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Delhi church broken in; ransacked

A few sacred items and a DVD player were stolen from a church here, police said Monday. But the church’s administration claimed it did not seem to be just an incident of theft.

The ransacking took place at St. Alphonsa’s church in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj area.

A few sacred items, including a ciborium (receptacle) and a monstrance kept inside a tabernacle, a cabinet made of wood and glass, were taken away. The items were stolen from the cabinet and a few of them were also destroyed, police said.

“A few people barged inside the church premises. They took away the sacred items and a DVD player. But they did not touch our collection box,” Father Vincent Salvatore told IANS.

Police were informed Monday morning after the church’s guard found the main gate open.

Police have questioned a few people in the church’s neighbourhood and collected the footage of the CCTV installed near the church.

But the Christian community members have sought that police investigate the incident from all possible angles, besides theft.

Savari Muthu Sankar, spokesman for the Delhi archdiocese, told IANS: “The intention of the assailants was not only to steal, but there was some foul play. We demanded from the police that the case should be investigated from other angles also.”

John Dayal, former president of the All India Catholic Union, told IANS: “Somebody is trying to target our (Christian) community. Since this is the election time, it has another dimension.”

Three people were arrested Jan 15 for vandalising a church in west Delhi after they were captured by a CCTV camera installed inside the premises of the church.

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