Church desecration leaves Gujarat village tense

Police in a south Gujarat village are on the alert after a church was attacked over the weekend sparking off communal tensions.

A group of 20 people allegedly stormed a church that was under construction in Rohiyal Talal village in Surat district, 278 km from here. Police said the gang damaged its side walls, iron grills and window pans late Sunday.

"The desecrators arrived in a jeep armed with spades and axes and did the damage to the church," said a police official.

"Though we have been able to maintain law and order and there has been no untoward incident as the fallout of the alleged act of desecration, the situation still appears to be tense," a senior police official said.

Police have identified the accused but are still to make arrests. Officials have also confirmed the involvement of three members of the rightwing Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in the incident.

The police complaint was filed late Monday by Suresh Ada Varli, who was supervising the church's construction.