'Police filed chargesheet after I filed affidavit against police'

3-day sitting of Justice B K Somasekhara Commission of Inquiry


Deposing before the Commission that began its 3-day sitting at Circuit House here on Wednesday, Mario Jeevan Roch, one of the witnesses of the Vamanjoor church attack incident, said police filed chargesheet against him only after he filed an affidavit before the Commission explaining the role of the police in violence.

Another witness, Herald G D’Souza denied the police allegations that he and other respondents were blocking the National Highway 13 at Vamanjoor on the day of the incident disrupting the vehicular traffic.

He said that the Christian members were inside the church for “self protection” and also to protest the previous day’s untoward incidents. He also denied the charge that the members were carrying lethal weapons.

Countering a question by advocate (in favour of police) Narayan Reddy, who asked witness Herald G D’Souza that whether the Christian members who were in Vamanjoor church on the day of the incident had police permission to protest, advocate Ismail (in favour of Catholic Sabha) said “there need not be any police permission to protest inside a church”.

However, Reddy said, they (Christian members) should have obtained the permission at least through the church head, despite the fact that they were protesting inside the church.

Answering a query from advocate (in favour of the government) L N Hegde, Herald D’Souza said that the charge that all churches had given a bundh call to protest the attacks was a lie. “It is also wrong that Vamanjoor church too had given a bundh call,” he added.

Two other witnesses Philomena Rodrigues and Rajith Pereira were also examined by the Commission. As per the plan, a total of eight members had to be examined on the first day.

However, Justice B K Somasekhara, who heads the probe, adjourned the examination of four other witnesses to Thursday. Besides these four, a total of eight other members will be examined on Thursday.

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