Christians reject Somasekhara report, demand CBI probe

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Bangalore, Feb 5 (PTI) Unanimously rejecting theSomasekhara report, absolving BJP and Sangh Parivar from theattacks on churches and prayer halls in several places inKarnataka in 2008, the Christian community in the state todaydemanded a CBI probe into the strikes.

Expressing "deep hurt" and "anguish" over the report, theArchbishop of Bangalore Archdiocese Fr Bernard Moras said, "Ithas failed to address the terms of reference of the Commissionand has failed to do justice to the Christian community."

He also demanded that the state government initiate a CBIprobe into the attacks.

"We will make a representation to the government puttingforth our demand. We will make a representation to the chiefminister, the governor, various organisations including theHuman Rights and the Central government," he told reportershere.

Depending upon the response, Moras said the communitymembers will chalk out their next plan of action.

Terming the report as "highly communal", "propagandist"and "divisive", he said, "The church attacks were an attemptto defame the community by some vested interest forces and todivide the state into majority and minority by attributingcertain stereotypes to the community."

Moras said though the report stated some attacks to be"deliberate, well-planned, communal, antagonism withfundamentalism brewing since several years", it failed toidentify the persons and organisations behind them.

He said despite being a mere 2.1 per cent of the totalpopulation, the Christians were accused of mass conversion.

"While upholding the right to practice, profess andpropagate religion in accordance with the tenets of ourconstitution, we denounced the agenda of vested interestgroups to malign the community using conversion as a device,"he said.

Condemning the recommendation of the report thatChristian places of worship should be brought under somelegislation and stringent financial check and audit of pastorsto control churches, he said, "It creates an impression thatchurches are anti-social institutions." .

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