Bangaluru: A report on alleged hate crime against Christians in Karnataka was released by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) on Tuesday. The report revealed that police in the state colluded with Hindutva groups that launched attacks on Christian worshipers in the state.
It highlighted 39 incidents of violence against Christians that took place in the state from January to November. The testimonies of pastors have also been included in the report.
“While these attacks on the face of it appear to be geographically spread out, in reality, they arise out of a far sinister concerted political project of reducing Christians to second-class citizens who must not be allowed to exercise their constitutionally provided fundamental right of religion,” the report said.
Attack in Mandya
Including the testimony of Pastor Harish, the report narrated the attack which took place in Mandya on January 24, 2021.
The Pastor said that in the incident, Christians were attacked near their homes. Men, women, and children were verbally abused and threatened by mobs from RSS, the report mentioned. He also said that instead of attackers, Christians were detained by the police.
“As soon as I was informed of this in the evening, I went to the police station accompanied by some believers. The mob was also present there, and they continued to verbally abuse and threaten some women who were trying to stand up for themselves”, the Pastor said.
The pastor alleged that a police inspector had said, “Even if there is no evidence, we know how to make the case against you very strong so the Christians will never come out of jail”.
Attack in Udupi
In another incident that took place in Udupi, 25-30 men not only entered a prayer hall but also attacked worshippers, Pastor Vinay said. The report mentioned that when the Pastor approached the police station and lodged a complaint, cops claimed that they have registered a case but refused to give an acknowledgment.
Later, the prayers completed stopped as police allegedly told them, “There will be a law-and-order problem, so it is better if we don’t do prayer meetings at all”.
Stating that the State’s responsibility is three-fold: firstly, to prevent the occurrence of communal hate crimes; secondly, to ensure that punitive measures are taken against the perpetrators and; thirdly, remedial steps are taken to support the victims of such crimes, the report alleged that these duties remain unfulfilled by Karnataka police in the cases of hate crimes against Christians.