Attack on churches continues in Karnataka

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Bangalore, Sep 21 (UNI) Attack on Churches went unabated in Karnataka with two more churches in the city and one in hilly Kodagu district were attacked today despite Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa announcing adequate security to place of worships in the State.

The miscreants attacked churches at Raja Rajeshwari Nagar and in Hebbal in the city by pelting stones damaging glass covers of Jesus idols kept in the compounds.

This was the first attack on churches in the city after the violence erupted in the coastal districts of Mangalore and Udupi, besides Chikmagalur, Davanagere last week.

The arrest of Bajarang Dal leader and the government ordering judicial inquiry followed advisories from the Centre in taking proper action in providing protection to minorities in the state, has not prevented the miscreants in going ahead with their crime.

A Christians prayer hall, which was used for weekly prayer, in Nelli Hadlige in Siddapur police Station limits of Kodagu district was attacked this morning.

Three police personnel, two in Nelli Hadlige village and one in Raja Rajeshwari Nagar in the city, were kept under suspension holding responsible for the attack.

They said that the authorities also rounded up some persons in Hebbal area and being interrogated, they said.

The fresh attacks came today after Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa directed the district administration and police officials yesterday across the state to take additional precautions ahead of Sunday prayers.

Mr Yeddyurappa, who held highlevel meeting with Home Minister, DG and IGP and Commissioner, talking to newsmen held Police officials responsible for the incident inspite of giving strict instructions to take suitable steps to provide security to Churches in the State.

He also alleged that the attacks were pre-planned and miscreants have indulged in such act to defame the BJP led government in the State.

Mr Yeddyurappa has convened a Cabinet Meeting tomorrow to take stock of the situation following today's attacks.

Meanwhile, Vishwa Hindu Parishad Zonal Secretary B N Murthy denied the involvement of VHP and Bhajarang Dal in the attacks on churches.

City Police Commissioner Shankar Bidri, however, said that investigation is on to find out whether it was attack or robbery attempt in the Church at Mariyammana Palya since the miscreants have broke open cup boards and have taken away Rs 1000 cash and two gold plated 'crowns' valued at Rs 1800.

Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) National President H D Deve Gowda, after visiting church at Mariyammana Palya, demanded dismissal of the BJP led government in the State.

Opposition leader in the Legislative Assembly Mallikarjun Kharge said that "we are not for taking political mileage out of the incident, we want peace to return and government should take all steps in this direction." (Eds: pick up suitably from earlier series).


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