Century-old Holy Cross in Mumbai damaged, police plays down incident
DNA Web Team
The incident reportedly took place in the early hours of Monday.
A century-old Holy Cross outside the Miramar Society on Cadell Road, Dadar West in Central Mumbai, was allegedly desecrated in the early hours of Monday, reported Mid-Day.
The incident came to light when resident Cyril Ferns saw the cross tilted around 10 AM. He told Mid-Day that they had called the Dadar Police to inform them.
Fred Castelino, a 79-year-old who has been living there since 1980 said: “Some apparently hit it or something fell on it and moved it. The cross had moved from its original position when we saw it this morning. The CCTV footage doesn’t show the area outside the building. This cross has been around since 1838. Such an incident hasn’t happened here before, but BMC had put a notice up around 10 months back saying they were going to demolish the cross, though no action was taken.”
A sad Castelino noted: “If the cross is desecrated next time, we will have to take it into the society compound.”
The incident sparked outrage with four Catholic bodies writing to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and commissioner of police Dattatray Padsalgikar demanding security be increased around religious sites. The signatories included the Bombay Catholic Sabha, Watchdog Foundation, Save our Land (SOUL) and the East Indian Association.
Dolphy D’Souza, ex-president of the Bombay Catholic Sabha and spokesperson of SOUL said that since cops couldn’t be around everywhere, technological surveillance would deter miscreants stating: “So sometimes there has to be technological surveillance as well, to at least deter those behind such incidents. The frequency of such incidents seems to be rising and the pattern of selective targeting is worrisome. We are a small community and always look to the law enforcement authorities and government to protect us.”
ACP Sunil Deshmukh Dadar Police Station however said that the cross is wooden and ‘has decayed over the years’ adding: “There are no CCTV cameras in that area, but it doesn’t appear to be deliberate. But we have deployed our detection staff to find whether someone has accidentally or deliberately done this. We have made a note of the incident in our station diary. No NC or FIR has been lodged.”