In a blatant display of bias, the judicial commission probing the 2008 church attacks in Karnataka has given a “clean chit” to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Sangh Parivar outfits.
The Justice BK Somasekhara Commission, which submitted its report to Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa on Friday, said there was “no basis to the apprehension of Christian petitioners that the BJP and the Sangh Parivar were directly or indirectly involved in the attacks.”
The attacks, it said, were carried out by “misguided fundamentalist miscreants of defined or undefined groups or organisations against Christians and Christianity who have mistakenly presumed that they would be protected by the party in power with the policies at the relevant time”.
The commission recommended the government to enact a legislation to ensure prevention of atrocities on any person in the name of religion and to ensure protection to all.
The 2008 violence was a wave of attacks directed against Christian churches and prayer halls allegedly by members of the Sangh Parivar. Over 20 churches and several prayer halls in Mangalore, Udupi, Chikkamagaluru, Kolar and other small districts in Karnataka were attacked.
BK Somasekhara, a former judge, was assigned to inquire into the sequence of events and circumstances that led to the attack.
The Catholic Church in Bangalore has meanwhile has cried foul over the report saying it did not do justice to the minority community.
“The commission has very badly let down the Christian community and the entire community is disappointed and feel the report is unfair,” vicar general S Jagayanathan said in a statement in Bangalore.
“The report had said some incidents of attacks are true. If they were true, why the commission had failed to name those who responsible for these attacks,” he asked.
He said it was disheartening that the Commission gave a clean chit to the accused in spite of presenting video-clippings and supporting documents on the attacks against churches, as reported by the Press Trust of India.
Bangalore-based Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) as well has expressed disappointment at the report which it said was a “bundle of lies intended mainly to mislead and confuse the people of Karnataka.”
The final report it charged was completely contrary to the commission’s interim report submitted last year implicating the police and the Sangh Parivar activists.
“This was also a colossal waste of time, energy, money and man-power on the part of the government and the members of various institutions, organizations as well as individuals, during the last two years,” GCIC said. “It is indeed a great fraud systematically played on the innocent and peace-loving Christians.”
“The National Human Rights Commission, the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission and many other human rights organizations cutting across religious and party lines in the state have indicted the state government and the Sangh Parivar outfits with facts and figures,” the advocacy group added.
Justice BK Somasekhara commission was set up in October 2008 and had before it a total of 1500 petitions.
Christian Today India,
January 28, 2011