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Attacks were in areas of conversion acitivity: Karnataka CM

September 16, 2008 17:29 IST

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Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Tuesday claimed that the attacks on some Christian prayer halls in the state had taken place in areas where there was conversion activity.

"The attacks have taken place in areas where there was conversion activity," Yeddyurappa told reporters after reviewing the law and order situation at a meeting in Bengaluru [Images].

"The Constitution does not allow (forcible) conversion," he said.

Asserting that those who break the law would be dealt with sternly, the chief minister said the culprits would be brought to book and stringent action taken against them.

Enraged by publication of a book by the 'New Life' Christian denomination group (which attackers accuse of engaging in conversion activities), suspected Hindu activists attacked churches and prayer halls on Sunday.

Police sources said around 170 people have been taken into custody in connection with the attacks, allegedly carried out by pro-Hindu groups and Bajrang Dal.

Rejecting the demand for his and Home Minister V S Acharya's resignation by some opposition leaders over the attacks, Yeddyurappa said they were trying to destabilise the government.

"Will the United Progressive Alliance government quit office because of terror strikes?" he asked, and urged opposition parties not to politicise the issue of attacks, but cooperate with the government to handle the situation.

Yeddyurappa also said there was no need for a judicial inquiry into the attacks as the state police is competent to investigate and bring the culprits to book.

Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao and DGP R Srikumar also attended the review meeting.

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