The United Christian Forum of North East India and the North East India Christian Council have expressed concern over acts of unrest in Manipur, which have encompassed large-scale violence, arson, demolition of property and desecration of religious places.
Curfew was yesterday imposed in eight district of Manipur and mobile internet services were suspended across the state after violence broke out during a ‘tribal solidarity march’ called by the All Tribal Student Union Manipur in Churachandpur district to protest the demand of Meiteis, who dominate the Imphal Valley, for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
“We urge all parties involved to exercise restraint and work towards a peaceful resolution to the situation,” the Christian group said in a press release today. “As a Christian organization, we believe in the value of human life and the importance of respecting the dignity of every individual. We call on all members of society to refrain from engaging in violent acts and to instead engage in peaceful dialogue to address their concerns.”
It also called for the authorities to take appropriate measures to bring perpetrators of crime to justice and to address the underlying issues that have contributed to the situation.
In a separate statement the North East India Christian Council condemned the attacks on places of worship and appealed for peace.
“The NEICC considers the incidents shameful and most undesirable as one people of the North East India. It urges to the governmental authorities to take urgent steps to contain the situation, and appeals the civil society to shoulder responsibility in alleviating the state of affairs.”
The Khasi Jaiñtia Church Leaders Forum (KJCLF) has condemned the perpetrators of violence on members of tribal and Christian communities as well as destruction of places of worship.
“The forum stands in solidarity with those who have been affected by this and who have been evacuated from their dwellings and given shelter in paramilitary camps, and exhorts them to remain strong, vigilant and united together,” the forum said in a press release.
The forum also urged both the State and centre to expeditiously bring an end to lawlessness and initiate other means to resolve issues and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma to take up the issue with his counterpart in Manipur to protect the lives and properties of the tribals and Christians including their places of worship. It also called on all Christians and leaders of different Churches in the region to join in prayer and come together to address these issues which affect the welfare of the people and communities in many ways.
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