Christians reject report on church attacks: Bangalore archbishop

Saturday, February 5, 2011

BANGALORE - Archbishop of Bangalore Bernard Moras Saturday said the Christian community rejects a judicial panel report absolving Hindu groups of a series of attacks on churches in Karnataka in 2008.

The panel “has failed the Christian community”, Moras said, reacting to the findings of the Justice B.K. Somashekara judicial commission which absolved the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, the government and Hindu groups of the attacks.

The archbishop demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the attacks on churches at several places in September 2008.

“We will make a representation to the chief minister, the governor and the central government (for a CBI probe),” he told reporters here.

Moras said the Christian community was “deeply hurt” and “anguished” by the commission’s report.

The attacks on churches were “an attempt to defame the community, to divide the state into majority and minority by attributing certain stereotypes to the community”, he said.

Moras noted that the commission found some attacks to be “deliberate, well-planned, communal, with fundamentalism brewing since several years” but had failed to identify the people or groups behind them.

He also objected to the commission’s recommendation that there should be some legislation to exercise control over Christian places of worship and audit of their finances.

Justice Somashekara submitted his report to the government Jan 28.

While BJP leaders hailed the findings, the opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular attacked the report and demanded the government reject it.

In its interim report submitted in February last year, the panel had said that “strong impression is created that the members belonging to Bajrang Dal, Sri Rama Sene, and the VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) etc. are mainly responsible for attacking churches or places of worship, mainly in Mangalore and South Canara (Dakshina Kannada) districts spreading to other districts and other parts of the state.”

Filed under: Religion

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