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Guardian Angel cemetery at Curchorem vandalised

11 Jul 2017 07:02am IST
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11 Jul 2017 07:02am IST
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28 niches, 5 wooden crosses, 9 granite crosses, 16 tombs and the big cross atop the entrance arch damaged; Heavy instrument used to cause damage

Julio D Silva & 

Paul Carvalho

teamherald@herald-goa.com

 

CURCHOREM: Unknown persons early Monday morning vandalised the Guardian Angel cemetery at Curchorem wherein crosses, tombs and niches were destroyed including a big concrete cross on top of the entrance arch.

According to Guardian Angel Parish Priest, Fr Vital Miranda, he got a call from the police at around 3:45 am informing that some noises were heard inside the cemetery and the police party has left to investigate.

Apparently the police saw one person fleeing from the cemetery by jumping over the wall near the kabrastan and then escaping in the adjacent forest. He is suspected to have entered by climbing over the wall as the gate to the cemetery was locked.

The miscreant first destroyed the CCTV camera installed in the cemetery even though the same was not functioning for quite some time now. Incidentally a police party was supposed to be on patrol duty in that area and the miscreant fled as he saw them approaching the cemetery.

In all 28 niches, 5 wooden crosses, 9 granite crosses, 16 tombs and the big cross atop the entrance arch were damaged. It was apparent that some heavy instrument was used to cause the damage as most of the vandalised niches had only one hole in them.

The tombs were vandalised at random. While the site decorative stones of some were damaged, the granite stone covering them were damaged in others and in many cases the cross erected to mark the tomb was destroyed.

Parishioners appeared to be quite shocked with the incident, which was a repeat of what had happened five years back, and coming within a week of desecration of two crosses in the parish, they were at loss for words.



 “This appears to be an attempt to disturb the peace as last week two crosses were destroyed,” said Fr Miranda and requested the people not to panic or do anything rash.

The priest led the parishioners to pray to give them the courage to face these troubled moments and also ask for guidance to the police to nab the culprits.

Police were seen in their full strength at the cemetery and the road leading to it with the SP Arvind Gawas who took charge a few days camping the whole day.

Around 50 police personnel combed the entire stretch including the forested area but could not find the weapon used by the person to damage the crosses and other things in the cemetery. According to the police the patrol team heard some noise in the cemetery and went to probe. As the gate was locked they switched on their torches to see inside and seeing the flashlight the culprit ran away.

And even as there were rumours that the police have identified one culprit, senior police personnel said they have only got a clue which they are working on and hoped to solve the case soon.

Rajesh Bandekar, a businessman said that desecration was nothing but an act of vandalism to disturb the peace and communal harmony which is existing among Goans. “What this has done is unacceptable and a blatant disrespect and disregard of the teaching in every religion,” said Bandekar and urged the government to install high quality CCTVs near all the religious places across Goa.

Describing the desecration of crosses and vandalisation of graves as inhumane and unacceptable, another local businessman Vivek Borkar said that these anti-social elements are nothing but hypocrites who undermine the true essence of every religion. “It has been done deliberately to hurt the religious sentiments of the community,” said Borkar.



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