02/18/2011, 00.00
INDIA
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Fasting and sit-ins, bishops and faithful reject false report on Karnataka violence

by Nirmala Carvalho
The report of the Committee of Justice Somasekhar exonerates two radical Hindu movements for attacks in 2008 on 56 churches, against all evidence. The President of the Global Council of Indian Christians: "A bundle of lies, intended to confuse and misinform the people." A counter-report submitted today to the Governor and the Chief Minister of Karnataka.

Bangalore (AsiaNews) - Thousands of Christians in Karnataka have launched a series of protest marches and days of fasting to protest against a report that rejects eye-witness testimonies and evidence, exonerating some Hindu organizations for the attack on dozens of churches. The silent fast being held on the campus of the St Mark University of Bangalore, involves 18 bishops, including Archbishop of Bangalore Bernard Moras. In addition to fasting, marches and sit-ins, the bishops, leaders of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) and Christians in Karnataka will present to the Governor and the Chief Minister of Karnataka, a counter-report, entitled: "1000 days in office, 236 attacks and 1000 traumatized people".

The Somasekhar commission's report exonerates the Bajrang Dal and its coordinator, Mahendra Kumar, as well as the radical Hindu Sangh Parivar. But, the Christians point out, there is a list of 56 churches, attached to the report, in which the authors of the attacks are indicated. The Bajrang Dal are specifically named as being behind the attacks on 12 churches, the Sangh Parivar on one church. Mahendra Kumar, in a statement, admits the link between the Bajrang Dal and the VHP, a Hindu radical organization. So, the Christians do not understand how the report can exonerate those movements.

The president of the GCIC, Sajan K. George, comments on the report to AsiaNews: " a bundle of lies intended to mislead and confuse the people, the more than 28 attacks in Karnataka in August-September 2008 were believed to be led by Hindu extremist groups, mainly the Bajrang Dal. " The Somasekhar report is “completely contrary” to the commission’s interim report submitted last year, which pointed to the culpability of police officials, ruling party leaders and Hindu nationalist groups. Sajan K. George says that the Somasekhar report tries to justify the use of excessive force by police against children and women of the churches and Kulshekara Vamanjoor, whereas in reality it"was excessive and in violation of the norms."

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