Villager expelled for disobeying customary laws
Village authority of Maipham Kabui Khul (village) decided to expel Pamei Jonathan not based on religious matters but for not cooperating with the norms of the village customary laws which he had accepted to obey when he was allowed to settle in the village.
One of member of village authority, Pamei Gangamlung stated during a press conference held today the residence of village head located at Maipham Kabui Khul, Bishnupur district.
He said Pamei Jonathan, 55, came to the village from Thangal village, Nungba sub division five years ago and requested the village authority to allow him to settle at the village. The then village authority granted his request under the condition that he follows the customary laws of the village, he added.
Gangamlung further said that Jonathan stopped following certain customary laws after five years. When he was instructed to follow the law, he declined and announced that he does not regard the village authority or any law, said Gangamlung.
When some of the village authority went at the residence of Jonathan yesterday to discuss about the matter, some unknown individuals who were already at the residence stopped them, he said. But when the authority insisted, tensions sparked between them and during the confrontation, eldest son of Jonathan, Karailung Pamei, 25, kicked one woman member of the authority, identified as Thellu Pamei, 55. Her right arm was fractured during the incident, Gangamlung added.
He further said the brother-in-law of Jonathan called Nahom, who claims to be a NSCN (IM) cadre, made threats in a letter written on August 10 that the village authority will be shot if Jonathan is not allowed to stay in the village. Nahom himself came to the village and threatened the authority by telling that if Jonathan is expelled from the village then they will shoot all the village authority, Gangamlung added.
Member of village authority, Pamei Khamgailu further added that the village authority was threatened that they should give back the letter and they must not hand it over to anyone else. She further said, the authoritay did not file any police complain regarding the incident out of fear.
After the threats were made, about 20 to 50 unknown persons were seen residing at the residence of Jonathan, she said. If villagers happen to pass near the residence of Jonathan, the unknown individuals would threaten to shoot them, she added.
She said after yesterday’s incident, village authority finally decided to file a complaint at the police station concerned and the letter was handed over to the police.
The village authority decided to expel Jonathan not based on religious grounds but for not following the customary law that he had agreed to follow. “But Jonathan uploaded a video of yesterday’s incident at social media with a caption which said that he has been expelled due to religious matter. The allegation against the village authority is baseless,” she clarified.
On the other hand, Rongmei Christian Advocacy Council (RCAC) conducted a press conference this evening at Tarung Baptist Church Office, Langol concerning the statement that Jonathan was expelled on religious grounds.
Speaking to the media, pastor of RCAC, reverend Joujian Gangmei condemned the incident happened yesterday where Jonathan and his family were allegedly expelled on religious grounds from Maipham Kabui Khul, Bishnupur district by its village committee namely Nambol Kabui Kendra Customary Protection Committee (NKKCPC).
He condemned the committee for breaking the sacred place of Christian community and for violating freedom of religion. He urged the authority concerned to provide lifetime security for Jonathan and his family. Jonathan and family should be allowed to resettle at the village and authority concerned must give compensation for the property that villagers had damaged.
He also urged the authority to book the villagers who were involved during the incident and demanded that they should be punished under law.
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