Youth held for desecration of statue

Staff Reporter

Coimbatore: The Coimbatore City Police on Saturday arrested Sreejith (22), Coimbatore city unit secretary of the Hindu Makkal Katchi (Hanuman Sena), on charges of desecration of the statue of Infant Jesus at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Ganapathy area.

Talking to reporters, City Police Commissioner K.C. Mahali said that the statue desecration was noticed early Thursday. Special teams were formed led by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), S. Rajendran and Assistant Commissioner of Police (Law and Order – East), A. Gopalasamy. The teams pursued the investigations based on evidences left behind by the miscreant at the scene of the crime. The glass box that housed the idol was broken. The miscreant besides damaging the thumb of the statue also damaged the face with a stone.

Based on a tip-off, Sreejith was nabbed during a vehicle check on Sathyamangalam Road early Saturday. Mr. Mahali said that the accused had confessed to his involvement in the attack and preliminary investigations revealed that no one else was behind the act of vandalism. The accused was already involved in another case in Kattoor police station limits.

The antecedents of the accused and other related material merits in the desecration case were under study and on completion of the same and after obtaining legal opinion, a decision on detaining the accused under Goondas Act could be taken, Mr. Mahali said.

In the wake of the attack on the church, City Police have provided round-the-clock security to more than 120 places of worship and motorcycle and jeep patrols have been asked to keep visiting places of worship frequently to thwart any further trouble. In the last two days alone, the City Police have taken into preventive custody 557 persons for moving around in a suspicious manner at night.

To ensure crime-free shopping experience during Deepavali festival, Mr. Mahali said that policemen in civil dress have been deployed in shopping areas with the photographs of criminal elements and habitual offenders. Major shopping areas were being brought under surveillance cameras.

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