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No proof of conversions: PM’s team

india Updated: Oct 04, 2008 00:59 IST
Nagendar Sharma

There is no evidence of even a single religious conversion in Karnataka, which reportedly caused the communal violence in the state, said a National Commission for Minorities fact-finding team.

The three-member team, in its eight-page report submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday, also said the attacks on Christians in the state were well-planned.

Trashing the allegations that the violence in Karnataka was a result of large-scale conversions by Christian organisations, the team said the state government did nothing, “though it had sufficient time to prepare for renewed attacks”.

Asserting that the team did not find any evidence of even a single conversion, the report said, “Attempts by the Commission to ascertain the number of conversions recorded in the state in the last one year, and particularly the 100 days of the present government, met with no success.”

Coming down heavily on the "partial role" played by the state government, the report said, "Of the 83 people in judicial custody, 47 are Christians and 36 belong to the Bajrang Dal."

The team also observed, "Apart from beating women and children, the role of the police in damaging the Parmannur Church, Ullal was clear and apparent. It was also involved in damaging some schools. The use of force was beyond understanding."

The commission rejected the state administration's claim that a bandh call by Christian Education Societies to show solidarity with the victims of violence in Orissa provoked other communities to react violently. The report said, "Such attacks would not have taken place had the state taken adequate precautions."

Recommending a probe by a sitting High Court judge, the commission has asked the Centre to intervene if the state fails to take steps to bring the situation under control.

The fact-finding team comprised Commission chairman Mohammad Shafi Qureshi, vice-chairman Michael P. Pinto and member Harcharan Singh Josh.