Monday, January 30, 2023

Punjab: Church vandalised, pastor’s car set on fire

Tension prevailed in Thakarpura village in Punjab’s Tarn Taran district on Wednesday hours after some unidentified people vandalised a Catholic church in the village, holding the security guard hostage at gunpoint, and set on fire a car that was parked in the church premises.
According to the police, the incident took place on Tuesday night when some unidentified masked men entered the church, vandalised a statue of Jesus and Mary and damaged the church. They also set fire to the pastor’s car. Visuals from the spot show the car engulfed in flames and a broken statue inside the church.
“We are investigating the matter. The security guard was held on gun point, the car was set on fire and the head of a holy statue was taken away. The culprits will be arrested soon,” a spokesperson of Tarn Taran police said.
After the incident, a police team led by Senior SP, Tarn Taran, Ranjit Singh Dhillon reached the spot to take stock of the situation. Heavy police deployment has been made in the area, they said.
CM orders probe
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, on Wednesday, ordered an inquiry into an incident of desecration and arson at a church at Thakkarpur village in the Patti area of the Tarn Taran district on Tuesday midnight.
“No one will be allowed to break the brotherhood of Punjab. The Tarn Taran incident is very unfortunate. Investigate it and (take) strict action against the culprits,” Mann said in a tweet.
Mann has called the incident “unfortunate”, assuring that nobody will be allowed to disturb communal harmony in the state.
A group of Christians on Wednesday held a protest against the incident and blocked all routes leading to Khemkaran, Bhikhiwind, Patti, Harike and Ferozepur. The protesters demanded immediate arrest of the accused.

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