Meitei Christian victims of the ongoing violence has refuted the distorted narrative of the ongoing conflict in Manipur and asserted that the conflict was not religious but purely an ethnic conflict.
“Certain people from the Kuki community have been trying to sell a false narrative on various media platforms that the violence is inflicted by non-christians upon the Christian populace. This narrative is absolutely false,” the victims stated.
Speaking to the media at Manipur Press Club on Friday, one Pastor K Ibungo gave his testimony and narrated the horrific violence on the Meitei Christians and churches in various hill districts of the state.
He alleged that Kuki Christians did not spare even Meitei Christians and churches that belonged to the Meitei community.
“Since the violence erupted in Churachandpur, three Meitei churches were looted while two were vandalised and destroyed in Churachandpur; one church in Kangpokpi district and three churches in Imphal East were also vandalised followed by another two in Serou and Chairen,” he said.
He added that Boljang Asha Presbyterian Church in India (R), Thinggangphai Nungshiba Presbyterian Church in India (R), Yaiphakol Presbyterian Church in India, Manipur Evangelical Lutheral Church and Immanuel Meitei Fellowship, Shanti Veng are among the Churches which were destroyed in Churachandpur and Kangpokpi.
He pointed out that several churches in Laikhong, Yairipok; Yengkhuman, Saikul; Moreh and Tangjeng were also destroyed by Kuki miscreants.
He highlighted that around 200 Meitei Christian houses were burnt down by Kuki miscreants, of which around 172 are in Churachandpur, nine in Moreh, 15 at Laikhong, five in Yengkhuman and 10 in Kangpokpi.
He reiterated that the conflict was not religious and condemned the burning of religious places by both Meiteis and Kukis. “In addition to Meitei Churches, Kuki miscreants had destroyed around 393 ancient shrines of the Meitei community as reported by UTKAL,” he said.
Other Meitei Church leaders from various hill districts were also present during the press meet.