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Karnataka rapped for ‘exonerating’ police officials in church attacks

September 02, 2010

A prominent Christian advocacy group in India has criticized the government in the southern Karnataka state, which headed by the Hindu-nationalist BJP Party, for “exonerating three criminal police officers” of responsibility for the serial attacks on churches around Mangalore two years ago.

The Catholic–Christian Secular Forum, based in Mumbai, pointed out that three top police officers posted around Mangalore had been cleared of charges by the state police chief—apparently under political pressure—despite evidence against them that including video footage. The officials had been supervising police when over two dozen churches were attacked by mobs of Hindu zealots; rather than intervening to stop the attacks, police beat the Christians who assembled in public protests against the violence.

“The departmental inquiry has found them guilty and suggested they should be dismissed,” the Catholic-Christian Secular Forum reported of the three accused officials. Nevertheless, the group complained, “the Karnataka chief of police has succumbed to government, we are constrained to report. He has let off the three criminal cops with a warning.”

The Karnataka state, which has been ruled by the BJP for the last two years, has reported the greatest number of attacks on Christians in India. Government officials have rarely taken action against those responsible for the violence. Prahlad Remani, an elected BJP legislator, even calling for “weeding out Christians” in a speech during Indian Independence Day celebrations on August 15.


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