Mumbai: A Holy Cross at Khar was desecrated on Thursday evening by unknown perpetrators. Christians feel it was a deliberate attempt to tarnish the image of their peace-loving community. Situated at Chuim Gaothan in Khar, the message ‘Jesus does not love’ was painted at the base of the Cross.
“We have been greatly disturbed by defiling of the Cross. People get sadistic pleasure by targetting Christian community symbols of faith. This trend, unfortunately, is increasing each year,” said Rita D’sa, president of the Bombay Catholic Sabha, a community association, adding, “The Christian community cannot be a mute spectator to these mischievous acts of deliberate vandalism.”
The community members have also urged the police and civic body to install closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) at places of worship of all the faiths to curb such activities in the future. “We kindly request them to increase the patrolling in and around religious sites. We repeat and reiterate our demand that the state government should install CCTVs in and around all religious places of worship on an immediate basis,” said Godfrey Pimenta, trustee, Watchdog Foundation. adding, “We see a definitive pattern in series of such incidents happening in Mumbai. This has been done with deliberate intentions of hurting the religious sentiments of Christian community.”
Meanwhile, Khar police has taken cognisance of the complaint filed by Watchdog Foundation and has assured of taking necessary action against the culprits.
Cross desecration over the years
- December 2013: A Cross at Vile Parle was vandalized by unknown miscreants.
- July 2014: The same Cross was once again desecrated by unknown people.
- September 2016: A Juhu Cross was found desecrated and gold had been stolen at Juhu Koliwada Mother Mary statue.
- January 2017: A Cross at Carter Road, Bandra, was found damaged.
- February 2017: A statue of Mother Mary was allegedly desecrated by unknown persons in suburban Kurla.
- April 12, 2017: A Santacruz Holy Cross was desecrated early morning before residents woke up to find a slipper hanging from a crucifix in their locality.
- April 29, 2017: The BMC demolished a Bandra Cross from a private place alleging that the structure was in a public place.
- May 3, 2017: An incident of desecration of a Jesus Christ statue was reported in Kalina in Santacruz.
- March 5, 2018: Holy Cross was found broken at Dadar West near Indu Mills.