In yet another instance of an attack on a church, a godown-turned-church in Dwarka's Matiala area was vandalised by a group of miscreants, allegedly belonging to Bajrang Dal, on Sunday, 28 November. An unruly mob, chanting Jai Shri Ram, threatened the people who had assembled inside the makeshift church for the Sunday mass, and broke the board outside the building, which read 'The Church of Signs and Wonders'.
The area, which is lined with scrap godowns, was mostly empty when the incident took place.
Sanjay George, a member of Ankur Narula Ministries, which was behind the Sunday prayer service, told The Quint, "What we have heard is that there were some locals, and the rest were some unfamiliar faces. This means that those from outside fuelled the incident."
An FIR was filed against those accused of vandalism for causing public nuisance. Another FIR was filed against those present inside the church for violating DDMA order which prohibits any large gatherings. One of the accused has also been arrested.
In a statement, Shankar Choudhary, DCP (Dwarka), said:
"In this quarrel, some local miscreants tried to vitiate atmosphere by vandalising the said board. The miscreants ran away by the time police reached the spot."
A vendor, who was present in the area at the time of the incident, told The Quint that when they heard banging noises, some of them wrapped up and left. A tea seller said that the police asked them to leave.
The police confirmed that the local residents had objected to the use of the godown for a church. As the situation remained tense in the area, they refused to talk on the matter. However, the police said they had also alleged that they feared the church being used for 'forced conversions'.
In response to the allegation, Sanjay George said, "If they thought something was wrong, we could have sat down and discussed it. Nobody should have been harmed."
On Monday afternoon, a distraught church-goer, who did not want to be named, reached the spot with her daughter to check if the sisters running the church were injured. Speaking to The Quint, she said, "I think it was just done to instil fear in us."