Monday, November 20, 2006

Karnataka Church leaders appeal for police protection after sectarian attacks

Representatives from several Christian organisations last week urged Deputy Commissioner of Police, MS Srikar to provide urgent security to Christians, in the wake of rising attacks on them in Hubli-Dharwad in Karnataka State in Southern India.

In a memorandum submitted to the DC, Christian leaders listed several incidents that had occurred in the last few days.

Nirmal Nagar Catholic Church at Kalyan Nagar was set on fire at night, parish priest Father Fidelino Araujo reported.

A church in Hubli shut down its Sunday worship service within the city limits after receiving threats.

The Rashtriya Hindu Sena activists threatened a pastor not to visit the Christians at Revadihal Village in Hubli Taluk.

Militants attacked a person and a prayer hall, and desecrated Bibles, at Sangolli Rayanna Nagar in Dharwad.Witnesses allege that the police were present but did nothing.

The leaders have called for an enquiry into the police conduct. They have also demanded that police provide security for all the churches in the twin cities at night.

Mr Srikar assured them that an inquiry would be conducted into the incidents.

Father Fidilino Araujo, Rabort Dadapuri, Father Diric Fernandes, Father Moris Muskaranas, Father Philip Kutti, Father Pramod Dhalabhanjan, Sister Irin and others led the delegation.

Rev Paul Ciniraj,
Salem Voice Ministries