As news of the fire spread, about 500 people gathered at St Sebastian to demand a judicial inquiry.
A fire that destroyed the interior of a Catholic church in New Delhi on Monday morning has raised concern that the country’s Christian miniority is being intentionally targeted.
A guard at Saint Sebastian Catholic Church – empty at the time of the fire – notified the parish priest at about 6am, and the fire brigade was called, lay leader John Dayal told an afternoon press briefing at the church attended by Archbishop Anil Cuto of Delhi.
"The police took their own time to come. They said a forensic team would be arriving soon, but they have not yet reached," Dayal said.
"The police are not serious about this crime, which is communal in nature," he added.
Police officer S Chauhan, under whose area the church falls, said police are investigating all angles, and until their probe is over they cannot speak about details of the investigation.
“The first step is to collect evidence and determine the cause of the fire," he said, adding that the investigation has only just started.
An earlier statement by police suggested that the fire had been the result of faulty electrical wiring.
Archbishop Cuto said the Church had "full faith" in the investigation and it would not be right to pointing accusing fingers at anyone until the facts of the investigation were known.
But Father Thomas Paul, a New Delhi-based priest, questioned why the guard did not notice the fire sooner. “We have so many unanswered questions.”
Parishioners had questions as well, along with demands. As news of the fire spread, about 500 people gathered at St Sebastian to demand a judicial inquiry into the fire as an act of intentional aggression against the Christian community.