The untold facts about “Harsher Report”on the attacks on churches

via published on February 16, 2011

Last week finally Justice B.K. Somasekhara Commission of Inquiry appointed by Govt. of Karnataka to inquire into the incidents of attack on Christian places of worship in Dakshina Kannada submitted his much awaited report. During the course of Inquiry, the Commission received 1019 petitions and examined 754 witnesses spread over a period of 300 days of judicial sittings. 34 Advocates representing various concerned sections of the society including the Govt. presented their case before the commission and the final arguments were heard over a period of 53 sittings. As many as 2437 documents were marked by the Commission as exhibits in addition to 34 Material Objects in the form of Electronic storage documents.

According to the commission findings

    There is no basis to the apprehension of the Christian petitioners that politicians, BJP, mainstream Sangh Parivar and state government directly or indirectly are involved in the attacks

Justice B.K. Somasekhara Commission of Inquiry may have given a clean chit to Sangh Parivar but it seems that NDTV is not willing to rest the matter. NDTV in their news article  Karnataka church attack: A harsher report digs up another report by a former judge of the Karnataka High Court Justice MF Saldanha who conducted parallel independent inquiry. According to Justice MF Saldanha’s “independent inquiry”

    state police was involved in the attacks, and that the then Bajrang Dal state leader, Mahendra Kumar, says he was asked to carry out the attacks by government representatives.

Justice MF Saldanha is within his rights to conduct an independent inquiry. But NDTV should have been more responsible while reporting this news. It seems that knowingly or unknowingly NDTV missed out some salient facts about this news.

NDTV failed to inform that Justice Michael F. Saldanha is president of the Catholic Association of South Kanara! Yes you heard it right… Justice Michael F. Saldanha is president of the Catholic Association of South Kanara (a district in Karnataka also known as Dakshina Kannada), Dakshina Kannada is the place where violent incidents had taken place! It is difficult to believe that a Inquiry conducted by  president of the Catholic Association of South Kanara would be impartial. In fact, Justice Saldanha himself says

    any commission or inquiry set up by the government to investigate its own actions in unlikely to be impartial.

Wont the same logic be applicable to Justice  Michael F. Saldanha  also?
Also, Justice Michael F. Saldanha has always been harsh critic of BJP govt in Karnataka. He was among Christian leaders who opposed the state government passing a bill aiming to ban cow slaughter as

    the move targets food habits of religious minorities

International Institute for Religious Freedom in a report India: Anti-Christian Violence Soars in Karnataka reports Justice Michael F. Saldanha views

    Brahmins from Udupi district and Mangalore city have played a leading role in Karnataka’s Hindutva movement. This is unsurprising, as Hindu nationalism is driven primarily by Brahmins desperate to preserve caste privilege. As those at the very top of the Hindu caste system, powerful Brahmins have the most to lose from any spread of Christian egalitarianism. So they are compelled to fight Christianity — unless of course, the Holy Spirit transforms and humbles their hearts

It is shocking that a Justice of High Court could hold such views!

Picture: Rtd High Court Justice M. F. Saldanha inaugurating United Christian Association Udupi – Kundapur Northern Zone 

In view of the above, NDTV should introspect whether a inquiry report from Justice Michael F. Saldanha would be impartial or not? If it cant be impartial wont NDTV be misleading its viewers

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