The city police have been granted custody of the accused in Thursday's attack on St. Alphonsa's Catholic Church.

Commissioner of Police Seemant Kumar Singh said that the accused Shibu of Jallidgudde had been remanded in police custody till November 8.

A priest and students living on the church premises had nabbed the accused when he tried to flee and handed him over to the police.

The police said the man was in inebriated and had not been able to question him, necessitating a request for police custody.

Referring to reports in the media about the “involvement of a nun” in the incident, Mr. Singh said the police had not given any comment on the issue.

St. Alphonsa's Catholic Church on Saturday described the report as far from truth, and said that the person accused of ransacking the church was not having a relationship with a “nun” in the church. The church said that it “strongly condemned” such allegations.

Quoting a report in an evening daily, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad told a press conference on Saturday that it “suspected that there was some immoral activity going on in the church involving a nun.”

When a journalist pointed out that no nun lived in church, VHP vice-president Jagadish Shenava said that it could not be said for sure whether or not a nun was present in the church. His statements were based on newspaper reports.

Church officials on Friday said that no nun lived in the church.

VHP denial

The VHP denied the involvement of any Hindutva group in the attack, even though church officials did not blame rightwing groups for Thursday's attack. Mr. Shenava said on Saturday that people had been calling them and asking if they had anything to do with the attack.

Asked why they had not called a press conference after the recent attack on St. Theresa's School, Mr. Shenava said that the incident involving the school “had been closed” as it was known that “drunk miscreants” had thrown stones.

However, in the present case, people blamed the rightwing groups for the attack.

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