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Court acquits all charges of Mahendra Kumar in church attack case

2:23 PM, Thursday, February 7th, 2019
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Mahendra-KumarMangaluru : Social activist Mahendra Kumar acquitted all charges in the 2008 Mangaluru church attack case. With this, the former Bajrang Dal firebrand stands in the clear.

The second JMFC judge, Mahesh BT, acquitted Kumar of the charges in the last of the cases in the attack that shook the state.

A day after the attack that took place more than 10 years ago, Mahendra had confessed to the media that members of his organisation — Bajrang Dal — had attacked Adoration Monastery, near Milagres Church, on the morning of September 14 and destroyed the idol of Jesus Christ, besides causing damage to the property. This was followed by a string of attacks on religious houses in the coastal districts.

Hours after his acquittal, Mahendra, speaking to TOI, lashed out at the Sangh Parivar, including the BJP, for training their guns on him for seeking a permanent solution to the vexed Datta Peeta issue. The cases the BJP government slapped against him after the 2008 church attacks were “part of a strategy to shut me up”, the former Bajrang Dal leader said.

He said the Parivar was wary of his rising popularity among the saffron ranks and his confession of its involvement in the attacks came in handy for the BJP government to punish him with trumped-up charges.

The activist claimed the BJP and Parivar had different, if conflicting, stand on the Datta Peeta issue — when they were in and out of power. Thanks to his frequent run-ins with the Parivar, he claimed the BJP government ensnared him in legal cases to keep him busy in courts and away from party affairs.

Mahendra expressed happiness the judiciary finally delivered justice, and mocked at the Parivar for paying lip sympathy when he was incarcerated.

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