Mumbai: Motive behind Mahim cemetery vandalism still unknown

More than two weeks after the arrest of the 22-year-old who vandalized 18 crosses and tombstones at the Mahim church cemetery, the police are yet to find the motive behind the crime

Sherine Raj Ashutosh M ShuklaUpdated: Monday, January 23, 2023, 08:57 PM IST
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FPJ

Mumbai: More than two weeks after the arrest of the 22-year-old who vandalized 18 crosses and tombstones at the Mahim church cemetery, the police are yet to find the motive behind the crime. The police said they are still investigating the case.

The miscreant, Dawood Ansari, who has been accused of vandalising the crosses at St Michael's Church cemetery on Jan 7, was arrested by the Mahim Police the day after the incident. “We have been questioning him but nothing concrete can be established from the things he has revealed so far. He has admitted to the crime but whether he did it of his own will or was he made to do so is still under investigation,” senior police inspector Sudhakar Shirsath of Mahim police station said, adding that they are also checking if Mr Ansari has any previous criminal records.

The police had initially also suspected that Mr Ansari may be mentally unstable, however, they did not find any immediate evidence related to his treatment. According to the police, he is an unemployed resident of Kalamboli (Navi Mumbai) and has not yet revealed why he travelled to Mahim and vandalised the crosses there.

“We are anxious to know what was his motive. We want to know this on a priority basis so the community can feel more safe and more comfortable,” said Dolphy D'Souza, chairperson, Bombay Catholic Sabha.

Meanwhile, St Michael's Church parish priest, Fr Lancy Pinto said the church authorities met the police two days ago and pledged their support towards the investigation. “The police told us they are still doing research. I have not been well so I will go and check again soon. There are so many cases the police have to handle and they are also short-staffed. We should give them more time,” Fr Pinto said.


Mr Ansari is currently in jail and has been booked under sections 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 447 (criminal trespass) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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