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Minority panel recommends ban on Bajrang Dal
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October 05, 2008 17:11 IST

Taking a serious note of the role of Bajrang Dal in the series of attacks on churches in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Karnataka, the National Commission for Minorities has suggested a ban on such organisations 'responsible for breakdown of communal harmony'.

The Commission in its report submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] a few days back said, 'The state must keep a close watch on the activities of all such organisations that have contributed to the breakdown of communal harmony there. Remedial action, including a ban and prosecution should be initiated. Communal harmony should be maintained at all costs.'

The Commission headed by its Chairman Md Shafi Qureshi visited the trouble-torn areas like Mangalore, Bangalore and Udupi between September 16 and September 18 to assess the situation after attacks on Christians and their places of worship there.

The report said the district magistrate and the SSP of Udupi district told NCM that all 17 persons arrested in the district for violence belong to Bajrang Dal. The NCM team also took up the matter of the Bajrang Dal state chief Mahendra Kumar who reportedly issued statements claiming that he damaged the prayer halls in Karnataka.

'NCM desires to know why he had not been arrested so far. He should be arrested and serious action must be taken against him as well as other persons responsible,' the NCM report said.
According to the report, the Bangalore administration told the NCM that of the 83 persons lodged in judicial custody in connection with the communal clashes, 36 of them belonged to the Bajrang Dal.

Terming the violence against the minority Christians as 'a gross human rights violation', NCM sought a judicial enquiry into attacks on churches there.

'An Inquiry Commission headed by a sitting judge of a high court should be instituted,' the Commission said.

It also sought action against policemen on the allegations that male police personnel brutally bashed up 25 Christian women at Mangalore.

'Immediate action should be taken against the police officers who were involved in this incident. Twenty-five women had been brutally beaten up by the policemen,' the NCM said.

The NCM also visited a Christian school in Mangalore, where according to the report, 'about 25 women in the age group of 26 to 75 years showed signs of injuries on their bodies.'

The women alleged that it was the male police force that had beaten them up with canes and lathis in the prayer hall of the school, the NCM report noted.

The report also rubbished allegations that large-scale conversions of Hindus into Christians were a reason for the violence in the state.

'Attempts by the Commission to ascertain the number of conversions recorded in the state were not successful. Although allegations of large-scale conversions were made, evidence of even a single conversion could not be found,' it said.

The Commission also recommended a thorough enquiry into the origin of the pamphlet denigrating Hindu gods, which is said to have acted as the immediate provocation to the violence.

Noting that 'the attacks on Christians and their institutions appear to have been well-planned,' the Commission suggested the state government to pay special attention to build an effective intelligence unit in Karnataka.

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