Udupi Sept 17: Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities Mohamed Shafi Qureshi said on Wednesday that the commission had not received any report of forcible conversion from the district administration nor was there any FIR to that effect in Udupi district.
Addressing presspersons here, Mr. Qureshi said that some forces appeared bent on creating disharmony in society. Rumour mongering on sensitive issues was not desirable.
Every Indian had the right to profess and propagate any religion. "Conversion by force is not permitted," he said He said that if there was any forcible conversion, there was the law and order machinery to which complaints could be lodged. Nobody could take law in their own hands on the pretext of alleged conversions. "We have so far not been able to find any forcible conversion here," he said.
Mr. Qureshi said that the commission had visited places affected by communal violence in Orissa, Indore, and had completed its visit in Udupi.
After visiting all the affected areas hit by communal violence, the commission would submit a detailed report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said.
Member of the National Commission for Minorities Harcharan Singh Josh and Member of Delhi Minorities Commission Arnold James were present.
Earlier, Mr. Qureshi visited the New Life prayer hall which was vandalised by miscreants allegedly belonging to a pro-Hindutva organisation on September 14.
He heard the grievances of Pastor Gopinath of New Life prayer hall and other devotees. Mr. Qureshi also had a meeting with the Parish Priest of Mother of Sorrows Church Mathew Vas.
'Sense of fear'
Speaking to presspersons Mr. Vas said that the commission had asked him about the situation prevailing in the district.
He had told the commission that the situation at present was peaceful in the district, but there was a sense of fear among the Christians. A peace committee meeting has been called by the Udupi district administration on September 20, he said.
NCW: donít harass innocent persons
Udupi: Member of the National Commission for Women Neeva Konwar on Wednesday said that it had conducted an on-the-spot inquiry in the violence-hit areas in Mangalore.
Addressing presspersons here on Wednesday, Ms. Konwar said that the commission had met women from various organisations, spoken to the victims of violence and visited hospitals and jails.
It had also spoken to Home Minister V.S. Acharya and the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda. The commission had asked the police not to harass innocent persons, she said. Deputy Commissioner P. Hemalatha and Superintendent of Police Pravin Pawar accompanied her.
Ms. Konwar said the attack on the prayer hall in Udupi was similar to the one on prayer halls in Mangalore. She had spoken on telephone to K.A. Abraham, pastor of New Life prayer hall, at Shiroor, and had recorded his statement. Mr. Abraham was receiving treatment in a hospital as he was injured in the attack on September 14, she added.
She said that the commission had not received any complaint of forcible conversion in Udupi district. The commission would submit a report to the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister.
Yeddyurappa faces flak for not ordering judicial probe
Udupi: President of the State unit of the Mahila Congress Rani Satish has criticised Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa for not ordering a judicial probe into the attacks on Christian prayer halls in the State.
Addressing presspersons here on Wednesday, Ms. Satish said there appeared to be a pattern in the attacks. The Government had failed to protect the people in the affected districts of Davangere, Chikmagalur, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi.
"The attacks on prayer halls in different districts all within the span of a fortnight have raised several questions," she said.
Ms. Satish said that a team from the Mahila Congress visited the affected areas in Mangalore city. It visited prayer halls, jails and hospitals and had spoken to the victims of the violence.
"The people have suffered at the hands of the miscreants and the police. Even nuns had to bear the brunt of violence. They were chased and attacked," she alleged.
Ms. Satish said that of the 86 people arrested in Mangalore, 44 had been sent to a prison in Madikeri. She said that a majority of those arrested were Christians and there were many innocent persons among them. "Even people visiting hospitals have been arrested. They should be released immediately. If this is not done, it could further complicate matters," she said.
She said that it was being said that the genesis of the attacks on prayer halls was in some literature (allegedly showing Hindu gods in poor light) which were allegedly distributed. If that was so, action should be taken against the persons who were printing and distributing such material. There was no point in resorting to violence on that pretext. The team from Mahila Congress had not come across any case of forcible conversion, Ms. Satish claimed.
General secretary of State unit of Mahila Congress Shyamala Bhandary; president of the Udupi district unit of Mahila Congress Veronica Carnelio; general secretary Jayasri Krishnaraj; and former presidents of Udupi Zilla Panchayat Sarasu Bangera and U. Vanajakshiwere present.
Pics: Our Correspondent
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