Christian school vandalism: PM Modi summons Delhi police chief, orders strict action
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday summoned Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi after a “theft” at a convent school in south Delhi.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday summoned Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi after a “theft” at a convent school in south Delhi.
Expressing "deep concern and anguish" over the rising crime rate in the capital, the PM directed Bassi to come down hard on those involved in such attacks.
The Prime Minister further asked the Police Commissioner to speedily investigate the recent incidents of vandalism and ensure that the guilty are brought to book.
Modi also spoke over telephone to Union Home Secretary LC Goyal and asked him to "pay special attention to the rising incidents of crime, and vandalism, and to work towards ensuring the safety and security of women in the capital," an official release said here.
The PM summoned Bassi hours after Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, an alumnus of the institution, visited the Holy Child Auxilium School in south Delhi's Vasant Vihar and urged Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to look into the matter.
Delhi Chief Minister-designate Arvind Kejriwal has also condemned the attack.
Talking to reporters, Bassi said: "The Prime Minister told me to take strict action against the perpetrators of such attacks.”
Unidentified persons had allegedly vandalised the school in South Delhi's Vasant Vihar in the wee hours even as police and school authorities claimed it to be a case of robbery.
Police said the office of the school principal was vandalised and wires of CCTV were cut. After the incident, the school was shut down this morning.
"We are investigating and have registered a case in this regard," said a senior official.
This is the sixth incident in three months on Christian establishments in the national capital.
Police, however, claimed that it was a case of robbery as a donation box was missing."The school's donation box which is at a distance from the church has been robbed. It is an incident of robbery and we suspect that it is an insider's job who knew where the cameras were installed.”
"It is not a case of desecration, as per our preliminary investigation," Bassi told reporters.
School authorities also claimed it to be a case of robbery.
"When the maid came to open the school, administrative office and principal's office were open. We found that six CCTVs were damaged and the principal's office was found ransacked, all cupboards were ransacked and all papers were thrown away. Around Rs 12,000 cash is also missing," Sister Lucy, school's principal, said.
She also said that the cameras inside the corridor were destroyed but the cameras outside are intact and the police are investigating.
However, Father Dominic Emanuel, spokesperson of the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese, said that this is sixth such attack on a christian institution.
"In the morning, the CCTVs were found destroyed and principal's office ransacked. Some money is also missing but am not sure about the amount. We are very surprised that this is sixth such attack on a christian institution. Why are our religious places and institutions being attacked," he said.
However, Bassi said of the six incidents reported, four have been solved and it was found that attacks were not connected with each other.
Bassi also said that the police is serious in investigating the cases which have occurred so far and efforts are on to ensure such incidents are not repeated.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called me today at his office and expressed his great worry on the incident pertaining to Holy Child school. He enquired about the details of various incidents which have occurred in recent months," he said.
"I told him about the details and also the efforts we have made about the security of the churches and he has directed me that Delhi police should do its utmost to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in future. Whatever is required to investigate the existing cases and ensure enhanced security of churches should be done."
"He also wants me to involve the community in this effort and ensure that if there are any misgivings about these incidents, they are removed by telling everybody about the efforts made by the police and also about the cases which have been solved," added Bassi.
Talking about the investigation carried out by police in the recent cases, he said, "We are very serious in investigating the cases which have occurred so far. All of you know an incident had occurred at Vikaspuri, in which we had arrested three persons very quickly. Those accused had committed that ghastly act after consuming liquor."
"Similarly, one incident had occurred in Rohini in which the crib was burnt. Investigation indicated that it was due to short circuit. We have got reports from experts also, which also suggest the same."
"Regarding the Vasant Kunj incident, we have got some definite proof. Sooner or later we should be able to solve that. Even in this incident, we are working with great sense of responsibility and are sure that the case would be solved in quick time," he said.
"The Prime Minister has expressed his great concern and he has directed whatever is required must be done for the safety and security of the churches in Delhi and we are again going to review our arrangements," added Bassi.
Meanwhile, HRD minister Smriti Irani, who is an alumna of the same school, visited the campus around noon and met the school principal.
She, however, did not respond to queries from the battery of reporters outside the school premises.
(With PTI inputs)