Wednesday, March 25, 2015

4 arrested for Navi Mumbai church attack

Crowd gathers outside the St. George Catholic church, New Panvel, which was attacked by miscreants on late Saturday night.

4 arrested for Navi Mumbai church attack  Mumbai, March 24, 2015 | UPDATED 16:17 IST
The Maharashtra government, which on Sunday had promised to nab the culprits behind an attack on a Navi Mumbai church last week within 48 hours, arrested four people on Tuesday.
The police have ruled out a communal angle behind the attack, saying it may have been personal animosity between some members of the church and the accused that led to the attack on Friday night last week.
Rahul Patil, one of the accused arrested on Tuesday, used to allegedly run some illegal business near the Panvel church premises, police said. He said he was suspicious that someone from the church had tipped off the cops about him and hence he pelted stones with his two friends.
Police added that they are collecting more corroborative evidence and will disclose more details soon.
Late on Friday night, the St George Catholic Church in New Panvel in Navi Mumbai was attacked by three masked men who hurled stones inside the church and damaged the glass enclosure of the statue of Saint George. An FIR was lodged at Khandeshwar police station.
The surprise attack which lasted for just over a minute had shocked the Christian community with their leaders condemning it and calling it a political mischief. The city's Christian community had demanded a foolproof police protection for all churches in Mumbai and neighbouring places.
On Monday, six members of an outfit called Hindu Dharm Sena were arrested for vandalising a cathedral premise and a Catholic school in Madhya Pradesh's Jabalpur district on the night of March 20 and 21 and a day after the Navi Mumbai attack. Earlier this month, a 71-year-old nun was raped at a convent school in West Bengal, triggering protests across the country.
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