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Minority commission for ban on Bajrang Dal

india Updated: Sep 23, 2008 00:54 IST

Hindustan Times
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The NCM is all set to recommend a ban on the Bajrang Dal for its alleged involvement in attacks on Christians and churches in Karnataka and Orissa, reports HT Correspondents.

The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) is all set to recommend a ban on the Bajrang Dal for its alleged involvement in attacks on Christians and churches in Karnataka and Orissa.

The Commission is working towards a unanimous decision seeking tough measures against the Bajrang Dal as its involvement in “frequent attacks on the minorities and their places of worship across the country has been established beyond doubt”.

Top commission sources told HT strict measures being proposed to the central government include banning the organisation. “If the SIMI can be banned, why not the Bajrang Dal?” they asked.

“Despite repeated assurances from top state officials, the attacks on churches and Christians are continuing in Karnataka. It shows the state government is not serious in reining in the elements responsible for pre-planned attacks,” commission vice-chairman Michael P. Pinto said.

A fact-finding team of the NCM, which had visited the riot-hit areas of Udupi, Mangalore and Bangalore in Karnataka last week, is now finalising its report, to be submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh “very soon”.

In its findings, the team has indicted the BJP government for “being in league with the Hindu extremist groups. It has failed to check attacks on Christians and churches since August 22,” commission sources said.

The team has charged the police with severe violations of human rights. “Christian women were mercilessly beaten up by the policemen,” the team members said.

In one such incident, the NCM team found that women were beaten up inside the prayer hall at St. Joseph School in Mangalore. “At least 25 women in the age group of 25 to 75 years showed their injury marks to the team. This is a shame,” the team members said.

Slamming the state government, team members said Karnataka Home Minister V S Acharya and Director General of Police R Srikumar, when confronted, expressed ignorance about the incident.

Bajrang Dal activists had allegedly vandalized 21 churches and prayer halls between August 22 and September 18, the number would go up as attacks continued, they said.

The Commission has called for elaborate security for minorities, their places of worship and the institutions across the country besides beefing up intelligence to prevent attacks.