GUWAHATI: Police personnel have remained deployed near a church in Manipur as there is an undercurrent of religious tension.
The incident was reported from Itam Nungoi village in Imphal East district.
In November last year, the Itam Nungoi Village Development Committee had published a “leaflet” with dos and don’ts for villagers including which religion they should follow.
It warned that anyone found following a religion, other than Hinduism or what their ancestors followed, would face social boycott and banishment to the extent that the performance of his or her last rites would not be allowed in the village.
It is a Meitei village that has people from various faiths. Some had converted to Christianity from Hinduism.
According to local media reports, a pastor of the village church “Itham Nungoi Baptist Church” has been driven out of the village. The police refuted the reports saying “he is living there”.
Imphal East Superintendent of Police, Haobijam Jugeshwor Singh, played down the tension saying it was a feud between “brothers”.
“It is a tension between brothers of the same locality, one following one religion, another following another religion. We are providing security to maintain peace and harmony,” Singh told this newspaper on Tuesday.
He said people belonging to various faiths were living side by side in the village. Asked about the deployment of police personnel, he said, “We have put in place security so that nothing untoward happens. It is a preventive measure”.
The security has been provided near the church and not on the church premises as requested by the church community, he added.