Bangalore, Sep 21: On Saturday, Sep 20 late night two churches in Bangalore were vanadalised by miscreants. St. James church in Mariyanpalya and Church of the Holy name of Jesus were attacked by the violent mob. These attacks came a day after Karnataka convener of Bajrang Dal Mahendra Kumar was arrested in Mangalore. He was held in connection with recent attack on Churches in Karnataka by Bajrang Dal.
He was arrested after the Centre issued warnings on Friday, Sep 19 to four states amid reports that members of the Sangh Parivar, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal are carrying out attacks on Christians with the tacit approval of the state governments. "For the sake of the Hindu society we are willing to go to jail. For the Hindu community we are forever willing to go to jail everyday," Kumar said after his arrest.
The arrest holds significance after September 14 violence in Mangalore when at least six churches and prayer halls were attacked by Bajrang Dal supporters. The BJP government in the state did not take any action against the Bajrang Dal despite the convenor Mahindra Kumar openly admitting that that it was his party that had carried out the attacks.
On Saturday Sep 20, State Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa has instructed the District Collector's and Superintendents of Police of all Districts of the state to arrest suspicious elements and take stringent action against peace breakers. The Chief Minister also directed them that rallies and protest marches should not be allowed till the situation normalises.
In the wake of reports that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal activists are carrying out attacks on churches with the tacit approval of the State Government, the Centre has issued these warnings 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.
Tension started when suspected activists of Bajrang Dal targeted churches, when Sunday mass was being held at Singtagere, Magodu and Jayapura in Chikmagalur District, and Sirur and Mudur in Udupi District and Kodikkal, Falnir and Alfa Centre in Mangalore on September 14.
According to Bajrang Dal sources, coordinated attacks were mounted against conversion, not a single Catholic church was attacked. Only prayer halls belonging to the New Life Sect in southern Karnataka were attacked.
Last month at least 16 people, mostly Christians were killed, churches destroyed and 10,000 Christians were forced to flee their homes as violence spread in Kandhamal District of Orissa.