Incidents Against Catholics In Kangpokpi, Inda. Photo: AIN

India: 357 churches set on fire with the support of the authorities

The vicious persecution in India’s Manipur state – where hundreds of churches have been destroyed – has entered a new stage as a video showing women being paraded naked went viral.

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(ZENIT News / Manipur, 07.21.2023).- The Thursday, 20th July the monsoon session of India’s parliament was disrupted by politicians demanding an emergency debate on video footage of two women being led naked by a mob in Manipur – before they were gang raped, according to reports.

The event occurred on 4th May, the day after the uprisings which spiralled into violence against the Christian-majority Kuki and Naga ethnic groups broke out, but the footage only surfaced on the web (Wednesday, 19th July).

Although reports have not confirmed that the women were Christian, they belong to the Kuki ethnic group.

Last week, senior BJP politician R Vanramchhuanga resigned over his party’s failure to condemn violence against Christians.

In his resignation letter, dated 13th July, Mr Vanramchhuanga wrote that even though 357 churches and other buildings belonging to Christian organisations had been destroyed by Meitei militants in Manipur that BJP leaders from local and national governments had not spoken out against the targeting of Christians.

Christians belonging to the Meitei ethnic group were also targeted during the attacks.

Mr Vanramchhuanga, the former BJP vice president in Mizoram which neighbours Manipur, expressed the view that there was political support for the violence against religious and ethnic minority groups.

He wrote: “I do believe that massive demolition of Christian Churches in Manipur was supported by the state and central authorities”.

Earlier India’s PM Narendra Modi responded to parliamentarians’ outrage over the footage of the two women by condemning the incident.

He said: “I assure the nation, no guilty will be spared. The law will take its course with all its might. What happened with the daughters of Manipur can never be forgiven.”

According to the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum: “The gang rape of the women happened after the village was burnt down and two men – one middle-aged and another a teenager – were beaten to death by the mob.”

The incidents occurred in B Phainom village in Kangpokpi District.

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