Minister promises to drop cases against Xian youth

The minister was speaking to reporters after receiving a memorandum from a delegation of bishops and Church leaders led by Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore, demanding that the government reject the Justice Somasekara Commission report on church attacks, and withdraw cases against Christians.

“I have assured the archbishops that the cases will be withdrawn. Directions have been issued to the Home department secretary to place all the cases before the State Cabinet for appropriate action,” Ashoka said.

He said the government would set up a centralised cell to receive complaints on attacks on churches and pass on the information to the police.

This will ensure immediate action against the culprits. The government wants people of all communities to live in peace. Stringent action will be taken against those who try to create communal disharmony, he said.

Regarding the demand for rejecting the Somasekara Commission report, Ashoka said only the main highlights of the report had been released.

The report is a 1,800-page document. The Home Secretary is going through it and will soon submit a note in this regard to the government. The Cabinet will then take an appropriate decision on either rejecting or accepting the report, he said.

Referring to another demand for a CBI probe into incidents of attacks on churches, he said he would take up the issue with the chief minister.

Archbishop Moras said the agitation against the Commission’s report would continue till the government rejected it. “The government should entrust the investigation to a central agency like the CBI to bring out the truth, punish the culprits and instill confidence among the minority community about its sincerity, impartiality and secular credentials,” he said.

He also demanded compensation to those affected in the attacks and for damaged property of churches.

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