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Fire in Bengaluru church raises storm

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru | October 14, 2008 00:48 IST

Even as Karnataka returns to normalcy, a fire at a church on the outskirts of Bangalore has raised quite a storm. While the police maintain that the fire at the St Anthony's Church at Yadavanahalli under Attibele police station was just an accident, the church authorities take an opposing view.

A fire at the church was reported on Monday in which valuables worth Rs 10 lakh were destroyed. The fire was however brought under control after fire tenders were pressed into service.

Police sources told rediff.com that the constables on duty had witnessed thick smoke coming out of the church and immediately reported the matter. The fire was put out two hours later.

The church authorities refuse to believe the police version that the fire was accidental.

Father C Francis said that it was a clear case of arson. He further added that eight sacred hymn books and other  valuable articles had been targeted in this alleged attack.

Francis also pointed out that if the incident was a result of a short circuit as claimed by the police then why did the electric cables not melt? All electric equipments were in perfect condition, he added.

Terming it as a deliberate act, Francis alleged that the state government was putting pressure on the police to hush up the matter. He urged the government to act promptly and arrest those responsible for the attack.

The invesigating officer, inspector Purushotham said that two policemen were guarding the Church and hence it was not possible for any miscreants to attack. The police has sent the materials to the forensic laboratory, to ascertain the cause of the fire, the inspector said.






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