Orissa, another statue of Our Lady destroyed. The police arrest a mentally ill man
by Nirmala Carvalho

The incident occurred on April 8 in the parish of Kusumdegi, in Rourkela diocese. The suspect speaks only the Odiya dialect. Sajan K George: "Aggression on a place of worship deeply wounds our Christian sentiment".

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Police in Orissa arrested a mentally ill man on charges of destroying a statue of the Virgin. Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), told AsiaNews that the incident occurred on April 8th in Lafurberan, in the parish of Kusumdegi, adjacent to that of Bihabandh, where on the evening of Easter some unknown criminals vandalized the statue of Mary and the grotto with the Child Jesus at the entrance of the structure ( see photo).

The president of the GCIC reports that the arrested "is not a Christian and speaks only the Odiya dialect". In any case, he adds, "the arrest is similar to the one that occurred last July in Goa, when the police stopped a man accused of desecrating crosses. Even in that case, a vandalism took place and then the arrest ".

Sajan K George comments on the incidents that occurred at Easter in the diocese of Rourkela,: "Certainly these are small incidents, but the aggression to a place of worship deeply wounds our Christian sentiment and increases the sense of fear and vulnerability of the miniscule Christian community ".

The GCIC also recalls that 10 years ago Orissa was the theater of the most ferocious anti-Christian pogrom in the history of India. "Justice continues to be denied to victims and survivors, while seven innocent Christians languish in jail". The GCIC, reaffirms the Christian leader, "prays for peace, sectarian harmony and justice for our Christians in Orissa".

Msgr Kishor Kumar Kujur, bishop of Rourkela, declares: "A man has been arrested but we do not know much more. The police are investigating. Those who saw him wandering around the area believe that he is the same person who desecrated another Marian shrine last Friday [6 April]. But he is not mentally ill".