Bangalore: Church attack panel report scrapped

  • Sudipto Mondal, Hindustan Times, Bangalore
  • Updated: Oct 16, 2014 21:02 IST

The Siddaramaiah led Congress government has rejected the findings of the Justice B K Somashekhara Commission that was constituted by the previous BJP government to probe the widespread attacks on churches across the state in September 2008.

Terming the report "politically motivated" and "lacking credibility", law minister T B Jayachandra told reporters at the end of the cabinet meeting where the decision was taken to scrap the report.

He said the commission's final report "washed over" the crimes of groups such as the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad "which had orchestrated the attacks".

He also said that, despite being a retired judge, justice Somashekhara had not been "objective". "There are major discrepancies between the interim and final reports of the commission. The final report was a watered down version of the interim report and was clearly aimed at helping the government of that time," he said.

He said that the law department had studied the report "deeply" and sought the opinion of many legal experts before deciding to scrap it.

The attacks - for which then Bajrang Dal chief Mahendra Kumar and Vishwa Hindu Parishad chief M B Puranik claimed responsibility - started in Mangalore on September 14 and spread to other parts of the State in the following days. In a series of press conferences held after the attacks, the two Hindutva leaders said that the attacks were in response to "forcible" conversions to Christianity, a claim they are yet to prove.

While deciding to scrap the Somashekhara commission report, the State government has decided to take action against police officials who allegedly colluded with the attackers and cracked down on Christians who were protesting against the attacks.

Jayachandra said that the government has decided to adopt the recommendations of the NHRC, which said that action must be taken against groups that took law into their own hands.

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