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Meitei Christians rally for recognition

All Indian Christian Council and Thoubal Meitei Christian Minority forum taking out a joint peace and solidarity rally on Monday. (EP)
Correspondent IMPHAL, SEPT 22:
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Published on 23 Sep. 2008 1:11 AM IST
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Hundreds of Meitei Christian Monday marched into the street of Thoubal district headquarters demanding among others, to be included in the Prime Minister’s 15-point programme for minorities. The rally while condemning the violence on Christians in Orissa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh also demanded listing of Hindutva groups- Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Swayam Sangh as outlaw outfits. Organized by the Metei Chrisitan Minority Thoubal District Forum jointly with All India Christian Council, the rally was participated by around one thousand Meitei from across Manipur who follow Christianity. The rally was kicked off from Thoubal Khangabok Basu Ground at around 11 am and marched on the stretch of a section of the Indo-Myanmar road (NH-39) and concluded at Mela ground, Thoubal with a public meeting during which many Christian leaders in and outside the state spoke. Madhu Chandra, a Delhi based Human Rights activist and spokesperson of North East Support Centre and Helpline, New Delhi demanded appointment of appropriate members from Meitei Christian community in the Minorities and OBC department and Manipur Minorities State Commission and coverage of the group by the PM’s 15 points programme for minorities. He said, “the fair distribution of this programme for minorities and welfare of the Meitei Christian minorities can be only made available, when appropriate members from Meitei Christian community are appointed in welfare for minorities and OBC department and Manipur State Minorities Commission.” Speaking at the meeting, Th Devadas, a member of the organizing committee lamented that the majority of the Meitei Christians in four valley districts of Manipur were not listed as Christians in the Census of India and as such “the Meitei Christians lose all the minority related schemes of state and Central government”. Rev. N Nipamacha president of All India Christian Council, state branch said, “Manipur having 35% of Christian population, the state does not have any members in welfare for minorities and OBC and Manipur and in the Manipur State Minorities Commission as well.” President, Meitei Christian Minority Thoubal district, Rev. Devendra while expressing strong condemnation on the violence on Christians in Orissa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh demanded declaration of Hindutva groups- Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Swayam Sangh and others as outlaw outfits. “The authority must include these organizations in the list of outlaw organization under the Terrorist Activities (prevention) act,” he said. A memorandum was also submitted to the Prime minister of India through the deputy commissioner, Thoubal district in which a copy each of the memorandum were forwarded to the Manipur chief minister, Union ministry of minorities affairs, chairman Manipur State minorities Commission and other concern authorities.

 
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