Burglary in Delhi church, police arrest two teenagers
By Matters India Reporter
New Delhi: The Delhi police on February 11 arrested two teenage boys for allegedly breaking into an Orthodox church, destroying cross and decamping with donation money.
The incident occurred on February 10 at Rohini, a northwest suburb of the national capital.
Sanjay Singh, joint commissioner of police (Northern Range), said the youngsters were taken into custody on the basis of footages captured by a CCTV camera installed in St. Basil School that the parish runs adjacent to the church.
The arrested, aged 17 years, live in a village in Rohini Sector 3. The police officer said the two had rehearsed the act before committing the crime,.
The police said that the accused broke the glass panes, a cross and other items at St Basil Church apart from emptying the donation box.
The matter was reported by Father Joji Kurian Thomas, who discovered the theft when he came for prayers, they said.
According to police, a case of theft in a religious place was registered and 10 teams were formed to apprehend the accused.
The police officials, however, ruled out any communal angle behind the incident, the Press Trust of India reported.
The duo has confessed that they committed the crime for money and there was nothing communal behind their act, police said.
In view of the incident, SHOs have been asked to step up the vigil around churches and PCR vans directed to regularly patrol areas.
The parish under the Delhi diocese of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church has 165 members. Around 600 people attend the service regularly, claims the parish website.
The school has 85 students in 3 classes and 8 staff.
The parish also manages “Anchal” a center for differently abled children with 52 children, 5 classes and 8 staffs. The project is aimed at providing training to mentally challenged children to make them self-dependent, through appropriate methods of education and help them to lead a normal life. It was approved by Delhi Development Authority in 2009 and allotted 461square meters of land at concessional rate.
The burglary came reminded a series of attacks on Catholic churches in the national capital two years ago that drew international attention.