Thursday, September 25, 2008

Church attack: Protests paralyse City traffic

Church attack: Protests paralyse City traffic
DH News Service, Bangalore:
With over half a dozen organisations, including the Congress party, hitting the streets almost simultaneously on Wednesday protesting attacks on churches, traffic had come to a standstill on the main thoroughfares of the city.


Vehicles had piled up on Sheshadri Road, Nrupathunga Road, Ambedkar road, Queens’ Road, Race Course Road, Kasturba Road, Infantry Road and Cubbon Road at around 11 am, when protesters descended on streets.

Hundreds of Congress workers took out a protest march from St James Church in Mariyannapalya to KPCC office. Similarly, another batch of Congress workers from Sarvagnanagar, Pulakeshinagar and Byatarayanapura assembly constituencies took out a rally towards the KPCC office.

KPCC, CPI(M)

Krishna Byregowda led the party’s Sadbhavana Padayatra comprising over 4,000 party workers from Mariyannapalya in Hebbal to KPCC office, covering 10 kms. Besides, there were protests by CPI(M) on Nrupathunga Road by All India Christian Democratic Front in front of Gandhi Statue, M G Road and by Karnataka Christian Federation from Frazer Town. In addition the All religion parliament at Town Hall slowed down traffic on J C Road.

Moreover, on Queen’s road, traffic was blocked for nearly two hours between 11 am and 1 pm.
KPCC President Mallikarjun Kharge criticised heads of various Hindu mutts petitioning the Governor against conversion, saying religious mutts should confine themselves to religious activities and should not interfere in the political affairs of the State. Addressing the party workers in front of the KPCC office on Queen’s road, he said in order to cover up its lapses, the State government is alleging that the Central team of Home Ministry officials was sent by the Congress to assess the ground situation.

“It is a fact-finding team of officials and the party has nothing do with it,” Kharge claimed.
Youth Congress President Krisha Byregowda alleged that recent attacks on churches were not stray incidents. It was a well planned drive. As many as 28 incidents of church attacks had been reported from different parts of the State. Despite having prior information about the attacks the government failed to avert them.

15 arrested

The police arrested 15 protesters, including Krishna Byregowda, as the protesters tried to continue with their rally up to the Raj Bhavan. However, they were released later. The delegation of protesters led by Byregowda met the Governor and submitted a memorandum requesting him to ban Bajrang Dal and Srirama Sena, who were allegedly involved in attacks on churches.

Committee formed

Meanwhile, citizens for Harmony, a city NGO, has constituted a fact-finding committee to look into attacks on churches in the state.

Journalist P N Benjamin, former judge R Ramakrishna, former IGP Y R Patil, Dr R Vaidyanathan, columnist V Sundaram and creative director Jayalakshmi have been nominated as members of the committe.

‘RELEASE THE INNOCENTS’

Bangalore, dhns: CPI (M) activists staged a protest in front of DGP’s office on Wednesday, urging the police to release the 30 people who were taken into custody by police in connection with a violent incident that occurred during Ganesha immersion, at Gangonanahalli recently.

The protesters alleged that police had taken innocent people into custody. “The arrested were not at the spot when the incident occurred. So police should release them and initiate action against those who are responsible,” they urged.

CPI (M) Bangalore District unit secretary Prakash K, secretariat committee members KN Umesh and Gopalkrishna and SFI State president HR Naveen Kumar led the protest.
They submitted a memorandum to the State Human Rights Commission.

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