A church was torched and defiled by unidentified persons in Madhya Pradesh’s Narmadapuram district, police said on Monday.
The incident came to light on Sunday when some people went to the church, located in Chaukipura area which has a considerable tribal population, to offer prayers.
A case has been registered against unidentified persons and efforts are on to trace the culprits, Itarsi sub-divisional officer of police (SDOP) Mahendra Singh Chauhan told PTI over phone.
According to initial investigation, the vandals entered the place of worship, built around five years ago and located 40 km from the district headquarters, by removing a window net and burnt it from inside, the official said.
Some religious texts and other items including furniture were also destroyed in the fire, the official said quoting a complaint filed in connection with the incident.
When some people went to the church on Sunday to offer prayers, they found it burnt and its inside wall having the word “Ram” inscribed on it, local devotee Denis Jonathan claimed while talking to PTI. The church, located in Sukhtawa village of Kesala block, was connected to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, he said.
SDOP Chauhan said teams have been formed to identify and nab the vandals and a case has been registered under Indian Penal Code Section 295 ( Injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class).
To a query, the police official denied any tension in Chaukipura area following the incident.