According to UCAN news reports, a youth named Haider was arrested on April 24 for attacking the St Mary’s Church in Agra district in the early hours of April 16; officials say he was under the influence of drugs. He is said to be Muslim.
Two statues were damaged and a dog leash was found around the neck of a statue of Mary. Vehicles parked at the church were also damaged. Rajesh Modak, senior superintendent of police, told that Haider, a rickshaw puller, confessed to the crime. Modak said Haider attacked the church in a fit of rage.
Three others detained in connection with the crime have been released after questioning.
However, the Christian community has questioned the official explanation and demanded a thorough investigation.
“It is not possible that he would have done all the damage alone. The police version is not convincing. We want a separate independent inquiry into the matter,” Fr Savarimuthu Shankar, spokesperson of the Delhi archdiocese.
He and others accused police of attempting to whitewash what they say is evidently part of a string of religious confrontations.