The culprit accused of vandalising crosses at Mahim Church cemetery was arrested from Navi Mumbai on Sunday and the police are now trying to verify his motive behind the attack.
The culprit has been identified as Dawood Ibrahim Ansari, who allegedly vandalised at least 18 crosses and other structures at the St. Michael's Church early Saturday morning.
CCTV footage of the incident was handed over to Mahim police by the church authorities which helped in nabbing the Ansari.
The accused, residing at Kalamboli, works at a shop owned by his uncle in Navi Mumbai.
“We arrested Ansari from Kalamboli, involved in vandalising crosses at the cemetery. He works with his uncle who has a mattress shop in Navi Mumbai. So far there is no clarity on the reason behind his acts,” said DCP (Zone V) Manoj Patil.
“This is a serious matter involving a religious angle, therefore the motive behind the incident will be investigated thoroughly, after which it will be revealed to the media.”
What Happened at Mahim Church?
“The incident happened around 5 am. The watchman noticed this later. There was Mass in the morning so I came to know of the incident around 8.30 am. Soon the police were informed,” said Fr. Lancy Pinto, parish priest of St Michael's Church
The church is nearly 400 years old and the cemetery behind it was also established around the same time.
Ansari "was even seen in the CCTV footage kneeling in the church and praying after the vandalism," Fr. Pinto revealed.
"We have registered a case under various sections including section 447 (punishment for criminal trespass).
"Investigation is underway regarding the motive behind the crime and if there are other people involved,” said Manoj Patil.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)