In Manipur, 60 Dead After Violent Clashes Between Christian tribal groups and Hindu, Metei Majority
At least 60 people have been killed during violent clashes that erupted between the predominantly Hindu Meitei and predominantly Christian Naga and Kuki tribes in Manipur state. Violence broke out after the minority Christian Naga and Kuki tribes protested the Meitei’s demand to receive “Scheduled Tribe” status from the Indian government. Tensions have been high in Manipur since February, when the BJP-led state government launched an eviction drive that infringed on the lands of Kuki and Naga tribes.
Representatives of Naga and Kuki groups have argued that granting Scheduled Tribe status to Meitei will allow the latter group to seize their lands. Occupying the more urban areas with comparatively functional government services, the Meitei also occupy most positions of power within the state government. Meitei are the ethnic majority. For their part, the Meitei argue that not being able to buy land in Naga and Kuki occupied areas violates their constitutional rights.
About 23,000 people have fled their homes since the clashes broke out, and several churches and temples have been burnt and destroyed. The state’s BJP-led government last week issued “shoot-at-sight” orders, while the army said Sunday it has “significantly enhanced” its surveillance in the state. The state has experienced sweeping internet shutdowns.
The Swiss-based organization the World Council of Churches has urged all parties to refrain from further violence and stands in solidarity with persecuted Christians.
BJP Minister Satya Pal Singh Baghel Smears Muslims at RSS Event
At an event organized by the Hindu-extremist paramilitary group the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Union Minister Satya Pal Singh Baghel said, “Tolerant Muslims can be counted on fingers. I think their number is not even in the thousands.” He went on to allege that Muslims in political power “wear masks” and lie until they retire, at which point they “give real statements.”
The BJP minister offered remarks in line with other BJP efforts to erase the history of tolerant, Hindu-Muslim unity fostered by the Muslim, Mughal ruler Akbar the Great. He argued that Muslims felt resentment at being “rulers” for such a long period, but now being “subjects”.
Chief Minister of Bengal Issued Legal Notice for Criticizing Islamophobic Film “The Kashmir Files”
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was recently charged with defamation by filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, director of the Islamophobic movie, “The Kashmir Files”. The Kashmir Files — which exaggerates the true and tragic history of the expulsion of Kashmiri pandits by Islamic extremist groups sponsored by Pakistan — prompted audiences to call for the slaughter of Muslims. Prime Minister Narendra Modi promoted the film and urged government employees to watch it.
While announcing the ban on the screening of another Islamophobic film, ‘The Kerala Story’, CM Banerjee said on Monday, “They are trying to create division among the people on the basis of religion and caste. That is why ‘The Kashmir Files’ was made just to malign the people of a particular community. And now we have ‘The Kerala Story’, which is yet another untrue story with distorted facts.”
Kashmir files director Agnitori alleged that these statements are false in his legal petition filed against Banerjee. He is defending his deceptive film as well as ‘The Kerala Story’, whose promotional materials had initially and falsely claimed that tens of thousands of Hindu women were brainwashed into serving in Islamic terrorist campaigns.