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Mumbai: Man held for vandalising Mahim church graveyard

Updated on: 09 January,2023 06:00 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Shirish Vaktania |

The police say he has been mentally disturbed since his mother passed away, but will find out why he damaged the graves, he does not have a criminal record

Mumbai: Man held for vandalising Mahim church graveyard

Dawood Ibrahim Yakub Ansari was arrested from his uncle's house

The Mahim police have arrested a 22-year-old man who allegedly damaged and vandalised around 18 graves and crosses at St Michael’s Church on Friday morning. The police traced the accused to his uncle's residence at Navi Mumbai. Police sources said he has been disturbed since his mother passed away a year back.

The accused was identified as Dawood Ibrahim Yakub Ansari, a resident of Kalamboli, who works with his father making cushions and mattresses, etc. The police said after Ansari's mother passed away he stopped believing in God. He hadn’t gone home for the past 4-5 days.

According to the police, Ansari entered St. Michael’s Church at Mahim on Saturday at 5.30 am. When the prayers started he went out and took a big stone from the graveyard and damaged and vandalised around 18 graves. Later he went back for prayers inside the church. He then saw his bag was missing and informed the security guard about it. Police said the security guard searched for the bag and found it in the graveyard where he saw the damage. Ansari was then held back while the church officials called the Mahim police station. But before police arrived he managed to escape.

Also Read: Mumbai: BMC withdraws Bandra cemetery demolition notice

Speaking to mid-day Senior Inspector Sudhakar Baburao Shirsat of the Mahim police station  said, “We immediately registered an FIR and checked CCTV cameras of the church. We found that the accused intentionally damaged and vandalised graves and crosses. We formed a team to trace the accused and found him in Navi Mumbai. He is mentally disturbed but why he damaged and vandalised the graves and crosses we are trying to find. He doesn’t have a criminal record.”

The police said there is no connection between this incident and the BMC notice to St. Peter’s seaside cemetery regarding the demolition of some part of it for road widening. Senior Inspector Shirsat said, “The accused has no connection to the notice. He is just mentally disturbed but we are checking to find why he did this.”

Dolphy D’Souza, president of The Bombay Catholic Sabha said, “The Bombay Catholic Sabha appreciates the speed in which Mumbai police and particularly the Mahim police team   apprehended the culprit. Thanks to the cops. However,  the Mumbai police are urged to investigate the motive behind the mindless vandalisation of the St. Michael’s Church graveyard which rattled the community and the citizens who visit this Church in large numbers. It would be appropriate if the police share it in the public domain." 

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