VILLUPURAM/COIMBATORE: Miscreants vandalized a cemetery in Villupuram, about 160 km from Chennai, and a statue of infant Jesus was damaged in Coimbatore in the ongoing episodes of desecration of churches in Tamil Nadu.
In Villupuram, police said 20 holy crosses in the cemetery of St Paul’s church near Katpadi on the Villupuram-Chennai highway were damaged on Wednesday. A family which visited the cemetery to offer prayers saw the damaged tomb stones and informed authorities.
The church authorities lodged a complaint with the Villupuram West police who registered a case of promoting enmity between groups, disturbing communal harmony and trespassing.
Police arrested two people — V Kannan (33) of Muthope and R Durai of Sitheri — and remanded them in judicial custody on Thursday. Tension prevailed in the region for a brief period when representatives of some political parties staged an agitation demanding action against the miscreants responsible for the desecration.
Though at least eight incidents of stone pelting on churches have been reported in the state so far, it was the first time that a church in Coimbatore city has come under attack.
In the pre-dawn hours, a glass case in which an infant Jesus statue was kept was broken at the St Francis of Assisi Church at Athipa-layam Pirivu at Ganapathy. The statue was also damaged. Parish priest C S Madalaimuthu said the desecration was noticed around 5am by people who came for the morning mass prayers.
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