Bangalore Bishop slams Karnataka CM


India: September 22, 2008. In Karnataka, two more churches have been attacked in Bangalore -- St James' and the Holy Name of Jesus Church on the outskirts of the city.

Once again, the police say it could be theft, but haven't ruled out the Bajrang Dal. The archbishop of Bangalore had some strong words for Chief Minister Yedyurrappa. He said that Christianity in Karnataka was hurt, perhaps the most ridiculous claim by the Karnataka police is that these attacks on the churches are theft. And what about the Chief Minister's reaction to the attack on Christians in his state? He blames the central government. The Archbishop of Kanataka Diocese, Bernard Mores, didn't mince words when B S Yeddyurappa came calling to the Bishop's house in Bangalore. He told the CM that the Christian community was not happy with the way churches were being vandalised. The police had dismissed the attack on two churches in Bangalore on Sunday as a case of theft. "We are very hurt, we cannot express our feelings, it is Jesus for us, it is God for us, what will you do if Ganpati is destroyed. The whole church of Karnataka is very hurt," said Bernard Mores, Archbishop of Bangalore Diocese. "There is a connection that he has seen between the Mangalore and Bangalore church attacks. These are planned attacks and not a case of theft," said Mores. After the advisory from the Centre post the Mangalore incidents, the BJP government had deployed the Karnataka Reserve police in churches across the state. Yeddyurappa however was upset with the Centre for its warning to the state government, accusing it of double standards. "Why did the centre fail to issue a warning to other states when there were problems there? The people of Karnataka need to take note of this," said B S Yeddyurappa. Meanwhile, Mahendra Kumar, the convenor of the Bajrang Dal Karnataka unit, who was arrested on Friday, was released on bail. Kumar had claimed responsibility for the attacks on churches in Mangalore. While the situation in Karnataka remains tense, the BJP government is clearly caught in a tight spot. Will Yeddyurappa work towards appeasing the Christians or save himself from an opposition demanding a complete dismissal of the BJP government.

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