A church in the western part of New Delhi was vandalized early Wednesday morning by two people, police reportedly said. The incident is the fourth such instance targeting churches in India’s capital city in recent days.
The church priest first noticed the attack and notified local police, who subsequently released a surveillance video showing a man breaking a window in the church. Church authorities claimed that the attack was carried out to fuel racial tensions, according to local media reports. Three churches in different areas have allegedly been attacked in recent days.
"A clear pattern of orchestrated attacks on churches is emerging as more churches are vandalized & set on fire," Delhi's Archbishop Anil JT Couto said Wednesday, according to NDTV.
Police suspect theft as a possible reason, and reportedly said that the incident is being investigated and the video is being examined to identify the attackers.
"Two people came on a scooter around 4.20 am. One of them entered the church's premises and smashed a glass window. He also threw the statue of Mother Mary on the floor," a church official said, according to NDTV, a local news network.
A minor fire had broken out in a church earlier this month and a head priest reportedly claimed that it was a deliberate act. Last month, two churches were burnt down and a forensic team found traces of combustible liquid, according to NDTV.