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Karnataka: Right-wing groups attack Christians, set their religious books on fire

The police said members of right-wing groups attacked four people from the Christian community who had come to a rented accommodation in Srinivasapura to hold discussions on a drive to distribute religious books

Written by Kiran Parashar | Bengaluru |
Updated: December 12, 2021 10:21:14 pm
KarnatakaThe police said that right-wing groups set on fire the religious books of Christians (Screengrab)

Alleging forced religious conversion, right-wing groups in Karnataka have reportedly attacked four members of the Christian community and set their religious books on fire. The incident at Srinivasapura in Kolar district on Saturday, which is the latest in a series of communal attacks on Christians in the state, came just a day ahead of the commencement of the Winter Session of the Karnataka Assembly where an anti-conversion Bill is expected to be tabled.

The police said members of right-wing groups attacked four people from the Christian community who had come to a rented accommodation in Srinivasapura to hold discussions on a drive to distribute religious books. But they were allegedly intercepted by members of right-wing groups who first started questioning them, and then snatched away their religious books before burning them.

The police said no complaint has been filed in connection with the incident.

A police source told The Indian Express that the people from the Christian community later met the cops and narrated the incident. They also said that no forced conversion had taken place and they had come to discuss the drive to distribute religious books. But no complaint was registered against the members of the right-wing bodies.

Meanwhile, Congress has vowed to oppose the anti-conversion Bill during the upcoming Winter Session of the Assembly, alleging that it is aimed at “targeting Christians”.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday said, “A majority of people want to ban religious conversion. The law department is reviewing it (draft bill). After the review, it will be cleared in the cabinet meeting.”

He added, “Hindus, Christians, Muslims and Sikhs are the faiths recognised by the Constitution. There is no problem if people follow the customs of their respective religions. However, there should be no scope for misusing someone’s poverty to lure them into changing their faith.”

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D K Shivakumar said, “We will oppose the Bill, no matter in what form the government introduces it.”

In another incident in Belagavi, where the session will be held, a man armed with a machete barged into a church on Saturday evening. He also chased the priest in charge. A police officer said that a case has been registered and provided police security to the church. The person who was carrying the machete is yet to be nabbed, the officer added.

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