With attacks on churches, Manipur strife getting communal colour

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga recently expressed his concern over the burning of churches and Christian missionaries in Kerala, in addition to the tribal Kuki-Naga groups in Manipur. This violence, which began on ethnic lines on May 3, has taken on a communal hue as a battle between the majority Hindus (Meitei) and the tribal Christians (Kuki-Naga). Reports indicate that more than 40 churches have been damaged or set ablaze, and the Supreme Court has ordered the protection of displaced persons and religious sites.

Leaders in the ruling BJP have stated that pluralism is still important to the Meitei society, and that there is an attempt to give the violence a communal tinge. Additionally, an Indian Reserve Battalion personnel’s home was set on fire in Thoubal district after he thwarted rioters from stealing firearms from a police armory.

The government is attempting to resolve the issues by holding meetings with leaders of the two groups, and the Mizoram CM tweeted that peace should be sought and that silence should not be the only option. The CM also made reference to the Kuki demand for a separate administration, which has been supported by multiple leaders of the Mizo National Front.

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