Police oppose bail to Karnataka Bajrang Dal chief

September 20th, 2008 - 7:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Sep 20 (IANS) The Karnataka police Saturday opposed Bajrang Dal state unit convener Mahendra Kumar’s bail plea, saying he was “instrumental in instigating attacks on churches and prayer halls in the state”.Kumar, arrested Friday night in Mangalore, will remain in jail till Monday when a court is expected to decide on his bail plea.

He has been sent to jail till Oct 1 by a Mangalore court.

Kumar has been charged with criminal conspiracy and promoting enmity between religious groups and carrying out acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.

Kumar’s counsel P.P. Hegde argued that the police case was based on statements by his client at a press conference in Mangalore on Sep 14 and authorities had not registered a case against him till Sep 20.

“I submitted to the court that my client had only condemned the acts by some groups insulting Hindu gods and had not uttered a word against any other religion. This is his democratic right and the police have foisted a false case under pressure from the central government,” Hegde told IANS on phone from Mangalore.

“There is no basis to charge my client under section 153A (promoting enmity between groups of people on the basis of religion, caste, language) of the Indian Penal Code,” he said.

The state police submitted a written objection to the bail plea and the court reserved the judgement for Monday.

Kumar’s arrest came on a day when the central government sent two ‘advisories’ to Karnataka’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government expressing concern over attacks on the minority community’s places of worship.

His arrest had been demanded by National Commission for Minorities members who visited Mangalore following the attacks on churches and prayer halls last Sunday and violence during protest by Christians the next day.

Several Congress leaders had also demanded his arrest on the basis of a statement he reportedly made to some TV channels saying his organisation had attacked the places of worship as a protest against alleged conversion activity by some Christian groups.

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa said Saturday in northern district of Belgaum that while his government will not allow anyone to take law into his hands, there was no question of banning the Bajrang Dal.

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