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CAN meets Rio on July 9 incident
Published on 22 Jul. 2010 12:10 AM IST
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State chief minister Niephiu Rio has reportedly expressed dismay over the July 9 incident, wherein a Catholic Church in Anatongre village was pulled down.
Rio also reportedly termed the July 9 incident as “unfortunate”, when the CAN members met him Wednesday to apprise him on the issue.
He asserted that such incident should not have happened in a secular State like Nagaland, stated a joint note issued by president Deo Dukru and joint secretary Letgong Patrick.
Rio said every Naga citizen was free to follow any religion of individual’s choice as traditionally protected by customary laws and as guaranteed by the Constitution, it stated.
Meanwhile, according to CAN members the chief minister on Wednesday summoned area MLA Torechu in the meeting and asked him to make Anatongre village people understand and bring them to a compromise soon or face the music.
Admitting that he had received detailed report on the incident from DC Kiphire, the chief minister said he had already discussed the matter with state home minister Imkong L Imchen for early resolution of the problem, the statement said.
It also stated that chief minister has assured to write to NBCC in connection with the incident. “Rio further suggested that he would send government representatives to the spot if situation so demands,” the CAN statement said.
Anatongre village clarifies
Clarifying its position on demolition of Catholic Church, which was reportedly under construction, in their village, the joint council of Anatongre GBs, Anatongre citizen union (ACU) and Anatongre students’ union Wednesday said they acted on Anatongre citizen union (ACU) resolution passed by the present Catholic Church members in the year 1996, who were then the members of ACU.
A joint clarification statement released by the ACU president K.D.Mukhokmong, head GB cum VC chairman T.Khiungmong and ASU president T.Supanthong also highlighted that resolution, which stated that no other denomination other than Baptist Church would be established in the village in order to maintain peace and tranquility among the villagers, failing which a fine of Rs.50, 000 per head would be imposed and their properties seized beside expulsion from the village.
The signatories said basing on that resolution the public of Anatongre village convened an emergency meeting April 10 and unanimously decided to dissolve the formation of twenty intending Catholic members.
It stated that on May 22 last, when the village was holding Revival Crusade, the intending Catholic members had leveled the Church site, and again on June 8, they began to construct the Church structure. “On hearing this, the joint council served an order to stop the construction but they refused to do so,” it added.
They said, however, the public requested and patiently waited till 4 p.m. of July 9 last, for them to “unconditionally withdraw” and join the mainstream to preserve peace and harmony in the village.
According to Anatongre joint council, initially all together there were twenty intending Catholic members, however, twelve had withdrawn from their membership. And out of the remaining members, two members allegedly charged the village citizens to take own course of action but refused to withdraw.
After that they allegedly said that they would continue with the Church construction despite the request from the village citizens.
On learning this, the gathered citizens pulled down the structure in the presence of Catholic members with mutual understanding and mass prayer.
Further, the joint council justified that to construct the Church the intending members did not take any approval from the GB council/citizens.
Meanwhile, Anatongre joint council said they were not against any religious denominations but to maintain peace and tranquility within the village they were opposing the coming of any other denominations into their village.
It has passed the buck on the remaining members, who they said were creating “tense situation” in and around the state by violating the village rules and regulations. The joint council has also requested the Catholic community in Nagaland not to take it otherwise against the citizens of Anatongre.

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