More places of worship attacked, group clashes rock port city

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Mangalore, Sep 15 (UNI) Police, albeit in large numbers, struggled to control the situation even as two more places of worship were attacked and group clashes erupted in some areas of this port city today.

Two prayer halls at Bejai and jail road was attacked by miscreants while police extensively used the baton to scatter stone pelting crowds.

When people came out to protest against the attacks on nine places of worship in Daxina Kannada, Udupi and Chickmagalur districtrs yesterday, some miscreants threw bottles at the group that resulted in stone pelting from the other side.

Police resorted to lathi charge in Thokkottui, Kulashekar and B C Road where a large number of Christians had gathered in the morning. Police said the situation was slowly returning to normal.

Meanwhile, Bishop of Mangalore Dr Aloysius D'Souza speaking at a press conference here today clarified that no cases of conversion had come to light in any of 158 churches under Mangalore diocese.

He urged the district administration to take stringent action against the culprits responsible for yesterday's attacks and put in maximum efforts to maintain peace in the district.

''We don't want any assurance, the police should act swiftly and arrest the culprits. They have not acted in a proper manner,'' he said.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Minister for ports Krishna Palemar ssured the people of the city that proper protection would be provided to all places of worship and institutions. The damages caused during the attack would be suitably compensated.

He claimed that yesterday's incidents was the handiwork of miscreants and Sangh Parivar was not involved in it.

Energy minister K S Ishwarappa said the state government would not spare anyone indulging in violence even if they were Bajrangdal activists.

At the same time the government would also not allow forcible religious conversions, he added.

UNI MA-MV RS AKJ RK1855

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