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‘Church attacks have created a sense of fear’

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A businessman deposing before Justice B.K. Somasekhara Commission in Udupi on Thursday.
A businessman deposing before Justice B.K. Somasekhara Commission in Udupi on Thursday.

Staff Correspondent

My Hindu friends have decried the unsavoury acts: witness

Udupi: Vincent Jaya D’Souza, a businessman, told S.R. Raviprakash, legal adviser to the Justice B.K. Somasekhara Commission, here on Thursday that the attack on Church in September 2008 had created a sense of fear among the people.

Mr. D’Souza was among the 18 witnesses, who deposed before the commission here. Mr. D’Souza said that on November 12, 2008, his wife informed him over telephone that a few persons had come to his shop and asked her to close the shop. He asked her to wait till he reached the shop but, it had been forcibly closed before he could reach there, he said.

Ida Celestine Alva said that she was a member of a laughter club, which had 26 members in it, including a Muslim and three Christians. The club members were celebrating the festivals of all religions. “The attack on churches has been condemned by all my neighbours and members of the laughter club. They had said that such an incident should not have taken place,” she said. Lidwin Pinto, a retired employee of Syndicate Bank, said that she was a member of various social organisations. These organisations had members of all religions. The relationship among the members was cordial and they celebrated festivals of all religions. Members of all the organisations of which she was part were unhappy about the attacks, she said.

“My son has married a Hindu girl. The relationship between our family and her family is cordial,” Ms. Pinto said. Lency D’Souza, a housekeeper, said that she had married C.K. Ravi, a Hindu. “My relationship with my husband and his family is cordial. We celebrate both the Hindu and Christian festivals,” she said. Roshan Menezes, student, said that he was a parishioner of the Mother of Sorrows Church and president of the Udupi unit of Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM). The ICYM was celebrating both Christian and Hindu festivals. “During the Deepavali, we light the lamps and burst crackers. In my group of 12 friends, eight are Hindus and the rest Christians. During the Church attack, my Hindu friends offered their support and help,” he said. Mr. Raviprakash said that fresh summons would be issued to 20 persons to appear in the next sitting.

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