Places of worship found vandalised; govt sets up spl probe

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Aluva, Kerala, Sep 21 (UNI) Two properties of places of worship were allegedly attacked by some miscreants at Akaparambu close to the Nedumbaserry International Airport near Kochi last night.

Though the local police said a mentally-challenged person belonging of the same community had been taken into custody in connection with the incident, the Kerala Government has taken a serious view of the incident and ordered a probe by a special investigation team (SIT).

State Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who visited the spot, told mediapersons the government would not allow mischief makers to disrupt the communal harmony in the State.

A Special Investigation Team, headed by Deputy SP P N Unnirajan, has been set up to probe the incident, he added.

Local police said investigation was going on with fingerprint experts and all possibilities, including robbery, were being probed.

The window panes of a place of worship at Akaparambu were found smashed this morning. The sandalwood cot of one of the saints was preserved there.

A religious statue at a nearby cemetery of a place of worship was also found damaged.

Reacting to the incident, Bishop Thomas Chakiyath and Metropolitan Elias Mar Athanios of a place of worship described it as a ''well planned attack'' and sought strict action by the government to prevent such incidents.

Police however rejected any communal angle to the incident.

Sources told UNI that the attack was suspected to be the handiwork of some anti-social elements with a view to disrupt the communal harmony in the area.

Meanwhile, a peace meeting was convened by the local people and the situation was now under control, police said.

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