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Vital leads on blasphemous images in Shillong
Correspondent SHILLONG, JUN 19:
Published on 20 Jun. 2010 1:41 AM IST
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Meghalaya Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh today assured that those responsible for stenciling the blasphemous images in the city walls would be arrested soon.
“We have got vital leads into the case and the police are zeroing in to the culprits,” Lyngdoh said. Yesterday, the city walls here in Meghalaya were found stenciled with blasphemous images of Jesus Christ and Pope Benedict XVI and uncanny resemblances to state politicians and Governor R.S. Mooshahary on important government buildings and Christian-run educational institutions.
Two FIRs have been filed, one by Rector of Don Bosco Technical School, Fr. LB Anthony and the other by Principal of St. Anthony’s College, Fr. I Warpakma.
The state police have registered a case under section 295 A IPC for hurting religious sentiments. “I assure you that the police would nab these people…the police are working on the leads,” Lyngdoh said. Most of the graffiti were stenciled with black paint walls of the Raj Bhavan, state main and additional secretariat buildings and missionary- run educational institutions. The graffiti’s raised questions on Uranium issue, which is a sensitive issue in the state and sacrilegious remarks on religion.
Others were more cryptic ones depicting cockroaches, scorpions with human face apparently of local politicians’. Archbishop of the Shillong Archdiocese, Rev Dominic Jala strongly condemning the sacrilegious act, expressed surprise on the motive behind the acts of vandalism. “We are pained at the blasphemous depiction of the Pope and have now left it up to the police to look into the matter,” Rev. Jala said.
The Archbishop further informed that the Church would hold a peace prayer meeting on Wednesday evening. The police, meanwhile, are drawing flake from the public for plunging the city into total darkness every night switching off street lights off during the period.
“It is not wise on part of the police to allow the Meghalaya Electricity Corporation Limited to switch off street lights during load shedding. In fact, the police must insist on having street lights on and also installation of CCTVs in sensitive areas,” Billy Peter Domes, Editor of a vernacular weekly said.
Superintendent of Police, A Mawthoh said that there is no breakthrough, but the police are investigating into it.
Church condemns blasphemous graffiti in Shillong
Church organisations in Meghalaya have condemned the blasphemous graffiti painted by an unknown group on the walls of government buildings, including the Raj Bhavan.
Noting that this was not the first blasphemous incident against Jesus Christ in Shillong, the Archbishop of Shillong Archdiocese Rev Dominic Jala convened an emergency meeting here last evening.
Speakers at the meeting expressed deep anguish at the repeated attempts of vested interests to defame the Catholic Church and hurt religious sentiments of its faithfuls. The Church also urged the police to nab the culprits immediately.
Other organisations, including the Indian Catholic Youth Movement, also strongly condemned the act. Baffling graffiti, seemingly unlinked, created a sensation in Shillong yesterday with at least five types of such drawings on unrelated objects ranging from Jesus Christ to uranium mining and Pope being stencilled on boundary walls of government buildings, including the Raj Bhawan.

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