09/25/2020, 17.00
INDIA
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Statues of Jesus and Our Lady desecrated in Andhra Pradesh

by Nirmala Carvalho

The incident occurred overnight on Tuesday in St Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Mandapeta. The statues were damaged by hammer blows. CCTV cameras show an unidentified suspect. In recent months, several places of worship, including Hindu temples, have been the target of vandals.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – The statues of Jesus and Our Lady at the entrance of St Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Mandapeta, East Godavari district (Andhra Pradesh), have been attacked and defaced.

Local sources report that the incident occurred overnight on Tuesday. The church, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Eluru, is located on the town’s main thoroughfare.

Once informed, law enforcement visited the church to assess the damage and open an inquiry. They later released a video, from a CCTV camera, showing a man who might be linked to the attack.

However, details are still sketchy and the police have not released further information on the man’s identity or any links he might have to the incident.

So far, investigators have heard the testimony of the local parish priest and residents who live across from the church. According to the police, the attacker (or attackers) used a hammer to desecrate the statues.

In the past few days, police have viewed several videos from nearby shops, government offices and private buildings in order to identify the culprit.

The investigation, local sources note, is proceeding quickly. Church authorities have contributed by providing tapes of the attack.

In some, a man is seen repeatedly hitting the statues of Jesus and Our Lady. Police dogs have also been called in and the investigation might be almost complete.

This incident is not isolated. In recent months, unknown assailants have targeted various places of worship in the state of Andhra Pradesh, attacking churches as well as Hindu temples.

These events have upset and distressed many faithful.

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