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Glass enclosure of statues in Navi Mumbai church, health centre smashed

In the first incident, the accused broke the glass enclosure of Mother Mary’s statue outside St Sebastian Church at sector 8 around 7.30pm on Friday

mumbai Updated: Mar 18, 2018 01:23 IST
Pranab Jyoti Bhuyan
Pranab Jyoti Bhuyan
Hindustan Times
Navi Mumbai news,church,St Sebastian's church
The glass enclosure at St Sebastian Church, in Navi Mumbai, which was broken by unidentified persons on Friday.(HT Photo)

In two separate incidents, some unidentified persons smashed the glass covering statues outside a church and a health center run by the church at Kalamboli between Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.

In the first incident, the accused broke the glass enclosure of Mother Mary’s statue outside St Sebastian Church at sector 8 around 7.30pm on Friday. Some people inside the church heard the noise and came out to check it. They found the broken glass enclosure of the statue but did not see anyone. “There was a CCTV camera installed in the area but that did not capture the accused because of a tree in front of it,” said Prakash Nilewad, assistant commissioner of police (Panvel division). “Prima facie it appears that the culprits threw the stones from outside and ran away,” said Dilip Mane, deputy commissioner of police (zone II).

In the second incident, the glass covering the statue of Jesus Christ in front of Jyothi Health Centre was found broken around 3.30pm on Saturday. The health centre, which is for HIV/Aids patients, is located around 500 metres from the church. There were no CCTV cameras installed outside it. “There is a football ground behind the centre. We think the culprits threw the stones from there and ran away,” Nilewad said.

The Kalamboli police have registered two non-cognizable offences under section 427 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). “We think, the same people are behind both the incidents. However, the motive is not clear,” Nilewad said. “We have learnt from the church authorities that they were having some disputes with one of their members. The matter is now in court. We are not sure if these incidents are fallouts of that dispute,” he said. Following these incidents, the police conducted a meeting with the representative of all the churches of Panvel area on Saturday . They have also provided bandabast outside all churches there. Despite repeated attempts, the church authorities were unavailable for comments.

Three people pelted stones at the statue of St George, outside St George Catholic Church in New Panvel in March, 2015. They were arrested a few days later.

First Published: Mar 18, 2018 01:23 IST