Mysore, Jan 25: Unidentified persons vandalised the statue of Mother Mary in the Holy Family Church premises near here today, police said.
The statue, erected in a compound attached to the Church premises in Hinkal village, leading to the prayer hall, was damaged in the early hours, Police Commissioner Sunil Agarwal said.
Agarwal said that six months ago, two attempts had been made to break open the cash chest in front of the statue, which is in the open, but since the attempts were not successful, Church authorities had not lodged any complaint.
In 2002, he said, some locals raising objections about alleged conversions taking place in the church had damaged it. The culprits were, however, booked, chargesheeted but later out on bail. "The trial is still on in the case, hearing of which has been posted to February 10 in Mysore," he said.
Church’s Father Mari Joseph and Konkan Christian Association Secretary John William D’ Souza condemned the incident and said it was an "attack on the minorities and their religious beliefs".
Bangalore Archbishop Rev Dr Bernard Moras, who is also the president of Karnataka Region Catholic Bishops’ Council (KRCBC), has strongly condemned the attacks against Churches and urged the B S Yeddyurappa-led BJP government to take immediate steps to book the culprits.
Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa condemned the incident. He told reporters in Bangalore it was a conspiracy to disturb the peace and that the guilty will not be spared.
Three days back an attempt to vandalise a church in Murudeshwar in Uttara Kannada district, about 500 km from Bangalore, was foiled as area residents raised an alarm after finding a group of people trying to attack the place of worship.