Mangalore, Sept 20 : The Karnataka convener of the Bajrang Dal, Mahendra Kumar, was arrested late last night by Mangalore Police in connection with the churches and prayer halls attack case.
Three cases, including that of disturbing communal harmony, have been lodged against Kumar, who will be in judicial custody for the next 15 days.
After his arrest, Kumar said that he and the Bajarang Dal activists are prepared to go behind bars to protect the interest of Hindus. Twenty five people, including 12 policemen and three journalists were injured in violent protests on Sunday in incidents of stone-throwing by suspected Bajrang Dal activists, who were protesting against alleged conversion of Hindus to Christianity.
The Bajrang Dal accepted responsibility for the attacks on eighteen churches and prayer halls in Mangalore, Udupi and Chikmaglur Districts of Karnataka on Monday.
In the wake of reports that the VHP and the Bajrang Dal activists are carrying out these attacks with the tacit approval of the State Government, the Centre on Friday issued a strong advisory under Article 355, an emergency provision that says that it is the duty of the Union Government to protect states against external aggression and internal disturbances.
To bring the situation under control following the attacks, the Union Home Ministry put the state on alert and directed it to report to the Centre on steps being taken to deal with the situation.
In response, the Karnataka Government ordered a judicial probe into the attacks and the subsequent communal violence that erupted in parts of the state.
State Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said the judicial probe would be headed by a retired high court judge and adding that the Corps of Detectives investigation will also go on simultaneously.