150-year-old cathedral set afire in Madhya Pradesh

September 19th, 2008 - 12:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, Sep 19 (IANS) A 150-year-old church in Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur town was set on fire by two unidentified men, police said Friday.The altar and statues inside the 150-year-old St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral in the cantonment area of Jabalpur, about 300 km from here, were burnt in the fire Thursday night. The church was closed at the time.

Parish priests told police that the two entered by breaking the glass panes of the door and set fire to the cathedral altar. The altar, statues of St. Peter and St. Paul, and the carpet were damaged.

However, fire fighters were alerted and the blaze was soon doused.

“The sisters staying in the building adjoining the boundary wall of the cathedral spotted the duo fleeing the spot on a motorcycle but could not see their faces since it was dark,” a police official said.

“A complaint has been lodged against unidentified people in the cantonment police station and investigation is underway,” Jabalpur District Collector Hari Ranjan Rao told IANS on phone.

This is the third case of assault on Christian missionaries in the state in the past few weeks. On Monday, a watchman of Carmel Convent School in Ujjain was beaten up. Before that, on Aug 31, an 86-year-old church in Ratlam was set on fire.

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