Meghalaya police are allegedly threatening ST (Scheduled Tribe) Hindu villagers of Merenggapara, where a Maa Kali Temple was recently vandalized by suspected Christian extremists.
#Meghalaya– As pan India social media roars against destruction of #Kali temple of #Merengapara in Garo Hills, rowdy @MeghalayaPolice officer Bitcheng alias Dabang visited victim ST Hindu villages & threatened Hindu youth with arrest if Church is blamed for attack @SangmaConrad pic.twitter.com/hJDLPSZsa1
— Legal Rights Protection Forum (@lawinforce) September 3, 2020
As per the information shared on their Twitter account by Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF) Meghalaya police officer Bitcheng, who is also known as Dabang, threatened to arrest the Hindu ST youths if they dared to blame the Church for the attack.
Both LRPF and LRO (Legal Rights Observatory), two organizations working to secure legal rights for native and indigenous faith practitioners, are not taking the threats lightly. Besides ensuring that they approach the concerned authorities to initiate necessary action to stop such atrocities, they have also promised to secure Hindu rights by legal means as well as going public with the names and identities of those involved in persecuting Hindus.
The outpour of support on social media seems to have shaken up the Meghalaya police and the threats appear to be a direct result of the support received by the Hindus of Merenggapara.
Readers may recall that Hindupost had reported how suspected Christian extremists had attacked a Kali Temple in Merenggapara village in Garo hills. Besides vandalizing the temple, they also set it on fire. A similar incident was reported from Kongthong in East Khasi hills last year where a Niam Khasi (indigenous religion of Khasi tribe) sacred space was vandalized and desecrated allegedly by Church elders.
In 2016, members of the Christian community forcibly drove out Niam Khasi practitioners from a traditional cremation ground along with a dead body in Mylliem village of East Khasi Hills district of the state. The matter was brought to the notice of the police and an FIR was filed but the police failed to take any action. One year later, the Meghalaya High Court had to intervene to uphold traditional cremation rights and ordered construction of a crematorium for the deceased members of the Niam Khasi community.
Last year, a Sri Ganesha murti was removed from NIT Shillong after a local student body claimed it might lead to ‘communal tensions’ in the Christian majority state. Christians constitute around 75% of Meghalaya’s population, while Hindus are 11% and Other Religions 9% (mostly indigenous tribal faiths), according to the 2011 census.
It is pertinent to point out that such attacks are on the rise as evangelical missionaries face opposition from Hindus and indigenous groups fighting to save their religion and culture.
(Featured Image Source: Twitter)
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