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Manipur asked to act on “rules” against Christians
Published on 31 Jan. 2009 1:56 AM IST
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Law Department of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the chief secretary of Manipur to act on the alleged “unconstitutional customary rules and regulations” of Chingmeirong Rongmei Village Council (CRVC) which violated the fundamental rights of the minority Christians in the village. All India Christian Council (AICC) Manipur branch vice-president, Rev. N. Debendra, said a translated note pasted on the notice board of the village gate written in Manipuri read : “No Christian activities and propagation within Chingmeirong Kabui (Rongmei) village Dag No. 173, any living person violating this order will be punished under the rules and regulation of the village council - By Order Village Council/Village Chief, Chingmeirong.” The AICC said that under this rule, four families from Chingmeirong Rongmei village were penalised. The latest victims were Kaphun Kamei (50), his wife and children whose house cum Church building was dismantled by the villagers on December 15, 2008 even after having to pay fines imposed by the village council. AICC cited past diktats ordered by the village council against Christians as reported in the Sangai Express on September 13, 2007: “Kahaolung Malungmei was fined a pig and rice beer jar and later banished from the village for becoming a Christian on October 12, 1995. On July 16, 1997, Kumari Kalingjon was fined Rs 5000. Kaphun Malangmei was fined Rs 5000 and chased out of the village after his house was burned on July 10, 2006”. AICC said a national fact finding team led by Delhi-based human rights activist Madhu Chandra, the Regional Secretary of the AICC, spokesperson of the North East Support Centre and Helpline, along with Manipur state leaders of the AICC met the victims from Chingmeirong Rongmei Village on January 15. It said on consultation with a constitution expert, the Chingmeirong Rongmei Village Council’s resolution was the unconstitutional section even though customs were upheld by the constitution but which could not go beyond the framework of Indian Constitution. Following the directive of NHRC, the AICC said that the unconstitutional rules and regulations of Chingmeirong Rongmei Village Council must be revoked and that the violation of fundamental human rights of the villagers under these diktats must be stopped.

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