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In the latest incident of alleged desecration of Christian religious symbols in Goa, a holy cross was found defiled in South Goa's Margao town with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar calling it a "planned crime".
Though at least 12 crosses and a temple have been vandalised by unidentified persons in south Goa district since July 1, the police have so far failed to achieve any breakthrough.
Two crosses were found desecrated by unidentified persons in South Goa's Loutolim village yesterday.
However, Parrikar, who returned from the US today, has ruled out handing over the investigation into the incidents of desecration to the CBI as being demanded by the opposition Congress.
"A holy cross at Calconda locality in Margao town was desecrated last night," Margao police inspector C L Patil told PTI today.
He said the miscreants apparently took advantage of heavy rains that lashed south Goa last night.
There was police patrolling near the spot, but the miscreants seem to have damaged the cross when the lights went off, Patil said.
Parrikar said the CBI may not be able to handle such kind of cases, a day after the Goa Police said they were working on certain clues to crack the cases.
"This (the desecration incidents) is a well-planned crime being executed in Goa," the BJP leader said.
He said there was no point in handing over the probe into such incidents to the CBI.
"The Goa Police is fully involved in the investigation. Desecration of crosses and other religious structures is an ongoing criminal activity," he said, adding the police should be given more time to work on the cases.
Expressing anguish over the incidents, the Goa Church, which represents all chapels and churches in the state, had earlier said that the incidents seemed to be the handiwork of certain vested interests who wanted to provoke communal discord in the state, which is known for religious tolerance.
The Church had decided to initiate a fact-finding on these incidents.
Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai, whose Goa Forward Party (GFP) is an ally of the ruling BJP, had recently termed the desecration as an "act of terrorism" and demanded that the miscreants be shot at site.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)