Saint Sebastian's Church
Miscreants tried to set fire to a church in the Tumkur district of Karnataka. In picture: A view of charred sanctuary and altar at the St Sebastian's Church in Delhi's Dilshad Garden on Dec 1, 2014. [Representational photo]IANS

A day after Delhi's Saint Sebastian's Church was gutted in a fire, around 2,000 Catholics have staged protest outside the Police Commissioner's Headquarters on Tuesday, demanding judicial probe into the incident that they claim was arson.

The  protesters, who gathered at the place at 10 am also demanded security in Delhi churches. 

"We want a judicial probe into the matter, and demand that security be given to every church, and the accused be arrested," Father Mathew Koyickal told IANS.

The protest lasted for at least a couple of hours, during which men, women and children raised slogan "we want justice" and held up placards with messages "Pray and let others pray." Father Koyickal demanded that the government must come forward to help the Christian community of National Capital Territory of India.

"We also want the government machinery to come up and act for justice to our people," Father Koyickal said.

Accompanied by other senior officials, Special Commissioner of Police Deepak Mishra told the protesters that a special investigating team has been set up to conduct an inquiry into the incident and gave them assurance about the same.

On Monday morning, at around 7:15 am, the Saint Sebastian's Church in east Delhi's Dilshad Garden area was gutted under mysterious circumstances. The Church authorities and caretakers have alleged that the Church was deliberately set ablaze and also claimed political involvement.

The Delhi police have registered a case under Section 436 IPC (mischief) on receiving complaint from Delhi Catholic Archdiocese. However, the police are looking at other angles until the forensic lab report establishes the real cause.