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Bajrang Dal involved in K'taka violence: Centre

September 25, 2008 21:40 IST

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Bajrang Dal elements were allegedly involved in communal violence in Karnataka and the state government must apply stringent laws against those who were involved in it, the Union Home Ministry said on Thursday.

'Vested interests are hitting back at Christians'

There was a 'sense of uneasiness' in Karnataka and Christian community was 'visibly upset and unhappy' over the recent communal violence there, Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Ministry M L Kumawat said in New Delhi [Images].

"Alleged Bajrang Dal elements were involved in vandalising churches, prayer halls and schools," he said after camping in the violence-hit areas of the state for two days.

We don't blame all Christians: Bajrang Dal leader

Kumawat said the two-member Central team, including Joint Secretary (Human Rights) A K Yadav, found that violent protests on September 15 following the desecration of churches in Mangalore made the cops, who were mostly fresh recruits, impatient.

He said irked by stone pelting mob, these young policemen entered the Churches, prayer halls and beaten old, women and young alike which resulted in discontentment.

Church attacks: Mangalore in turmoil

"The community members told us that the administration was partial and bias and even demanded that Dakhina Kanada (Mangalore) district Superintendent of Police Satish Kumar be transferred," he said.

Kumawat said they found that out of the four posts of Deputy Superintendent of Police in Mangalore, three were lying vacant.

"All the violence-hit areas were known to be sensitive. The administration could have handled the situation in a more matured manner by deploying seasoned policemen," he said.

He said the team would submit its report within a day or two.

The Centre would send three companies (about 300 personnel) of Rapid Action Force to Karnataka immediately to maintain law and order and also help in raising two Indian Reserve Battalions (about 2000 personnel), Kumawat said.

The Central team asked the state government to ensure visible patrolling, more preventive action, more peace meetings to keep such incidents under check.

Comprehensive guidelines on how to deal with communal violence were sent by the Home Ministry to all states in 1997 and these guidelines were re-issued to all states, including Karnataka almost four months prior to the incidents, he said.

The two-member team also had meeting with Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur, Home Minister V S Acharya, Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao and Director General of Police R Srikumar besides others.

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