Special Correspondent

A priest was assaulted on

June 25

He is suspected to have converted some Hindus

BANGALORE: Leader of the Legislative Council and Higher Education Minister D.H. Shankaramurthy on Tuesday told the council that four persons had been arrested in connection with the assault on a Catholic priest in Kundapura.

Replying to a call attention notice tabled by Congress members K. Pratapchandra Shetty and Blacius D’ Souza, the Minister noted that four residents of Kundapura, Ramanna Shetty, Raju, Prashant and Sudhakara, had been arrested on the charge of assaulting the priest Silvester on the suspicion that he had converted some Hindus to Christianity.

The priest was attacked on June 25 when he visited a hospital in Koteshwara.

Cases had been booked in this regard against the accused.

They had also been produced before a court in Kundapura on June 26, the Minister said.

Asserting that there was no question of protecting the guilty, the Minister said a report was being prepared to initiate action under the Goonda Act against the prime accused, Ramanna Shetty. Precautionary measures had been taken to prevent miscreants from taking advantage of the situation, he said.

Earlier, Mr. Pratapchandra Shetty alleged that a BJP leader, who had visited Kundapura the next day of the assault, had defended the assault against the priest.

He also noted that no religious conversions had taken place in the coastal districts of the State and took exception to the assault on the priest on the ground that he had taken up conversion.

Mr. Blacius D’ Souza urged the Government to take steps to ensure that the secular and cosmopolitan character of the coastal districts was not affected.