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Karnataka church attacks probe slammed
Disgust at commission’s failure to name those responsible for violenceA woman prays before a broken crucifix after the 2008 anti-Christian violence in Mangalore
- Philip Mathew, Bangalore
- January 31, 2011
āThe entire Christian community is disappointed,ā Monsignor S. Jayanathan, vicar general of Bangalore archdiocese told ucanews.com on Jan. 28 soon after the commission submitted its final report to the state government.
The Karnataka government appointed Justice Banavar Krishnamurthy Somashekhara, a former judge, to investigate attacks on 57 churches in various parts of the state in 2008.
Its 1,000-page final report said āno true Hindusā had a role in the attacks. It also said the government and police were not responsible for the violence.
The pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, Indian peopleās party) www.bjp.org/ assumed control of the state government a few months before the attacks.
Monsignor Jayanathan said the ecumenical Karnataka United Christian Forum for Human Rights would press the government to reject the report.
Bishop Henry DāSouza of Bellary called the report āan utter failure,ā pointing out the commission had in its interim report a year ago blamed Hindu extremist groups for the attacks.
The National Council of Churches in India, an association of Protestant and Orthodox Churches, said the report was not acceptable to Christians.
Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, called the report āa travesty of justiceā and āan attempt to hoodwink the people of Karnataka.ā
Janardhan Poojary, former federal minister and leader of the opposition Congress Party, called the report ābiased.āā
Federal Law Minister Veerappa Moily has asked the Karnataka government to turn the probe over to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Moily accused the state government of putting pressure on the commission to clear the BJP and Hindu extremists.
The commission, established in 2008, questioned nearly 800 witnesses, including representatives of Hindu and Christians organizations.
āTrue Hindusā absolved of violence charge
Violence probe delay dismays Christians
Commission seeks ban on sectarian groups