Petition in SC seeks immediate action to protect Meitei Christian church properties amid communal clashes
The Supreme Court on Friday heard a petition filed by the Meitei Christian Churches Council, Manipur (MCCCM), which has raised concerns about the destruction of churches during the ongoing ethnic clashes in the region.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday heard a petition filed by the Meitei Christian Churches Council, Manipur (MCCCM), which has raised concerns about the destruction of churches during the ongoing ethnic clashes in the region.
A bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud considered the petition and asked the petitioner to provide a copy to both the state government and the judges’ committee established by the court to look into the matter.
The MCCCM, in its petition, voiced its grievance that neither the state government nor the Centre took sufficient measures to prevent the destruction of 240 churches affiliated with the Meitei Christian community in Manipur during the communal clashes.
The petition draws attention to the destruction of religious institutions and calls for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding these incidents.
It also seeks urgent intervention to halt the desecration and repurpose of church properties in the region, while highlighting the dire situation where church properties and their grounds have been repurposed for other uses with title documents destroyed or looted during communal clashes.
The MCCCM has expressed concern that without immediate action, they may not be able to retrieve these properties and grounds, as they no longer possess the necessary documentary evidence.
The petition calls for the Meitei Christians to be allowed to gather and pray at these church properties under police protection. Furthermore, the petition underscores that despite assurances of rehabilitation and compensation schemes by State authorities, these benefits have not been extended to the affected churches.
Even directives issued by the top court to provide relief and restoration for destroyed places of worship have allegedly not been implemented by the state government.
The MCCCM claims to have previously reached out to various authorities, including the Union Home Minister and Union Home Secretary, and the Governor and Chief Minister of Manipur, informing them of the rampant looting and destruction of church property and seeking immediate intervention.
However, they allege that no response was received. In light of these circumstances, the petitioners are seeking direction to the authorities to address and implement measures for the relief, rehabilitation, and restoration of places of worship in the state of Manipur.