Centre team to review situation in Karnataka

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New Delhi, Sep 23: A two-member Union Ministry team will visit Karnataka on Tuesday, Sep 23 on the wake of continued attack on churches in states. The team will review the steps taken to control the violence. Sources said that the Home Minister Shivraj Patil on Monday, Sep 22 held a meeting with senior police officers of different states in the Capital, and asked the Special Secretary of Internal Security M L Kumawat to visit Bangalore to assess the situation.

The high-level team will hold meetings with the State Chief Secretary and other senior state government officials. The team will also visit Udupi and Mangalore, where several churches and prayer halls were attacked on Sep 14.

In the wake of reports that the rightist organizations the VHP and the Bajrang Dal activists were carrying out these attacks with the tacit approval of the State Government, the Centre had recently issued a strong advisory 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.

Meanwhile, the State Government has decided to invoke the provisions of the Anti-Goonda Act 1985 against the people indulging in attacks on churches in various districts. After holding a special meeting of his cabinet in Bangalore, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said that the police had been given 'full freedom' to book cases under the Act, under which a person involved in such acts could be summarily arrested and detained. A high level committee would decide on further detention.


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