Karnataka church attack: A harsher report

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Karnataka church attack: A harsher report
Bangalore:  The police, the state government, the BJP and the Sangh Parivar were absolved of all blame by a recent report on the attacks on churches in 2008 in Karnataka.

But another report, by a former judge of the Karnataka High Court, concludes the opposite.

Justice MF Saldanha conducted an independent inquiry and says the state police was involved in the attacks, and that the then Bajrang Dal state leader, Mahendra Kumar, says he was asked to carry out the attacks by government representatives. Justice Saldanha quoted an interview given by Mahendra Kumar to a newspaper.

Justice Saldanha says he visited 200 different places during his inquiry, and that he will submit his report to the Chief Minister, the Home Minister and the Prime Minister later this month.

Last week, a report by Justice BK Somasekhara declared, "There is no basis to the apprehension of Christian petitioners that the politicians, BJP, mainstream Sangh Parivar and state government directly or indirectly, are involved in the attacks."

Mr Somasekhara, also a former judge, was assigned to investigate the attacks by the newly-elected BJP government which was confronting its first major crisis when churches in eight districts were vandalized.  

Justice Saldanha says that any commission or inquiry set up by the government to investigate its own actions in unlikely to be impartial.



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