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Delhi church burgled, desecrated

October 10, 2013: Unidentified persons burgled and desecrated a Catholic church in the national capital Tuesday night. The miscreants apparently entered St Mary's Church in Neb Sarai area of south Delhi through a door in the basement. The break-in was discovered by a guard who opened the gates on Wednesday morning.

The main cross at the altar, the Monstrance (urn containing the Eucharist), smaller crosses at the altar, brass candle-stands, the vessel that contains holy oil as well as money in the donation box were found to be missing, police said. The guard ran upstairs to the priest's quarters and alerted them, police said.

The church authorities said the miscreant also entered the ante-chamber and took flower vases and candle-stands made of brass. "The stolen items don't have much resale value but were of great value to Christians staying in the area; the burglary has left them shaken," said Father Varghese, one of the priests in the church. He said a door beside the ante-chamber was found open and suspects the miscreants to have used it. Other members of the church added an evening mass was held on Tuesday evening and was attended by a few people from the locality and locked afterwards.

The church authorities said holy books were desecrated, the altar was defaced and other material thrown across the floor. "We will not be able to use the church any longer as the Eucharist had to be shifted," said Father Varghese.

Meanwhile, a team led by senior officers visited the spot along with forensic experts, who collected samples including fingerprints, from the church. "We are investigating the case from all possible angles and are examining the evidence. We expect to nab the culprits soon," said a senior police officer.

(Source: UCAN)


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