U.N. Calls for Immediate Interventio
U.N. experts have issued a plea to the Indian government concerning the ongoing violence in Manipur state, which has resulted in a tragic toll of 187 lives lost, 70,000 people displaced, and the destruction of hundreds of churches. This turmoil has unfolded amidst escalating ethnic and religious tensions in the region.
The Human Rights Council, while closely monitoring the situation, has raised a poignant observation - that Christians have borne a disproportionate brunt of the violence. They point out that the root cause of the violence lies in hateful rhetoric targeting the Christian Kuki-Zo minority, particularly women, due to both their ethnicity and religious beliefs.
The conflict in question revolves around the predominantly Hindu Meitei community and the largely Christian Kuki-Zo tribes in Manipur. The U.N. experts have expressed deep concern over the misuse of counter-terrorism measures, which have unfairly targeted ethnic and religious minorities.
Religious symbols and places of worship have been primary targets in this strife, with over 250 churches either burned down or damaged, according to the group's findings.
Tragically, women and girls have been subjected to horrific acts of violence. The filed complaint includes harrowing testimonies from several women who endured brutal rapes, assaults, and, in some cases, even lost their lives at the hands of angry mobs. Aid organizations and volunteers have taken on the critical role of assisting these victims, as the government's compensation efforts have been limited, offering relief only to the families of the deceased but not to those who have lost their homes or businesses.
The U.N. experts also point out that various laws, including "anti-conversion" laws, are discriminatory toward religious minorities. They argue that these laws implicitly encourage violent campaigns, similar to those witnessed in Manipur and the distressing events at the Broadwell Christian Hospital in Uttar Pradesh.
Furthermore, the experts contend that laws like the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act infringe upon religious freedom and expression. Many lawyers, journalists, and religious minorities have reportedly faced harassment, detention, and prosecution under these laws, creating a climate of fear and uncertainty.
The appeal from the U.N. experts underscores the urgent need for concerted efforts to address the root causes of this violence and to protect the rights and safety of all residents, regardless of their religious or ethnic backgrounds, in Manipur and beyond.
Source: CP, CN
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