AAP, Cong blame police for failing to maintain communal harmony

The Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress on Monday accused the Delhi Police of failing to maintain communal harmony in the city after a blaze gutted a substantial part of St Sebastian's Church at northeast Delhi's Tahirpur area.

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 01, 2014, 22:23 PM IST

New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress on Monday accused the Delhi Police of failing to maintain communal harmony in the city after a blaze gutted a substantial part of St Sebastian's Church at northeast Delhi's Tahirpur area.

Both the parties have also demanded an impartial investigation into the incident in which the Christian community has suspected foul play. Police have registered a case under section 436 IPC (Mischief) on the complaint of the church authorities.

AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal, who visited the site in the afternoon, expressed shock and charged the Delhi Police top brass of being unaware of the gravity of the situation.

"It is beyond any reasonable understanding that why the forensic team had not arrived on the spot of the incident even 12 hours after the incident had taken place," AAP said.

Delhi Congress President Arvinder Singh Lovely also visited the site accompanied by party leaders Haroon Yusuf and former MLA of the area Veer Singh Dhingan.

"The incident has stunned the people of Delhi who believe in peace and communal amity, and they are highly concerned about such incidents," the party said.

Demanding financial compensation for the reconstruction of the Church, Congress shot a letter to L-G Najeeb Jung requesting him to immediately visit the affected church.

Asking the administration to "allay all apprehensions about the incident", the AAP also requested the local residents to maintain calm and not allow spreading of "baseless rumours".

The party also blamed the administration of being passive in dealing with communal tension which it claimed "has seen a spurt in some parts of Delhi".

"There has been a spurt in communal tension in some parts of Delhi and the administration and police have been found to be passive in dealing with the situation," it said.

The blaze broke out at around 6:30 AM at the Church, with the Christian community suspecting foul play in the incident.