Five minority leaders on Saturday criticised Home Minister V.S. Acharya’s observation that the attack on churches were minor incidents and charged him with indirectly supporting miscreants.
Addressing presspersons, H.T. Sangliana, former MP; Walter Maben, Chairman, and Alwyn Colaco, Executive Member, Karnataka Missions Network; Benedict Baalu, Director, Karnataka Christa Ranga; and Sardar Ahmed Qureshi, President, Tipu Sultan Samyukta Ranga; alleged that neither Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa nor Dr. Acharya had visited the St. Francis de Sales Church.
Mr. Sangliana said that no arrests had been made in connection with the attacks on churches and places of worship of people belonging to minorities in Mysore and Dakshina Kannada districts and urged the government to announce a reward of Rs. 5 crore for helping in the arrest of the culprits.
Asked why they were not criticising those who had trespassed into a Hindu temple and broken the idols in Nagavara some time ago, all the leaders said that any person, who was creating communal divide by such attacks should be punished.
On the allegation of the Sangh Parivar that conversions were responsible for such attacks, they said that the Inspector-General of Police, Western Range, had said that not a single case of conversion had taken place in his range. However, all the leaders declared that none of them supported conversions either by force or allurement.
They alleged that the police in Dakshina Kannada and other places had initiated action against those who complained of such attacks, while allowing the culprits go scot-free. In some areas, the culprits had threatened Christians and church authorities to withdraw complaints, he added.
Mr. Sangliana alleged that the B.K. Somasekhara Commission had expressed inability to arrest the attackers on churches and told Christians that it had been asked to investigate into the attacks. The government, he alleged, was using the Commission for releasing an interim report so that it could use it in the coming Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike elections.