Life gets back to normal in violence-hit Mangalore

September 17th, 2008 - 2:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Mangalore, Sep 17 (IANS) Educational institutions and shops were open and public transport was back on the roads Wednesday in this Karnataka city, which was hit by three days of violence following attacks on churches and protests by the Christian community.”The situation is normal. All schools, colleges and shops are open. Public transport vehicles which were off the roads for the last three days (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday) are plying as usual,” a senior police official said.

He said police was investigating reports that at least one more prayer hall in Dakshina Kannada district, of which Mangalore is the headquarters, was damaged Tuesday night.

Christians in Mangalore, some 350 km from the state capital Bangalore, Wednesday morning met a team of the National Commission for Women (NCW) headed by chairperson Girija Vyas as well as former prime minister and Janata Dal-Secular president H.D. Deve Gowda.

State Home Minister V.S. Acharya and senior officials who accompanied the NCW team were mobbed by a group of Christian women seeking action against people who attacked churches and prayer halls in Mangalore and other parts of the state Sunday.

At least 10 churches and prayer halls in Dakshina Kannada and neighbouring districts of Udupi and Chikmagalur were reportedly damaged by rightwing Hindu groups protesting alleged conversion activities by some Christian groups.

The state government has begun collecting information on the activities of New Life Fellowship, a Protestant group, which, the Hindu groups allege has been distributing literature insulting Hindu gods and indulging in conversion activities.

“We are gathering information on its activities,” J. Krishna Plaemar, state minister in charge of Dakshina Kannada district, said Tuesday.

The New Life Fellowship has been functioning in Karnataka for the last 25 years and its leaders have denied that the group is indulging in any conversion activities.

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