South Asia

Destruction of Christian graves continues in Goa

Unidentified miscreants vandalized and desecrated over 50 crosses and plaques at a Christian cemetery in Curchorem town of South Goa in the early hours of 10 July 2017.

The Police Inspector of Curchorem, Mr Shivram Vaingankar told the media, “Several gravestones were damaged by miscreants last night at the Guardian Angel Cemetery. The CCTV camera which was installed at the gate of the cemetery was also found broken.”

Initially the officials at the Curchorem police station had estimated that over 100 crosses, gravestones and plagues were damaged. However, they revised the estimate after an investigation.

No one has been arrested as of now, however the police say that they are following various lead in order to nab the culprits.

A local person had seen a man run out of the cemetery around 4:30 am on the day the incident took place.

According to the Times of India, the latest incident of vandalism is the 11th such case in Goa, since the first case was reported on 18 June this year. Last week, nine Holy Crosses and a temple were reportedly defiled in South Goa district.

The state government has also involved the anti-terrorism squad in the matter and the Goa police has formed a special team to crack the case.

In a statement released to the media, the Archbishop of Goa and Daman, Filipe Neri Ferrao said, “The Church in Goa is deeply pained with the recent spate of desecrations of religious structures and burial places of the Christian community, along with a stray incident targetting the Hindu community as well in the state.”

The Archbishop said that the incidents seemed to be by design to provoke communal discord and promote religious hatred.

He strongly condemned the incident and appealed to “our brothers and sisters of all faiths to refrain from taking any retaliatory action or even fanning the flame of religious hatred in their hearts.

“At the same time, we urge the government authorities to thoroughly investigate these acts of vandalism and to bring the perpetrators to book,” the Archbishop demanded.