K'taka govt orders full security for minorities

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Bangalore, Sep 20 (UNI) Rapped by the centre over treatment meted to minorities in the wake of attacks on places of worship, the Karnataka government today acted swiftly and ordered series of measures including strict security during the Sunday prayers tomorrow.

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa told reporters here tonight that all district authorities had been asked to provide foolproof protection to the people coming for Sunday prayers at churches and prayer halls.

The government would hold district officials responsible for any law and order problems.

Earlier, speaking at a public meeting in Hukkeri in Belgaum district, he charged the Congress of hatching a conspiracy to dislodge his government which was performing 'credibly'.

"Congress and JD(S) are trying to take political advantage of the situation. They will fail in their attempts to topple my government," he retorted.

The Karnataka government had been sent two letters by the Union Home ministry urging it to take stringent steps forthwith to end disturbances in parts of the state and act on those who attacked minorities.

The state government also sent a detailed report to the centre today explaining the steps taken by it. It said it would brief it with daily reports.

In Mangalore Bajrang Dal State convenor Mahendra Kumar, who was arrested by the police last night, was remanded to judicial custody today. Pro-Hindu organisations protested his arrest.

Jnanpeeth award winning writers Girish Karnad and U R Ananthmurthy came down heavily on the BJP government for failing to protect the interests of minorities. While forcible conversion was wrong, pro Hindu activists taking law to their hands was also not acceptable, they said.

The CPI-M state secretariat member G N Nagaraj demanded the centre to directly monitor the situation in the state.

He demanded the state government to take immediate steps to arrest all those involved in the attack on religious places. It should also punish the police officials who committed atrocities, he said.

Former Chief Minister and JD(S) leader H D Kumarashwamy who visited the city charged that the government had made entire police department impotent and gave no freedom to discharge their duties.

Human rights activist Tiesta Setteldwad who visited Mangalore charged that the violence by radical pro-Hindu groups had the tactical support of the Yeddyurappa government.

"Police had an involvement in the violence. It had earlier happened during recent communal disturbances in Mangalore. On both occasions people had protested," she alleged.

Mangalore district unit of Vishwa Hindu Parishat (VHP) and Bajrang Dal strongly demanded that polical leaders who 'instigated' the minorities to indulge in illegal conversion and violence incidents be arrested.

UNI TEAM-RS TS2013

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