Mangalore church attacked despite PM's appeal

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bangalore
  • Updated: Feb 25, 2015 14:52 IST

A church in Karnataka's Mangalore was vandalised on Tuesday night, just days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to protect all religious minorities.

"A small stone of the size of 1-2 centimetres was thrown at the St Joseph Vaz worship centre near Deralakatte, damaging the windowpane, but no damage has been done to the idols of Mother Mary and Infant Jesus," Mangaluru city police commissioner S Murugan told PTI.

Over the last two months, eight mosques have been stoned in the region, though no churches were targeted in recent months.

Karnataka health minister UT Khader visited the spot.

Murugan said the incident could have been carried out by a mischief-monger, but it could not be established immediately whether a group of people were involved.

Mangalore was the epicentre of a wave of attacks on Christian properties in 2008, when alleged Bajrang Dal and VHP activists attacked prayer halls and beat up preachers in what they said was a response to conversions.

The fresh incident would embarrass not just Congress-ruled Karnataka, but also the central government, as PM Modi, at a religious function in Delhi last week, had condemned increasing attacks on Christian institutions.

"My government will not allow any religious group, belonging to the majority or the minority, to incite hatred against others, overtly or covertly. Mine will be a government that gives equal respect to all religions," Modi had said at a function organised by the Catholic church.

The PM's statement was a reaction to the series of attacks on churches in Delhi, with over five places of worship vandalised over two months.

Modi's stand was welcomed by minority leaders and opposition political parties, but downplayed by the Hindu rightwing organisations.

(with PTI inputs)

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