Two churches attacked in Bangalore, one in Coorg (Lead)

September 21st, 2008 - 4:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Sep 21 (IANS) Three churches have been attacked in Karnataka, including two in Bangalore, in continuing attacks on Christian places of worship that began last week, police said Sunday.”A group of people used iron rods to break into a church in Mariyannana Palya Saturday night, desecrated the holy communion, broke the chest containing donations and damaged furniture,” Bangalore Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari told reporters.

Mariyannana Palya is located in northeast Bangalore.

“The damage in the attack on the Mariyannana Palya church is around Rs.18,000, including Rs.1,000 taken away from the donation chest,” Bidari said.

“We are investigating whether it is the work of professional robbers or religious bigots,” he added.

Hundreds of Christians gathered in the area to denounce the attack and blocked roads by setting fire to cycle tyres.

The second attack took place in Rajarajeshwari Nagar in west Bangalore Sunday morning.

The statue of Virgin Mary outside a church in the area was damaged as some people pelted stones, the police in-charge of the area said.

A church in Madikeri, the headquarters of Kodagu (formerly Coorg) district, also came under attack late Saturday, the police said.

The attacks came just hours after Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa directed civil and police officials across the state to take additional precaution during Sunday prayers.

This is the first such attack on churches in Bangalore since such incidents rocked the state a week ago when a number of Christian places of worship were attacked in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Chikmagalur districts.

Yeddyurappa convened a meeting of city civil and police officials to discuss measures to check the continuing attacks on churches after the central government issued an advisory to the state, asking the government to check the violence against minorities in the states.

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