Hours after the Hyderabad Police held two women for allegedly vandalising idols of Mother Mary and Hindu deity Durga on Tuesday, the deputy commissioner said they are mentally ill, ANI reported.

The two burqa-clad sisters were taken into custody after they were allegedly seen vandalising the idols on Tuesday morning in the city’s Khairatabad area, News18 reported, citing the police.

They first tried to vandalise a statue of Mother Mary placed outside a church, and then damaged a Durga idol set up at a pandal nearby, the police said. MR Chandra, the deputy commissioner of Hyderabad Police (Central Zone) said that one of the women was carrying a spanner which she used to attack a local who tried to stop them.

The women were found to be mentally ill and they did not cooperate with the investigation. The police then went to their home and found out that even their parents suffer from mental illness, Chandra said.

The family had returned from Jeddah in 2018. They have been suffering from illness since then, the police official added, according to ANI.

Asimduddin, the brother of the two women said that his sisters suffer from schizophrenia and are under treatment. Speaking to reporters at the police station, he apologised for the action of his sisters.

Meanwhile, Jaffar Hussain Meraj, the MLA of the Nampally constituency in Hyderabad demanded a detailed police inquiry into the matter, according to ANI. Members of the Vishva Hindu Parishad also held a protest outside the police station where the two women were questioned, News18 reported.