Mumbai, March 23: Maharashtra government on said that it suspects a "political hand" in the recent attack on a church in Navi Mumbai, even as the Opposition members walked out of the Assembly in protest against the incident.
Minority Affairs Minister Eknath Khadse said in the Legislative Assembly today that the state government was conducting a probe into the incident and culprits would be dealt with sternly.
"A foreign hand, anti-social elements or a political person may be involved in the incident. A political hand cannot be ruled out. Detailed facts would be revealed before the end of the ongoing Legislature session," Khadse said.
The minister said his government was committed to protect the lives and properties of citizens. "We will take care to ensure that such inappropriate incidents do not take place in future," he said.
Chhagan Bhujbal of NCP took objection to the reply, saying that the government was insensitive to the issue and was politicising it.
Earlier, the issue was raised in the Lower House through an adjournment notice given by Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and NCP legislator Jitendra Awhad.
Awhad said there was a sense of fear among the minorities
While giving the adjournment notice, Awhad demanded a discussion on the incident saying there was a sense of fear among the minorities.
Speaker Haribhau Bagde rejected the opposition's demand for discussion and asked the government to make a detailed statement on the matter. Later, the Opposition members staged a walkout to protest the attack on the church.
According to police, the attack was carried out by two masked persons who were riding pillion on a motorcycle in the wee hours of Saturday when they hurled stones at the Saint George Catholic church located near a bridge in New Panvel.
In the incident, the covering glass outside the statue of Saint George got damaged. There was no breakthrough in the probe though police were grilling some suspects.