Christians had blocked NH 13, admits witness before Commission

Sr Shanthi Prameela, one of the witnesses, said that the Christian members blocked the highway for two hours but it is false to say that they compelled the passengers to get down from the buses and made them to walk miles together.

She was replying to the cross examination conducted by Jagadish Shenava, advocate representing Hindu Memorialists. Justice B K Somasekhara resumed a five-day hearing at Circuit House in Mangalore on Monday.

Another witness Sr Selma said somebody among the Christian members had informed the police on September 14 evening itself that they would be holding a peaceful protest on the next morning. “Even on September 15, I had personally requested Circle Inspector Ganapathy to give us protection. It is false to say that Superintendent of Police Sathish Kumar did not scold me. Some police have beaten me too,” she said. However, while replying to the cross examination by Jagadish Shenava, Sr Selma said that the Christian members had not gathered near the church to protest but to demand justice. “It is false to say that the church bell was rung continuously to enable assembling of people,” she added.

To the questions whether the church bell was rung in the evening on September 14, and whether Christian members created a fearful atmosphere in the Kulashekhar church premises both on September 14 and 15, Sr Selma said: “I don’t know”.

During the cross examination by Narayan Reddy, the advocate on behalf of the police, she said the school attached to the Kulashekhar church was not functioning on September 15, but the students had come to the school.

One more witness Sr Celine Pethra said it was Bajrang Dal members who came in bikes threw stones at the church first but not those staying inside the church.  Francis Leo, another witness stated that Bajrang Dal people posed life threat to him after he was discharged from Fr Mullers Hospital, after a treatment of seven days. J Alben Pinto and Leo Mascarenhas were also examined during the Monday’s hearing.

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