New Delhi: Security of churches in Delhi has been beefed up and CCTV cameras have been installed at 164 of them in view of the incidents that took place earlier this year, Union Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary on Wednesday told the Rajya Sabha in reply to a question.
Six cases of incidents concerning churches were reported in December 2014 and January-February 2015, after which Delhi Police took several steps to ensure security and safety of the churches in Delhi, the minister said in reply to the CPI-M Rajya Sabha member KK Ragesh.
A meeting was convened by Union Home Secretary on February 13, 2015, with Commissioner of Delhi Police to discuss the measures to prevent recurrence of such cases, he said.
There are 240 churches in Delhi out of which 161 churches have installed CCTV cameras. The concerned DCPs and police station staff have been directed to make surprise visit to the churches.
A DCP level officer has been nominated as nodal officer for redressal of problems of minority community while a Facebook page 'Minority Brethren' has been created by Delhi Police for posting problems of institutions and schools, the minister said.
The measures also include PCR van, emergency response vehicle and motorcycle patrols around the churches for enhanced security. At all the vulnerable locations, static deployment of policemen during night has been arranged, he added.
Delhi Police investigation of fire at St Sebastian Church, Dilshad Garden, on December 1, 2014, is underway. The breaking of window of Jasola Church, on December 6, has been closed after due enquiry, he said.
In the incident of fire at Church of Resurrection in Rohini, on January 3 this year, a cancellation report has been sent to court. Three persons were arrested in the case of vandalism at Vikaspuri Church and chargesheet has been filed in the court while investigation in regard to theft at St Alfonso Church, Vasant Kunj, February 2, is being done by STF.
The accused of theft at Chavara Elias Kuriskose in Hari Nagar, on March 23, has been arrested, the minister said.