Victims pour in bitter experiences before Somasekhara Commission

Commission takes statements of 54 witnesses, examines 230 documents

Narrating the police lathicharge incident of September 15, 2008 near Kulshekhar Church, she said that there were no women constables while police carried out lathicharge on women.

"Policemen caned innocent women including me brutally without paying heed to our earnest pleadings. My right leg was injured and was hospitalised,” said Alice Gonsalvez, a resident of Kulshekhar.

Gonsalvez was narrating her bitter experiences to Legal Advisor to Justice B K Somasekhara Commission of Inquiry (JBKSCI) Hemalatha Mahishi on the fourth day of Commission’s sitting held at the Circuit House here on Thursday. Narrating the police lathicharge incident of September 15, 2008 near Kulshekhar Church, she said that there were no women constables while police carried out lathicharge on women. “We were all hiding inside the classroom on the third floor of Kulshekar Church School when the the incident occurred. Policemen broke open doors and canned us mercilessly,” she added.
Swebert D’Souza, a student from Kadri stated before the Commission that he was beaten up by the police without any reason on the road near Milagres Church in the city on September 14, 2008.

He said that he had gone to the Church to help his friend Neil, who was trapped inside the Church premises. “Police took me to Bunder Station and later I was lodged at Sub Jail for 10 days,” he said.

Dal circulated hate book

Producing a photocopy of a book - ‘Orissadalli Nijavagi Nadediddenu’ (What actually happened in Orissa) before the Commission, Kulshekar Church Priest Fr Valerian Pinto said that the copies of the hate books were being distributed by Bajrang Dal activists near Church’s School one week prior to the Church attack incidents.
He also produced the copies of a series of articles published in a Kannada daily and said that the articles were aimed at         damaging the communal harmony.
“Though many Christians were arrested from the Kulshekar Church premises, the place of arrest was changed by the police in the records,” he alleged and added that there were no women constables during police lathicharge near the Church.

230 documents
After winding up the 4 days long sitting,  Justice Hemalatha Mahishi told mediapersons that the Commission took statements from 54 witnesses.
It also examined 230 documents and two  CDs in four days.
The next sitting of the Commission in Mangalore will be chaired by Legal Advisor Justice Raviprakash on June 24, 25 and 26, she added.

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