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Community welcomes Arvind assurance

The school in Vasant Vihar that was targeted on Friday. Picture by Yasir Iqbal

New Delhi, Feb. 14: Christian leaders today welcomed Arvind Kejriwal's condemnation of vandalism at churches in the capital.

"This is what we want from the new government as Christians need to be reassured they are protected and secure. We are deeply pained with the recurring targeted attacks on our institutions that have created a sense of insecurity and fear," said Fr Mathew Koyical, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Delhi.

Father Dominic Emanuel, spokesperson for the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese, said the community wanted justice. "We welcome Kejriwal's assurance but we want action on the ground. He needs to rebuild our shattered confidence."

Delhi has witnessed six attacks on Christian institutions in the past two months, the latest incident being the vandalism at a Catholic school in south Delhi on Friday.

Kejriwal, in his speech at Ramlila Maidan after taking oath for the second time as chief minister, said his government would ensure that people of all faiths felt secure and any attempts to create communal disharmony would be dealt with firmly.

"There have been some incidents that made people of Delhi very angry. There was an effort to create communal disharmony and riots.... People of Delhi will not tolerate this as people want to live in harmony. With Delhi police's help, we will make sure that people of all religions feel secure," he said.

Soon after yesterday's pre-dawn incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had broken his silence and summoned police commissioner B.S. Bassi asking him to take stern action against the culprits involved in such attacks.

Father Vincent Salvatore, priest of St. Alphonsa's Church that was vandalised early this month, hoped the new chief minister would keep his word.

"We are a peace-loving people and always live in harmony. We have great expectations from Kejriwal," he said.

On February 2 morning, vandals had entered the church in south Delhi, stolen the sacred chalice, broken open the tabernacle and thrown the consecrated hosts (bread) on the floor and defiled the altar.


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