Panel clears BJP, Hindu groups in Karnataka church attacks

Friday, January 28, 2011

BANGALORE - The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), its government in Karnataka and pro-Hindu outfits had no hand in the series of attacks on churches in the state in 2008, a judicial panel said Friday.

“There is no basis to the apprehension of petitioners that politicians, BJP, sangha parivar (as pro-Hindu outfits are called) and the state government are directly or indirectly involved in the attacks,” the panel, headed by retired Karnataka high court judge, B.K. Somashekara, said in its findings.

Justice Somashekara submitted his report to Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa here Friday.

The Somashekara panel said the main reasons for the attack on churches were circulation of literature derogatory to Hindus and attempts at conversion of Hindus to Christianity.

It also did not find any truth in allegations that top police officials and civil administration in the area where churches were vandalised had colluded with the attackers.

The panel, however, was critical of police and civil administration for not treating the Christians protesting the attacks sympathetically.

The commission was set up in October 2008 to probe attacks on churches in the coastal town of Mangalore and in Udupi, Chikamagalur, Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Bellary and Davangere districts in September 2008.

The panel said it had received 1,500 petitions and examined over 800 people.

Filed under: Religion

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