Mental shift

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Bajrang Dal involved in Karnataka communal violence: Home Ministry

Posted by jytmkh on September 27, 2008

NEW DELHI: Days after directing Orissa to take immediate steps to contain violence against Christians in the state, the Centre on Thursday sent another strict missive to it asking it to ensure that “the prevailing situation of lawlessness” in some areas is effectively brought under control.

The strongly worded note was sent by Union home secretary Madhukar Gupta to the state chief secretary in the wake of reports of fresh violence in the riot-hit Kandhmal. The earlier message was sent to Orissa on September 19 when the Centre had directed other states, including Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, as well to take immediate measures to end the violence.

As usual, the home ministry remained silent on whether the fresh missive was sent under Article 355 or not – a constitutional provision which empowers the Centre to direct states on taking concrete action during internal disturbances.

The fresh missive to Orissa came on a day when a Central team, which visited Karnataka on a fact-finding mission in the wake of violence against the Christian community, indicted Bajrang Dal for vandalizing churches, prayer halls and schools and pointed out that lapses on the part of the police and the local administration could aggravate the situation further.

Although the team in its report to the home ministry mentioned that the state remained has peaceful in the past four days, it highlighted that there was a “sense of uneasiness” in Karnataka and the Christian community was “visibly upset and unhappy” over the recent communal violence there. Special secretary (internal security) M L Kumawat, who led the two-member team to Karnataka, said: “Alleged Bajrang Dal elements were involved in vandalising churches, prayer halls and schools.”

The team found that violent protests on September 15 following the desecration of churches in Mangalore made the cops, who were mostly fresh recruits, impatient. (Time Of India)

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