Opposition Congress on Monday asked Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to take moral responsibility and tender apology to the Christian community if the culprits of the attack on a Catholic church in Navi Mumbai are not nabbed within 48 hours as assured by him.
"If he (CM) keeps his words and the culprits are indeed nabbed within 48 hours, nothing better than that. But, if he fails to keep his promise, what will the CM's stand be? Fadnavis will then need to apologise and take moral responsibility of the hate crimes against the Christian community," said former Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam. Earlier in the day, a delegation of various Christian organisations called upon Fadnavis at Vidhan Bhawan against the backdrop of the attack on the church on Saturday. BJP MLA Ashish Shelar said the chief minister has assured the delegation that culprits would be nabbed within 48 hours.
Meanwhile, Nirupam, also the Mumbai unit president of the party, alleged stray incidents of "hate crime" started taking place after the BJP-led government assumed office at the Centre last year. "This is not only about a single incident. This is a trend where minorities are being made to feel inferior in the country. If this does not stop, the BJP will not be voted to power anytime soon," he said.
Nirupam said the government and the police should not point fingers at each other over the CCTV footage of the incident and instead work together to nab the culprits and put them behind bars. The incident had occurred in the wee hours of Saturday when two masked persons riding pillion on a motorcycle hurled stones at the Saint George Catholic church located near a bridge in New Panvel area. In the incident, the covering glass outside the statue of Saint George got damaged.
Addressing reporters at Vidhan Bhawan, NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad said the government is trying to polarise the society but will not succeed. "This government is non-sensitive. After Muslims, Christians are facing trouble throughout the country. By not being concerned about this issue, the government is giving an indication that minorities have no right to say anything. They may try to play this polarisation game with people, but they will fail miserably," Awhad said.