Bengaluru: A Christian shrine was allegedly vandalised in Chikkaballapur Thursday. The incident came on the same day as the Karnataka legislature debated the anti-conversion bill tabled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, which is currently facing protests in the state.
A shrine in Susai Palya village, which houses a statue of St Antony, was allegedly pelted with stones in the wee hours of Thursday. The Chikkaballapur police have filed an FIR against ‘unknown’ persons based on the complaint of a resident.
The ‘vandalised’ shrine stands next to a three-foot chapel on a boulder. The Christian shrine is located near a Hindu temple.
“We have spoken to people from both communities. There is no communal anger or flare-ups since both communities agree that it was the handiwork of some miscreants. An FIR has been filed and investigations are underway. No arrests have been made so far,” G.K. Mithun Kumar, Superintendent of Police, Chikkaballapur told ThePrint Thursday.
The local police have registered cases under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 153-A (promoting enmity), 295 (defiling place of worship), 427 (mischief causing damage), among others.
Protests in Karnataka
The incident comes at a time when the Christian community in Karnataka has been alleging that attacks on members and places of worship have increased ever since the government proposed an anti-conversion bill.
Karnataka’s Home Minister Araga Jnanendra Tuesday introduced The Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021 to regulate and penalise religious conversions in the state.
The state is witnessing protests against the bill deeming it a tool to harass minorities.
If passed by the Assembly in its current form, the anti-conversion bill will empower the state to deem interfaith marriages involving conversion “null and void” since promise of marriage is categorised as “allurement” alongside free education and jobs.