath Singh.

Carrying placards that read "Enough is Enough, What are police doing?" the protesters assembled outside the Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi.

"We have detained the protesters and they have been taken to Parliament Street police station. They did not have permission to protest outside the church and we cannot allow them to protest on public roads," Joint Commissioner of Police Mukesh Meena told reporters here in Delhi.

Few Christian groups had organised the protest alleging "lack of serious action in recent attacks on churches".

They said they would march to Home Minister Rajnath Singh's residence but were detained prior to that, as according to police, "nobody can hold demonstration like this and nobody has the right to go to the Home Minister's residence just like that".

Father Savarimathu Sankar, spokesperson for the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese, said, "We only want justice and we want protection of our churches. We are not demanding it as Christians but as citizens of India.

"We have given representations to the President and the Prime Minister but there has been no follow up from their side. This is the fifth incident and it is apparent that the incidents were of communal nature."

There have been five attacks on churces since December.

In the latest incident this week, St Alphonsa's Church in south Delhi's Vasant Kunj area was vandalised. The police insisted that the occurrence was a burglary.

Another Catholic church was vandalised by two unidentified men in west Delhi's Vikaspuri on January 14, weeks after the home ministry directed Delhi Police to install CCTV cameras inside and around all religious places.

On January 3, the Christmas Crib at Rohini's Church of Resurrection was mysteriously burnt. The windows of Our Lady of Fatima Forane Church in Okhla were broken during evening mass on December 7 last year by unidentified persons.

Police were ordered to beef up security outside all religious places after St Sebastian's Catholic Church in Dilshad Garden was allegedly burnt down days before Christmas last year.

(With inputs from AP and PTI)

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