The Karnataka chapter of the All-India Christian Council (AICC) and the Karnataka Missions Network have demanded that violence against Christians be stopped and the rule of law must prevail.
Addressing presspersons here on Monday, leaders of these organisations expressed concern over the “continuing violence” against the Christian community, which in recent weeks had been manifested through the attacks on three churches.
State president of AICC M.F. Saldanha said that constitutional rights must be enforced and preventive measures taken to ensure that violence against minorities did not continue. “There are adequate laws, but still no action is being taken,” he said. Although, there had been instances of violence against people of minority communities in Gujarat, Orissa and Karnataka, it was only in Karnataka that violence had not stopped. In the other two States, violence appeared to have abated.
Chairman of the Karnataka Missions Network Walter J. Maben said that the State government had been promising action on the issue. “The only action the State government has taken till now is to withdraw cases against those involved in the attacks,” he said.
Despite promises, the State government had not withdrawn “false” cases against members of the Christian community, he said.
Mr. Maben claimed that after the 2008 church attacks, around 1,000 cases had been filed against Christian priests across the State for alleged conversions. Pastor of Fountain of Blessing Church P.T. Jozhson said that last week when he was away, a few policemen had told his wife that permission was needed to continue worship.
Mr. Maben claimed that many such instances were likely to have gone unreported.
Dealing with the issue of conversions, president of the Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike K.L. Ashok said that all religious leaders, including Madhwacharya, used “intellectual inducements” to propagate their religion. If money was given to convert somebody's faith, the person would return to the faith that had been given up because the person would not have been able to give up his or culture.
Mr. Ashok said KKSV “suspected” that violence was being perpetrated by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh “with an eye on the coming elections”.
He said the RSS was the “mother organisation” and it directed actions of other bodies such as Vishwa Hindu Parishat and Bajrang Dal. Taking a dig at Prani Daya Sangha, which had been named in the alleged killing of the driver of a truck transporting cows at Peenya in Bangalore, Mr. Ashok said that the association had sympathy for animals but not human beings. He urged Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda to ensure protection to minorities and backward classes.
Keywords: Mangalore clashes