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Catholic Church torched at Phokhungri
Published on 1 Jun. 2011 12:49 AM IST
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A local Catholic Church at Phokhungri village, Meluri sub-division, Phek district, which was reportedly under construction and nearing completion, was allegedly pulled down and torched by Phokhungri (Pki) villagers May 28, at around 2:30 p.m., it has emerged. According to Pochury Catholic union (PCU) president Rezusie and general secretary Chichutho Jose, one of its member identified as Yatetsü was physically assaulted in the council hall of the village. Quoting the victim’s account, the PCU leaders said the assault was allegedly initiated by Phokhungri town Baptist Church pastor and Phokhungri village associate pastor and subsequently by the youths.
The victim, whose house was locked on the same day, was also slapped with a fine of `10,000 in violation of the village resolution 2 of 2004, besides expelling his family members and one Tingo’s family from the village.
The resolution purportedly states that “anyone who tries to bring other denomination in the village will seize all their properties and withdraw the citizenship from the village. No consideration will be made to the main agent and campaigner for the denomination.” PCU said on the basis of the village resolution it had filed a case with DC, Phek on August 2, 2010, which was endorsed to ADC, Meluri. The DC then issued a judgment order January 7, 2011, nullifying the resolution as “unconstitutional”, it said.
In accordance to the judgment, the Catholic community began construction of their village Church, which was pulled down and burnt.
Asserting that the action was the court’s verdict, the PCU said in its “strongest term” condemned the inhuman act of Phokhungri villagers. The union leaders said PCU at its emergency meeting held May 29 was compelled to lodge FIR with Police Station, Meluri in connection with the incident.

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