The judicial commission probing the attacks on churches across Karnataka in September 2008 has given a clean chit to the BJP government in the state and attributed the attacks to derogatory literature against Hindus and cases of religious conversion raised during the period.
The Justice BK Someshekara commission, which submitted its report to Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa on Friday, denied any collusion between the administrative officers and the attackers, as alleged by various factions.
The commission said, "there is no basis to the apprehension of Christian petitioners that the politicians, BJP, mainstream Sangh Parivar and the state government, directly or indirectly, are involved in the attacks."
"The attacks (were) indulged in by misguided fundamentalist miscreants of defined or undefined groups or organisations against Christians and Christianity who have mistakenly presumed that they (miscreants) would be protected by the party in power with their policies at the relevant time," the commission added.
However, the panel was critical of the authorities for their lukewarm response when Christians protested the attacks. The commission's observations are significant in view of the fact that when Christian nuns were raped in Madhya Pradesh in 1998-99, the NDA government had said there should be a debate on "conversions".
Recently, while upholding the life term for the killers of Graham Staines, a Supreme Court bench had said the murderers wanted to teach the deceased "a lesson" for his proselytising activities. However, the remark was later expunged.