Reverend Peter Machado, Metropolitan Archbishop of Bangalore, has voiced concern over “the targeting and persecution of Christians in Manipur.”
Concerned over the reports of targeted violence on the Christians in Manipur after the tribal solidarity march, Reverend Peter Machado, Metropolitan Archbishop of Bangalore expressed worry by releasing a press statement voicing his concerns.
The Archbishop wrote the letter referring to the sweeping mob violence and arson since May 3. It is reported that at least 31 people have died in the state, according to local reports but there are no official records given by the Manipur government yet.
There was also news circulating that the Jesuit Fathers serving in these areas have been threatened and made to feel insecure,” the statement said.
He started by expressing, “It is with deep concern that we note the resurgence of the targeting and persecution of Christians in the peaceful state of Manipur in the North East, where the Christian population comprises 41%. We have received reports that three churches built in 1974 and some houses have been set on fire, and the people have been forced to flee to safer places,” said Machado who heads the Karnataka Region Catholic Bishops’ Council and All Karnataka United Christian Forum for Human Rights.
He added: “It is distressing to hear that despite having a sizable Christian population in Manipur, the community is being made to feel insecure. We are reminded that even the world-famous female boxer Mary Kom hails from this state. While the BJP Government in power has issued helpline instructions, it demonstrates the gravity of the danger faced by people who are being targeted for their religious beliefs and practices. It is reported that around seventeen churches are either vandalised, desecrated, or defiled. Many are still burning.”
“We hope and pray that the situation will be brought under control, and peace and confidence will be restored to the people of Manipur. It is the responsibility of the government in power to ensure the freedom of religion, especially as the people have entrusted the party with power, believing in its capacity for good governance. We offer our solidarity and prayers for the welfare of the Christians in Manipur who are distressed and displaced by these unfortunate events,” he concluded.
Boia Puruolte who works at a college reported: “More than 5K tribals are stranded inside multiple military or paramilitary camps in Imphal, including 1 and 2nd MR camps. We fervently urged the central government, especially the Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to quickly deploy enough personnel to escort them out of Imphal. Their situation can worsen quickly due to inadequate food, clean water, medicine, and other basic needs.”
PMO: Narendra Modi”
A disturbing series of videos are being circulated on Twitter revealing how the tribals were killed, and girls were raped. It was alleged that the police favored the Meitei community.
The general sentiment from the tribals is, “Since the government belongs to the Meitei, although they deployed military, it’s useless. Meitei mobs walk around the cities with automated guns and the military couldn’t stop them. Meanwhile, there are numbers of tribal people shot dead by the army, state police, and commandos.”
Article 355 has been foisted in Manipur which will invoke more militarism and a shoot-at-sight order is given. The tribals feel it is a targeted attack on them by the mainland Meitei community who were enabled to burn churches with no army intervention in the valley but shoot at sight in the hills where the tribals live. There are also around 6000 plus hill tribes hiding in the valley. Sources reveal that the Meitei community did not spare even the sick ones in the hospital. A local reported that there were about 18 bodies brought in RIMS and 13 bodies brought in JNIMS, Imphal.
— Брат (@B5001001101) May 6, 2023