A group of people broke into a church in Patti area of Tarn Taran district, Punjab, vandalized statues of Jesus and Mary and set fire to a car, police said on Wednesday.
The car that the disbelievers set on fire is said to have belonged to the pastor.
The incident comes two days after an FIR was filed against some Nihangs for allegedly disrupting an event organized by Christian missionaries in Daduana village in Amritsar district.
Chief Superintendent of Police (SSP) RS Dhillon said there were four people, adding that an FIR has been filed to investigate the incident and catch the accused.
“Little notorious attempted to vandalize the idol of Jesus and set a car on fire at Patti’s church. We are investigating the matter and have vital clues. There were four people, we are behind the culprits. We hope to resolve it soon. The FIR has been filed,” ANI news agency quoted SSP RS Dhillon as saying.
Tarn Taran, Punjab | Few notorious elements tried to vandalize the idol of Jesus and set fire to a car at the church in Patti. We are investigating the matter and have vital clues. There were 4 people, we are behind the culprits. We hope to solve it soon. FIR has been filed: RS Dhillon, SSP pic.twitter.com/fkh42EQH1B
— ANI (@ANI) August 31, 2022
CCTV footage of the incident that has surfaced shows a person in blue and red headgear repeatedly hitting the idol with an axe, then placing the head on the ground.
Interestingly, the incident comes against the backdrop of Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh and SGPC leader Harjinder Singh Dhami condemning alleged efforts in Punjab for religious conversions by “some so-called Christian missionaries”.
The high priest of Akal Takht, the temporal seat of the Sikhs, said on Tuesday that any forced religious conversion would not be tolerated at any cost.
Singh and Dhami demanded action against those who convert people by force or seduction. They also demanded the withdrawal of the FIR against Nihangs accused of disrupting an event organized by Christian missionaries in the village of Daduana, in the district of Amritsar on Monday.
The Nihang Sikhs are armed with traditional weapons and dressed in loose blue robes. The filing of a case against Nihang Sikhs after they tried to stop some people from working for an alleged religious conversion in the village of Daduana on Sunday on Mehta Road in Amritsar was very unfortunate, Sikh leaders said.
“It is sad that some people deliberately disturb the environment of Punjab by giving it a communal color and this will not be tolerated,” they said. They said strict measures should be taken against people who convert people by force, by seduction, fraudulently and by spreading superstitions.
(With PTI inputs)
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