Plot to taint govt's image: CM

Church attack a minor incident, says Home Minister V S Acharya

Plot to taint govt's image: CM

unholy act: A policeman inspecting the spot where miscreants damaged statue of St Mary at Hebbagudi church on Thursday. Members of the church staging a protest condemning the incident. dh photo

“The attack is a planned conspiracy to bring bad name to my Government. Those anti-social elements, who are trying to disturb communal harmony and peace in the State would be dealt with an iron hand,” the Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said in the State Assembly.
No effort would be spared to identify the culprits and action would be taken against them, said Yeddyurappa, whose government had to face a spate of similar attacks in parts of the State last year, particularly in the coastal region.

The Chief Minister appealed to members of minority communities including christians and muslims not to panic over the incident and assured all protection to them.
The government was ready to take action as per the law irrespective of their religious affiliations and loyalty to any organisation, the Chief Minister said and recalled he had addressed a large gathering of the christians during St Mary’s festival in Bangalore just before his departure to China.

Speaking to reporters, Home Minister V S Acharya said soon after obtaining information about the incident, a team of top police officials was sent to the spot. The team has been asked to submit a report based on their analysis. He further said the situation is under control and assured that the government will take all steps to ensure that such incidents do not recur in future.  Acharya also dubbed the incident as a minor one.

Governor H R Bhardwaj, in an interview to Deccan Herald recently, had said that he has been receiving petitions from minorities seeking protection for them in the State.
What happened?

Police said about 20 persons stormed the St Francis de Sales Church, forced security guards to flee, ransacked the church, damaged two statues and window panes. The police rushed to the spot and launched a probe into the incident.
Members of christian community later resorted to rasta roko. Police pacified agitators and persuaded them to disperse, promising action against those involved. The police said, no arrests have been made till now.

Concerned over the incident, Yeddyurappa admitted that it was a serious issue and said: “We will not allow this to recur. Our intelligence wing is on high alert.” The government accorded top priority to maintaining communal harmony, he said when Opposition leaders urged immediate action against culprits.

BJP MLA Naryanaswamy, who represents Anekal Assembly constituency, attributed the incident to differences of opinion between two groups of the church.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Karnataka Christian Associations condemned the attack on the church and appealed to the government to extend suitable protection to churches and to initiate immediate action to restore peace in the area. The security at St Francis de Sales church has been stepped up.

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