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Hearing on church attacks to be completed this month

Special Correspondent

Bangalore: The B.K. Somasekhara Commission of Inquiry, probing attacks on prayer halls and churches in Karnataka, is expected to complete judicial proceedings by this month-end after examining 768 witnesses.

The commission's extended term ends on August 31. It has received 1,019 petitions and has so far spent 974 hours of judicial sittings in Bangalore, Mangalore, Udupi, Davangere and Hyderabad. The commission has gone through 2,361 exhibits and 34 marked objects.

With the cross examination of the former Bajrang Dal leader Mahendra Kumar concluding on on Tuesday, only two witnesses remain to be cross examined, said M. Vidyashankar, Secretary to the Commission.

Deposing before the commission for the fourth consecutive day, Mr. Kumar not only distanced himself and his organisation from the attacks on churches, but also claimed that they were not part of the Sangh Parivar. He said he was not aware of the existence of other Sangh Parivar organisations in Karnataka such as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Hindu Jagaraja Vedike, Shiva Sainya and Srirama Sene.

He had stated earlier that the Bajrang Dal had been formed to build “Hindu Rashtra”, based on the ideals of freedom fighters and Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, a renowned RSS ideologue.

During the cross-examination on Monday by advocate M.P. Naronha, Mr. Kumar had said that the Bajrang Dal was part of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

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