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Protests over visit of American evangelist

Bangalore: Widespread protests have erupted in parts of Karnataka over the proposed visit of the American evangelist Benny Hinn in the city.Saffron groups are protesting against the visit alleging that the evangelist's hidden agenda was
PTI January 13, 2014 8:23 IST
PTI
Bangalore: Widespread protests have erupted in parts of Karnataka over the proposed visit of the American evangelist Benny Hinn in the city.

Saffron groups are protesting against the visit alleging that the evangelist's hidden agenda was to convert people to Christianity.

Hinn's prayer convention, organised by a church, is scheduled from January 15 to 19 at Jakkur Airfield here.

“The government should not give permission for the visit as it is an effort (towards) conversion, and conversion is against (the) constitution,” Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Praveen Togadia said.

BJP also joined the issue by expressing displeasure over Hinn's convention. Former Minister Suresh Kumar said “We don't want gullible people to be lured by him.”

Kumar questioned Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's silence over Hinn's visit, especially when he had opposed the self-proclaimed healer in the capacity of Deputy Chief Minister in 2005 Congress-JDS government.

Home Minister K J George said, “Earlier also he conducted convention. So what is the controversy. Everytime there will be a controversy.

The Police Commissioner will take care.”

The Hindu Janajagruti Samiti office-bearers recently submitted a memorandum to City Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar contending that the convetion is illegal as Hinn was arriving on a tourist visa.

The Karnataka High Court had on January 10 had directed the police to take precautionary measures for maintaining peace in the city during Hinn's visit.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice B V Nagarathna had issued directions disposing off a petition by Sri Rama Sene's city unit questioning the police inaction on its representation to restrain Hinn from participating in the religious event as a similar congregation in 2005 had “disturbed peace” in the city.

Police says they were not against a religious conference, as far as law and order is not compromised