BANGALORE, India -- Nineteen Catholic and Protestant bishops staged a sit-in to protest the findings of a report that cleared Hindu fundamentalists of a series of attacks on Christian targets in southern Karnataka state in September 2008.
The clerics, including 13 Catholic bishops, were joined by nearly 500 church leaders in the southern city of Bangalore, where they again criticized the findings of a commission chaired by Judge B. K. Somashekhara for not identifying the attackers in 57 incidents involving Christian churches and other sites.
The demonstrators gathered in central Bangalore, with the bishops sitting on chairs in their clerical garb under a midday sun.
Organized by the Karnataka United Christian Forum for Human Rights and the Karnataka Region Catholic Bishops' Council, the church leaders said the report was biased and that it "whitewashed" the incidents.
The crowd renewed a call for a new inquiry headed by the India's Central Bureau of Investigation. They also demanded the withdrawal of more than 150 cases lodged against Christians who were injured in the attacks.