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Somashekar Panel Report On Church Attacks Rejected; Karnataka Govt. Asks to Proceed Against Culprits

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BANGALORE, OCT 16 (Daijiworld Media Network): In a major decision, which should find ready approval with all Christians, the State Cabinet on Thursday decided to reject the B K Somashekar Judicial Inquiry Commission report into the infamous series of church attacks in Mangalore and other parts of coastal Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Chikmaglur, Bangalore and other within months of the installation of the B S Yeddyurappa-led first ever full-fledged government in Karnataka.

The State Cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of chief minister Siddaramaiah, took note of the completely contradictory findings of the Somashekar panel in its interim and final report submitted to the State Government and also directed the State Home Department to take suitable action against the culprits or perpetrators of the church attacks based on the nine-point recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

 

It may be recalled that the Christian community had organised protests and the Karnataka United Christians Forum for Human Rights under the leadership of Archbishop of Bangalore Most Rev Dr Bernard Moras and several other Bishops observed fast and prayers besides holding a massive protest rally demanding total rejection of the B K Somashekar Commission report.

 

Karnataka’s Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra, who briefed the reporters after the State Cabinet meeting, pointed out that the chief minister as the Opposition leader in the State Assembly and he as the Deputy Opposition leader during the BJP rule in the State had termed the reports submitted by the Somashekar inquiry commission and its reports, especially the final report, as “politically motivated to exonerate the Sangh Parivar outfits”.

 

When the issue was placed before the State Cabinet, a few months back, Jayachandra said he was authorised by the Cabinet to get both the interim and final reports of the Somashekar commission thoroughly examined by the State Law Department. 


Based on the Law Department’s report, the minister said the State Cabinet decided to dump both the interim and final reports of the Somashekar Commission and also authorised the State Home Department to take appropriate action against the culprits as recommended by the NHRC.

 

Payment of suitable compensation to the victims and also the churches and other places of worship belonging to the Christian minority community, providing suitable protection to the churches and other places of worship of the Christians, taking effective measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents by the miscreant, action against the groups and outfits who had indulged in unlawful activities and assaults against pastors by alleging “forcible conversion” and stringent action against the police officers who were allegedly behind the miscreants or had supported them and even beaten up the arrested Christians in police custody besides providing suitable precautionary measures against recurrence of such incidents and also the sensitise the police officers and personnel in specific trouble spots and also providing training to the policemen in dealing with such situations were among the prominent recommendations of the NHRC.

 

To a specific question on the NHRC recommendations appeared to be ``totally one-sided,” Jayachandra said: “NHRC is a statutory body. We have merely asked the Home Department to look into them and take appropriate action.”

 

 
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