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Widespread dismay in Udupi

Staff Correspondent

Udupi: In Udupi the highlights of the report was greeted with widespread dismay here. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) welcomed the panel's observations.

As many as five prayer halls/churches were attacked and many people were injured in Udupi district in September 2008.

Speaking to the The Hindu, pastor of New Life Fellowship Church K.A. Gopinanthan, which was attacked in Udupi on September 14, 2008, said: “I am not at all satisfied with the report. We were beaten up. Who attacked us is not known.”

The Life and Light Church at Shiroor in Udupi district was also attacked on September 14, 2008 and its pastor K.A. Abraham suffered multiple injuries.

Mr. Abraham said the activists of Sangh Parivar had attacked his church. “I feel that the panel has not done its work properly. How is it possible to give a clean chit to them? As many as 25 persons attacked me, some with sharp instruments. Even though I am taking treatment, the pain is still there,” Mr. Abraham said.

Writer and president of the district unit of Karnataka Komu Sauharda Vedike (KKSV) G. Rajashekhar said the report was extremely disappointing but not unexpected. The KKSV had opposed the panel when it was formed.

Writer K. Phaniraj said it was a travesty of justice. The attacks were well-planned and skilfully executed.

“The commission should have been more rigorous in establishing the identity of attackers. It seems to have transferred the whole burden on the victims. It should have followed the rigorous process followed by the Justice B.N. Srikrishna Commission on the 1992-93 Mumbai riots ,” he said.

However, the president of district unit of the BJP Udaykumar Shetty welcomed the report.

“We have been saying all along that the Sangh Parivar was not involved. The commission has pointed to this fact,” he said.

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