Karnataka police to probe church attacks

September 18th, 2008 - 7:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Sep 18 (IANS) Karnataka’s Corps of Detectives (CoD) will probe Sunday’s attacks on churches in several parts of the state, and the police have been directed to make preventive arrests to deter communal flare ups.The CoD has been asked to submit its report in two months, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa said after a cabinet meeting to decide who should probe the attacks.

The Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular parties have demanded a probe by a judge of the Karnataka high court as well as by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Rejecting the demand, Yeddyurappa said: “The government wants an impartial inquiry into the incidents of communal violence in the state and CoD is competent to carry it out.”

He said the police have been directed to provide security to places of worship, particularly those belonging to the minorities. They have also been directed to make preventive arrests in sensitive places, he added.

The chief minister said his government was taking all steps to ensure peace and harmony in the state but “some anti-government forces are trying to fish in troubled waters”.

Yeddyurappa accused the opposition parties of disturbing peace in the state. “They are also trying to use the disturbance for political gain,” he said without naming any party.

Around 10 churches and prayer halls were attacked Sunday in the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi and neighbouring coffee-rich Chikmagalur.

Protests by Christians in Dakshina Kannada district headquarters Mangalore turned violent Monday as they clashed with Hindu groups and the police.

Life in that bustling commercial centre on the west coast was severely affected till Tuesday but was back to normal Wednesday.

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