Bajrang Dal activists responsible for M'lore vandalism: Report

In the course of the report, the commission often mentions the extreme pro-Hindu outfit many times, referring to the organisation behind the attacks as  ‘suspected to be Bajrang Dal’.

According to the summary of attacks which is annexure to the final report, ‘unknown miscreants suspected to be Bajrang Dal workers led by Mahendra Kumar’ attacked three places in Chikmagalur district. Mahendra Kumar was the state convener of Bajrang Dal when the churches were attacked. The churches he and his team allegedly attacked in Chikmagalur are - Christian Believers’ Prayer Hall, Jagadeshwara Church (Mudigere) and Carmel Mathe Devalaya (Kudremukh).

Whereas in case of attack on Adoration Monastery in Mangalore, the attack on which was “atrocious”, the commission clearly states, the attack was by “workers of Bajrang Dal led by Mahendra Kumar or enraged Hindus”.  In this case, the commission does not use the phrase ‘suspected Bajrang Dal’. The property lost during the attack include the church building, holy statues, and sacred items.

The report states it got the impression that Bajrang Dal workers harassed people gathered at Kapitanio High School in Mangalore. In Belthangadi, Mandyanthar Mahima Prarthana Mandira was attacked by men “said to be workers of Bajrang Dal”.

However, Bajrang Dal state convener Surayanarayana, on Saturday, argued that the commission has not found fault with the outfit in the attacks. Asked about mention of Mahendra Kumar’s name in the report, Suryanarayan said he (Mahendra Kumar) in his personal capacity had expressed views supporting the attacks and his name had figured in the report because of that reason.

Addressing a press conference in Bangalore on Saturday, Suryanarayana claimed that the Justice Somasekara Commission in its inquiry on church attacks had given a clean chit to pro-Hindu outfits. “The report has stated that there are no evidences to prove pro-Hindu organisations’ involvement in the attacks”, he said.

Besides, the commission had ‘confirmed’ reports of forced religious conversion by a few organisations, which get funds from abroad. “The government should hold a detailed probe into flow of funds into the organisations and regulate their activities,” he said.

Further, he said the committee in its report had reported forced conversions as reason for church attacks.  The government should bring in a law to stop conversions, he said.

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