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Karnataka Bishops Reject Somsekar Report on Church Attacks; Seek CBI Inquiry

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BANGALORE, FEB 18: All the Bishops of various churches, 19 of them, held a peaceful dharna at St Mark’s cathedral, Bangalore rejecting Justice Somshekar Commission report and demanding CBI inquiry into attacks on Christian communities and places of worship in Karnatka.

Archbishop of Bangalore and president of Karnataka Region Catholic Bishops' Council Bernard Moras said the community has rejected the findings of the Justice B K Somasekara Commission that probed attacks on churches in parts of Karnataka since 2008.

 

"We want the state government with all its force at its command to reject the one-sided, totally unjust and biased report and demand that the entire series of attacks must be entrusted to CBI for a comprehensive probe," he said.

 

It was surprising even after confirming the attacks and naming some organizations for the attacks in the panel’s interim report, the commission failed to identify the culprits, he said.

 

"We also demand that cases lodged against Christian youth and women must be unconditionally withdrawn forthwith and adequate and just compensation or restitution must be done to individuals and institutions that were attacked and subjected to great loss," he said.

 

The bishops, led by archbishop of Bangalore Bernard Moras marched from Mahatma Gandhi statue to the state secretariat and presented a memorandum to home minister R Ashoka on their charter of demands, which included protection to Christian minorities and their places of worship.

 

Ashoka promised the delegation that the government would take steps to withdraw cases against 338 persons in connection with violence following attacks on churches in Mangalore and other places.

He said a centralised cell will be set up to receive complaints on attack on churches and pass on the information to the police, to immediately act on such incidents.

 

Archbishop Moras, later speaking to reporters, said the agitation demanding that Somasekara Commission of Enquiry report be rejected will continue till their demand was met with.

 

He also demanded compensation to those affected in the attacks and for damaged property of churches and that the guilty be brought to book.

 

Later, the Bishops presented a memorandum to the Governor, Sri HR Bhardwaj, who heard them sympathetically.

 
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