'Bajrang Dal activists attacked churches

'Bajrang Dal activists attacked churches

Producing the copy of the Annexure 47 of the Commission report, Noronha said the Commission did not give a clean chit to the Bajrang Dal as mentioned in the media reports.

He was speaking at an interaction programme organised by the Journalists’ Study Centre (JSC) at the Sahodaya Hall here on Monday. “It is clearly mentioned in the Commission’s report that the Adoration Monastery near Milagres Church was attacked by the Bajrang Dal men,” Noronha said.

It is unfortunate that the Commission, which criticised the police for entering churches and assaulting innocent Christians, did not recommend action against them, Noronha lamented.

‘Report beneficial’

Former State Convener of Bajrang Dal Mahendra Kumar said that the Commission’s report has brought relief as it only recommended the government to book case against me under Section 153(A) of IPC. “The government had already booked seven cases under Section 307 at various police stations. But the Commission has held that I have not committed any crime for which cases under Section 307 can be booked.  I had been kept in jail for 42 days unnecessarily,” he added.

He said that the Commission, which conducted inquiry for more than two years and spent more than two crores, did not submit a clear report. “The Commission should have cleared the doubts of the people in its report,” he added.

Talking about the press conference held by him along with Vishwa Hindu Parishat Leader Prof M P Puranik on September 14, 2008, Kumar said, “I was only reacting to the incidents of attacks on churches and did not claim that the attacks were carried out by the Bajrang Dal.” To a query, Mahendra Kumar clarified that he did not join JD(S) yet. “It was only a plan and I had not taken any decision so far.

‘Stop conversion’

Vishwa Hindu Parishat District Vice-President Advocate Jagadish Shenava and Bajrang Dal District Convener Sharan Pumpwell said that the forcible conversion and the circulation of the book ‘Satyadarshini’, which defames the Hindu religion, were the reason for church attacks.

Talking about the differences between the interim and final reports of the Commission, Shenava said, “the Commission had submitted the interim report hearing only Christian witnesses before examining the affidavits filed by Hindus. Hence, the interim report came in favour of Christians.”

‘No forceful conversion’

Karnataka Theological College Professors Dr F Anil Kumar denying allegations of forceful conversion said, “conversion is taking place across the world and people embrace religions of their choice according their will as it is a Constitutional right. There is no evidence to prove forceful conversion in the State.” Professor Dr M Watson said, “if the Christian missioneries were converting Hindus forcefully into Christianity, then the Christian population should have been increased considerably. The statistics show that the Christian population is decreasing in the State.”

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