Saturday, July 16, 2016

Miscreant attacks Tumakuru church, Christians plan protests

TUMAKURU:  A church in Tumakuru was attacked by an unidentified man early on Thursday morning.
The miscreant targetted Tomlinson Church on the Union Christian College (UCC) campus in Saadepura, a place of worship for Protestant Christians of the Church of South India (CSI), Karnataka Central Diocese.
CCTV images showed a man wearing track pants throwing a bottle filled with petrol and setting the wooden door of the church on fire around 4 am.
In the footage, he is seen anxiously checking for the presence of people in the vicinity.
Saadepura area is a residential hub of Christian community. Anook, who resides on the campus, noticed the fire. He rushed to the spot and extinguished it.
Tumakuru Deputy Commissioner K P Mohanraj, who visited the church, termed the incident as unfortunate and said the administration would ensure safety of all places of worship.
Superintendent of Police Karthik Reddy told Express that the police will nab the accused within 48 hours. Five teams led by police inspectors will investigate the case, he said.
Central Range IGP Seemanth Kumar Singh visited the spot and took stock of the situation.
As the news about the attack spread like wild fire, city MLA Rafeek Ahmed, MP S P Muddahanume Gowda, former minister Sogadu Shivanna and others visited the church.
The incident occurred at a place where residential quarters of all top bureaucrats, including the DC, the SP and the ZP CEO, are located.  The community leaders have ruled out the act of a person within the community.
Community members angry
The Tomlinson Church holds elections once in two years to elect 10 members to the Pastorate Committee and the polls were held a year ago, they said.  “Once the elections are over we forget our differences and assemble for the masses,” they clarified.
Meanwhile, the incident united all sections of the Christian community, including Protestants, Catholics and other denominations. Headed by CSI area chairman Samuel Pujary, they held a meeting in the evening.
They took a decision to hold a day-long hunger strike at the Town Hall Circle here on Friday. On Monday, they will hold a rally and people from Chikballapur, Dodballapur, Gouribidanur and Bengaluru are expected to attend, sources said.
“Our only demand is to arrest the culprit and give protection to the community,” said Jeevaratna, an elderly person of the community.
The 86-year-old church is said to be one of the rarest ones in the country as its architecture is a mix of Hoysala and Chola traditions, observed John Sureshbabu, another community leader.