A church in Taherpur, not far from the Ranaghat convent school where robbers struck terror in March, was raided by miscreants on Thursday night. While the miscreants reportedly failed to take away anything, a gold-coloured tabernacle containing the statue of Jesus was found smashed outside the church.
Father Satish, priest of the church, said he was away to Bandel and sisters who lived on the church premises informed him of the incident on Friday morning. An FIR has been lodged with the police, he added.
“This attack has taken place within five months of the Ranaghat incident. We are really terrified. The raiders took out the tabernacle weighing about 8 to 10 kg and desecrated it. The statue of Jesus is preserved in it and it is very holy to us,” he said.
The Taherpur church is over 50 years old and falls under the diocese of the Bishop of Krishnanagar.
Police is yet to arrest anyone in connection with the incident.
A senior police official of Ranaghat said “it was an abortive attempt to steal valuables from the church”. Stating that police are currently probing the matter, he said how the robbers entered the church was still a mystery. The doors and windows were found intact. A skylight was found broken, but it was too high to facilitate entry, the official said.
Police are also looking into the possibility if anyone sneaked inside the church during the day and tried to carry out the robbery at night.
Police also said that it was possible that the robbers thought the tabernacle was made of gold, but when they found that it was just a coat of gold paint, they smashed it and left.
The church had been painted several months back. Police suspect that those who painted the church might have tipped off the gang about the ‘gold’ tabernacle.
Taherpur is about 10 km from the Ranaghat school which witnessed vandalism and sexual assault on a nun in March.
Investigation revealed later that the gang had come from across Bangladesh border and operated here with the help of local contacts who had painted the school. About six members of the gang have so far been arrested and chargesheeted, most of them from different parts of Bangladesh.
In the Taherpur case too, the miscreants are believed to have come from Bangladesh.