India: Hindu leader arrested for anti-Christian attacks


 
Karnataka's top Bajrang Dal leader Mahendra Kumar, has been arrested in connection with the widespread attack on Christian Churches and prayer halls, police officials said. Kumar was arrested late on Friday, a day after central government told the state's BJP government that people who violently attacked the places of worship was roaming freely and they should be curbed to "bring the situation under control"

The Centre government on Thursday issued an advisory asking the state to take immediate effective steps to check the violence, which it said was a "breach" of the Constitution.

Some 15 churches and prayer halls in Karnataka were attacked over the weekend, following similar clashes in the eastern state of Orissa which left nearly 30 dead.

The Orissa violence, triggered by the murder of a Hindu priest and four followers, forced thousands of people, mostly Christians, to flee their homes and many are still living in state-run camps.

Soon after the attacks on churches on 15 September in parts of Mangalore and Udupi in coastal regions and in Chikamaglur in Malnad area, Bajrang Dal owned responsibility for them, claiming that incidents of forced conversion had prompted them.

Kumar is convenor of Karnataka's Bajrang Dal unit. They are among several Hindu radical groups that accuse missionaries of using force and inducement to convert poor tribals and low-caste Hindus.

Source: Indian Catholic Bishops Conference

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