An estimated 40 crosses were vandalised in Curchorem’s Guardian Angel Cemetery in South Goa on Monday, The Hindu reported. This is the fourth such incident since June.
Over the past two weeks, incidents of vandalism of religious structures, including crosses and a temple, have prompted the state police to seek public cooperation for leads. The Opposition Congress have demanded that the Central Bureau of investigation take over the case.
The Goa Police said 20 granite crosses on graves, 16 niches storing the remains of bodies, nine tombstones and seven granite name plates were vandalised at the cemetery, according to The Indian Express. In the last week alone, at least 10 religious structures were desecrated, and most of these acts of vandalism were reported in the Roman Catholic-dominated taluka of Salcete, The Times of India reported.
While the police have increased patrolling in most areas, an unidentified officer told The Times of India that monitoring Salcete was proving to be a challenge as there is a cross “every 100 metres and in some parts even after every 50 metres”. The officer said the department was working on leads in the case.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has alleged that some people were trying to “create issues and raise tension in the state”. He has directed the state police to use Google Maps to identify a pattern, if any, in the vandals’ attacks.
“We have increased technical surveillance, and a process to analyse technical data is underway,” South Goa Superintendent of Police Chandan Chowdhary said.