Panaji, July 10 (IANS) More than 40 crosses, plaques and gravestones were desecrated by unidentified persons at a Goa cemetery in the early hours of Monday, a senior police officer said.
The Congress has demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the series of acts of vandalism at religious places in the state.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Rupinder Kumar told IANS that the incident occurred at the Guardian Angel Catholic cemetery in Curchorem in south Goa, where a similar attack had occurred five years ago.
“Policemen were posted outside the cemetery. When they heard sounds inside the cemetery, they went in to check. Several Catholic crosses, granite stone plaques and gravestones were damaged. A CCTV camera and an electric light pole also were damaged,” the police officer said.
Initially, officials at the Curchorem police station had estimated the number of damaged crosses, gravestones and plaques at more than 100.
Kumar said that careful inspection of the site revealed that more than 40 pieces have been damaged, and these include more than 20 Catholic crosses.
“We are working on some leads,” Kumar said.
State Congress President Shantaram Naik has demanded a CBI probe into the cemetery vanadalism.
“We are demanding a CBI probe into the serial desecration,” Naik said, adding that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s government in the state has failed to rein in such vandalism and acts of esecration.
This is the fourth such incident since June, he said.
The Goa Police have already formed a special team to crack these cases. Parrikar has said the attacks were being carried out by people with vested interest to disturb the communal harmony in the state.
In 2012, around 50 gravestones and 100 graves at an adjoining Muslim graveyard were vandalised. The place is about 45 km from Panaji.