Facing flak over the stone pelting incident at the St George Catholic Church in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in Nagpur on Sunday that the “miscreants had been identified”, adding, “All those responsible will be brought to book.”
However, police officers investigating the incident of vandalism said the closed circuit television recordings of the incident are not adequately clear and do not show the faces of the motorcycle-borne miscreants. Investigators however, relying on local intelligence, said the culprits would be identified soon.
Senior police inspector of the Khandeshwar police station Janardan Thorat said that they have zeroed in on the suspects, “The investigations are going on. We have a few suspects and at present we are in the process of identifying them,” said Thorat.
The Opposition meanwhile upped the ante against the ruling BJP-led government in Maharashtra. Congress leader Manish Tewari was quoted on Sunday as saying that such incidents were a part of an “orchestrated campaign” to terrorise minorities.
“It is part of an orchestrated campaign. It is a conspiracy by the right wing to terrorise the minorities. They have picked up the smallest minority, the Christians, in order to attack their churches and their places of worship,” Tewari said.
NCP leader Majeed Memon termed the incident ‘unfortunate’.
‘State will crush elements attacking religious places’
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said his government would ‘crush’ elements involved in vandalising any religious places in the state. Fadnavis said, “Anybody indulging in any act of targeting religious places to disturb communal harmony in society will be crushed.
Fadnavis, who also holds the portfolio of home ministry, said, “I have issued directives to senior police officers to ruthlessly deal with individuals who are fomenting trouble in the society in the name of religion or displaying any social or religious prejudices against any sections of society or any community.”
The men, wearing masks, threw stones at a statue in the premises of the St. George Church and fled. The incident, which took place around 1.30 am Saturday, was captured on CCTV cameras.
A case under sections of hurting religious sentiments and damage to property was registered at the Khandeshwar police station.