Karnataka Minorities Commission team grills victims of communal attack

January 9, 2012 by  
Filed under India, Karnataka, newsletter-india, Persecution

Rekha, wife of Mr. KarishennavarKarnataka, January 07, 2012: A member of the Karnataka State Minorities Commission said on Friday that Christians who were attacked while having dinner on Christmas night last year in Surathkal should not complain if they “knew the teachings of Christ”.

Chairperson of the Karnataka State Minorities Commission Anwar Manippady and members Dony D’Souza and Padma Jain held a hearing and took statements from the group of Christians at Surathkal on Friday, after the commission received two complaints about the assaults on them on December 25, 2011.

As many as 12 Christians of the New Life Fellowship, an independent church, were assaulted with sticks and stones in the house of Adaveppa Karishennavar as they were having dinner in Surathkal on December 25 last. Surathkal police registered a case in this connection.

One person suffered a leg fracture and the others sustained injuries. According to the victims, the attackers asked them whether they were “converting people” and “whether any Hindus were present”.

As Pastor M. Suresh was giving his statement to the commission, Mr. D’Souza interrupted to ask questions about his “conversion”.

Mr. D’Souza then asked: “Do you (Suresh) know the teachings of Jesus?”. When Mr. Suresh replied in the affirmative, Mr. D’Souza said: “No, you don’t. If you knew what he had said, you would not have complained,” and added that Jesus had shed his blood to forgive others.

Mr. Suresh replied: “We love them, but we condemn their deeds. They assaulted us and groped the women. We condemn that, but we will pray for them.”

Mr. Manippady also grilled Adaveppa Karishennavar on the details of his “conversion”.

The latter told him several times that no one had “converted” him and that he and his family had accepted Christianity of their own accord. He told the commission that he belonged to the “Hindu Chalti” caste, which is classified as a Scheduled Castes.

Rekha, wife of Mr. Karishennavar, was also questioned on how she was converted, as was Senior Pastor of the New Life Fellowship Donald Menezes.

Ms. Rekha said that the police when they arrived at the spot asked her and her husband how many lakhs they had been given to convert.

Mr. Menezes said that Sections 326 (grievous injury) and attempt to murder should have been added to the FIR.

In all, the commission took statements from six people. Surathkal Police Inspector Beliyappa said that the charge sheet would be filed within 15 days.

– crib

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