A few witnesses who deposed before Justice B K Somasekhara Commission of Inquiry in Mangalore on June 8 squarely blamed the Bajrang Dal for the attacks on prayers halls reported from across Dakshina Kannada. The state government set up the commission headed by Banavar Krishnamurthy Somasekhara, former judge of Karnataka and AP high courts to inquire into these attacks and submit its report. Anthony Rodrigues, pastor of Mahima Prarthanalaya, Belthangady deposing before Hemalatha Mahishi, legal advisor to the commission assisted by his legal counsel B Ibrahim said a group of unidentified persons attacked the prayer hall on September 15 shouting slogans “Jai Bajrang Dal, Jai Sri Ram, Yessuvige Dikkara.” The pastor however told the commission that he could not identify them, as they had masked their identity.
C Christella, a retired teacher from Vamanjoor too blamed the Bajrang Dal for the incidents. When Ibrahim asked her to elaborate on how she came to the conclusion, she said she learnt about the organisation’s involvement through television channels. Asked about a reference to ‘Hindu Mulabuthavadigala Sanghatanegallu’ in her affidavit given to the commission, Christella said she was referring to the Bajrang Dal and its cadres. Christella referring to the affidavit filed by her added that the Bajrang Dal was also behind the incidents where police targeted Christians protesting against the incident at Bajpe on September 15, a day after the concerted attacks on prayers halls. The police egged on by Bajrang Dal activists targeted Christians and were squarely responsible for police excesses committed on Christian women taking part in the protests, she said.