With a 17th century church being vandalised in Goa, Speaker Pratapsing Rane on Tuesday said increasing instances of religious structures being desecrated reflect a conscious effort by some forces to foment communal tension.
Rane was speaking during zero hour when the issue of the church at Cabo de Rama in South Goa being vandalised on Monday was raised in the assembly.
"It appears to be a concerted effort. It has never happened in Goa before. It is aimed at creating communal problems in Panaji," said Rane, who was chief minister for nearly two decades.
The issue of the desecrated chapel was raised by opposition leader Manohar Parrikar, who accused police of treating the desecration issue lightly.
"The attitude of the police is not right. When such desecration occurs, they immediately call the act the handiwork of a mad person. How can the police brand anyone like this?" Parrikar said.
Police has called it the handiwork of a psychic and said it had no link with other instances of desecration of religious places.
Nearly 30 reported incidents of desecration have rocked Goa in the last couple of years, forcing Goa Police to form a special investigation team (SIT) to probe these. Unable to crack the mystery, Goa Police have now set up a force in the more remote regions of the state to prevent further incidents of desecration.