Miscreants to be booked under Goonda Act: BSY

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Bangalore, Sep 22: The Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Monday, Sep 22 said that the recent attack on churches and prayer halls in Karnataka was part of a conspiracy hatched against the Bharatiya Janata Party government by the opposition parties.

He was speaking to the media after the emergency cabinet meeting called to discuss the law and order situation in the state. He said that the cabinet reviewed the law and order situation at length and took stock of the situation in the wake of attacks on churches and prayer halls in different districts since last one week. "Those involved in attacks on religious places would be booked under Goonda Act" BSY said. Both Congress and Janata Dal (S) in Karnataka had hatched a conspiracy against his government, which was treading the path towards development. The opposition come together to defame the saffron party as it was unable to 'stomach' BJP's popularity.

Yeddyurappa said that the Sagar police in Shimoga district had arrested three persons in connection with attack on a prayer hall belonging to minority community. "One of the accused was son of a former Congress member of the City municipality," he said.

Police also suspected that another sitting Councilor belonging to Congress was involved in the incident, BSY said. In Madikeri in Kodagu police had arrested five persons for indulging in illegal conversion of people belonging to majority community. The local people had protested against such acts by the missonaries, he said.

Coming down heavily against JD(S) President H D Deve Gowda and his son and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, who had demanded his resignation taking responsibility for the attacks on churches, the Chief Minister said, "I can understand the intentions of both father and son. Sadly Congress has also failed to act as a responsible opposition," he stated.

He said that the cabinet, while reviewing the situation, had decided to step-up the security arrangements at all churches and prayer halls in the state. "Round the clock vigilance in and around churches and prayer halls be put in place and culprits and anti social elements will be dealt with iron-hands," he declared.

Referring to Sunday, Sep 21's incidents of attack on two churches in Bangalore and one in Madikeri, he said two police constables had been suspended for not preventing the attack, while the incident in Hebbal in the city was a case of theft and not attack.

The Chief Minister said that state cabinet have also decided to deploy home guard personnel in supplementing the state police and daily allowance to be payable to them was increased from Rs 100 per day to Rs 150. Stating that his government was committed to protect the interests of all the communities, irrespective caste or creed, the Chief Minister said he would meet leaders of the Christian community including Arch Bishop at his residence this evening.

"The meeting is intended to instill confidence on the people of the minority communities," he said.

Warning the anti-social elements who were indulged in attacks on religious places, he said his government has both commitment and capability to deal with the situation.

Earlier before attending the cabinet meeting, Chief Minister called on Karantaka Governor Rameshwar Thakur and explained him about the latest attacks on churches and measures taken by the state government.

The cabinet also approved appointment of Justice B S Somashekar, a retired judge of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh High Courts to probe the attack on churches in Karnataka.

UNI

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