Goa Congress demands investigation after desecration of Christian cemetery

The opposition Congress in Goa, India, has demanded an investigation into the desecration of religious sites after another Christian cemetery was vandalized on July 10.

(REUTERS / Adnan Abidi)A grave with a cross is seen during sunset at Nicholson Christian Cemetery in old quarters of Delhi February 13, 2014.

Goa police DIG Rupinder Kumar described how officers stationed outside the Guardian Angel Catholic cemetery at Curchorem village heard loud sounds from the inside and saw a man climbing the wall to escape when they came in to investigate. Authorities said the vandals destroyed 20 granite crosses, 16 niches, nine grave tombstones, seven granite nameplates and an electric light pole during the wee hours of Monday, The Indian Express relayed.

A CCTV camera in the area, which police confirmed had not been functioning for months, was also ripped out and left on the ground.

The incident of vandalism at the Catholic cemetery in South Goa happened days after a similar attack was carried out in St. Jose de Areal and Gudi Paroda.

A policeman on the premises said they were looking for evidence but have not found the object that the vandals used to desecrate the Christian cemetery. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar suggested that the attack was deliberately done to "disrupt the harmony," but political commentators think that it was politically motivated.

Meanwhile, Goa Congress chief Shantaram Naik demanded that the Central Bureau of Investigation conduct a probe into the recent incidents of desecration of religious places. He told reporters that the bureau would be able to investigate the case better than the police, First Post reported.

"I demand CBI inquiry into desecration of religious places. Whether it is a religious structure of Christians, Muslims or Hindus, such attacks cannot be tolerated," Naik said on July 10. "The CBI, being a neutral agency, would be able to investigate these cases better."

In addition, Naik slammed Parrikar for not appointing a minister to handle the issue before he left for the U.S. He said the Congress had nothing against the chief minister's international trip but also pointed out that he left just as religious places in Goa were being desecrated.

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