‘Communal riots will be dealt with sternly’

Staff Correspondent

12 arrested in connection with attack on prayer hall

59 of the 324 communal riot cases remain undetected

Charge sheets filed against the accused in

261 such cases

MANGALORE: Officials investigating communal riots which took place in the district during October and December 2006 have been directed to work towards assisting the Department of Prosecution in ensuring conviction of the guilty. Of the 324 cases registered in this connection, 59 have not been detected and four have been found to be false.

Addressing presspersons here on Monday, Shankar M. Bidari, additional director-general of Police, (Law and Order), said police had filed charge sheets against the accused in the remaining 261 cases and they were in various stages of trial. “I have directed the police officials concerned to coordinate with the Department of Prosecution and build watertight cases against the accused so that they can be brought to justice,” he said.

The police had been directed to take up the work of issuing summons, serving warrants and lending assistance to the prosecution. “ We aim at conviction in all cases and we will make honest efforts in that direction. The rest is left for judges to decide,” he said.

Noting that Dakshina Kannada, in general and Mangalore in particular, held much promise in terms of development, Mr. Bidari said, “Communal animosity should not be allowed to shatter this promise.” Seeking the people to inform the police about any activity which could disturb communal amity, he said the department would deal with the guilty “sternly and impartially”.

Referring to the attack on a prayer hall of End Time Full Gospel Harvesters of India at Kankanady market complex here on Sunday, Mr. Bidari said Mangalore East (Kadri) police had arrested 12 persons in that connection. Stating that the damage caused by the accused, now in judicial custody, was estimated at Rs. 15,000, Mr. Bidari said the department would not tolerate people or organisations trying to take law into their own hands.

“Any individual or organisation trying to convert people by force, allurement or threat, too will be dealt with firmly,” he said.

Asked if the department planned to regulate the use of public address system at prayer halls, Mr. Bidari said a decision would be taken soon. “At present, there is no need to take permission for holding meetings on private premises with public address systems,” he said.

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