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India: Christians outraged by 'whitewash' commission report on violence in Karnataka

Catholic World News - January 28, 2011

Christian leaders in India’s southern Karnataka state have decried a report that absolved the local government, police, and Hindu groups of responsibility for violent attacks on Christians in the region.

B.K. Somashekhara, a former judge who conducted the inquiry, reported that “misguided fundamentalist miscreants” were responsible for the mob attacks that hit three dozen churches simultaneously in September 2008. The report said that “no true Hindus” were responsible for the violence.

Despite acknowledging that the attacks on churches around Mangalore were planned and coordinated, the report did not name any group responsible. Nor did the commission fault police, who were accused of standing by during the assaults, or even joining in the beating of Christians.

The United Christian Forum of Karnataka described the report as “unfair,” while the Global Council of Indian Christians called for rejection of the inquiry, noting that it provided a clean slate for the Hindu fundamentalist groups that are increasingly active in Karnataka, a state governed by the Hindu-nationalist BJP party.

Hindus account for more than 44 million of Karnataka's 53 million people. Christians constitute less than 2% of the population.

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