Kerala: VD Satheesan speaks to bishop in violence hit Manipur; expresses concern over attacks

He urged the government and judiciary to ensure that such incidents are not repeated anywhere in the country.


Published May 09, 2023 | 4:03 PMUpdatedMay 09, 2023 | 4:03 PM

VD Satheesan

Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly VD Satheesan on Tuesday, 9 May, expressed concern over the attacks on churches and their institutions in Manipur and urged the government and judiciary to ensure that such incidents are not repeated anywhere in the country.

Satheesan, in a Facebook post, said he spoke over the phone with Bishop Jose Mukala, who escaped from the violence-hit areas of Manipur, and alleged that the minority community, which constitutes 42 percent of the northeastern state’s population, and their institutions were targeted with the support of the ruling dispensation.

Mukala, hailing from Pala in the Kottayam district, was the bishop of the Kohima diocese from 1997 to 2009, he said.

Also read: BJP targeting Christians in Manipur while courting them in Kerala

‘Deeply moved by bishop’s question’

The Congress leader said he was deeply moved by the bishop’s heart-wrenching question as to why their churches were being destroyed like this.

“The attacks that are happening in Manipur are shocking. The pastoral institute where the bishop was staying, and the church adjacent to it were robbed and set on fire. Almost all churches in that state have been burned down, and around 60 Christians have been killed,” Satheesan said.

He urged the government and the judiciary to intervene in the matter.

“The silence of the government, which should treat all the people of the country as equal, is painful”, Satheesan said.

Also read: 105 civilians evacuated by Telangana from violence-hit Manipur

“Governments and courts should ensure that such violence is not repeated anywhere in the country”, he added.

According to the Manipur government, 60 people were killed, 231 injured and 1,700 houses including religious places, were burnt in the ethnic violence that rocked the northeastern state for the past few days.

Violent clashes broke out in the northeastern state after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the 10 hill districts on 3 May to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

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