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Christians mark anniversary of attacks
Published Date: September 15, 2010
Prayer gatherings in churches and Christian institutions across Mangalore marked the second anniversary of anti-Christian violence in Karnataka state.

Bishop Aloysius Paul D’Souza of Mangalore celebrated Mass on Sept. 14 in Adoration Monastery, a cloistered convent which was one of the several places attacked on that day in 2008.

At least 27 Christian sites were damaged across the state in the first few days of violence that began three months after the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power.

The first attacks occurred in Mangalore after some Christian sects allegedly distributed leaflets promoting conversion and making derogatory remarks against Hindu gods.

Bishop D’Souza issued a circular asking his people to mark the anniversary as “a day of prayer for peace” among all religions.

The circular also feted with the Hindus on their Ganesha Chathurthi and Muslims on their Id ul-Fitr. Both feasts were celebrated in India on Sept. 11.

Melwyn Noronha, a lawyer representing Christians before the Justice B. K. Somashekar Commission, told ucanews.com that the group’s probe on the violence will soon conclude its proceedings, with its final hearing held last Aug. 9.

The latest hearing involved Mahendra Kumar, the former state chief of Bajrang Dal, a Hindu radical group accused of attacking Christians in the state.

“He has confessed that their agenda is to create a Hindu nation” in India as recorded by the commission reports,” Noronha revealed.

Following the violence, police have filed 24 criminal cases against 185 Christians, according to Father William Menezes, diocesan public relations officer. Of these, 35 people have been acquitted so far.

He added that the Church expects the probe commission to submit its report by the end of October.

Source: ucanews.com

 
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