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Bajrang Dal convener Mahendra Kumar arrested

September 20, 2008 02:25 IST
Last Updated: September 20, 2008 02:40 IST

Karnataka convener of Bajrang Dal Mahendra Kumar was arrested on Friday night by the police in connection with the spate of attacks on churches and prayer halls in parts of the state.

"Mahendra Kumar has been arrested tonight," Western Range Deputy Inspector General of Police A M Prasad told PTI.

'Ensure reconversions aren't forced'

Soon after the attacks on churches on September 15 in parts of Mangalore and Udupi in coastal regions and in Chikamaglur in Malnad area, Bajrang Dal owned responsibility for them, claiming that incidents of forced conversion had prompted them.

In an interview to, Kumar had said that he was not against all Christians or churches, but his agitation was against forcible conversions

With attacks on churches continuing unabated, the Centre had issued a strong advisory, asking the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the southern state to take immediate effective steps to check the violence, which it said was a 'breach' of the Constitution.

Centre to warn Orissa, Karnataka under Article 355

In the advisory to Karnataka, the second in 24 hours, the Union Home Ministry brought to the notice of Karnataka government that elements behind such incidents continue to roam freely.

The advisory was, however, not sent under the emergency provisions of the Constitution (Article 355).

 Advisory is politically motivated

On its part, the Karnataka government described the advisory, the second to be issued, as 'hasty and unwarranted'.

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