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Mizoram church leaders condemn attack on church


Aizawl, October 22, 2015: Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee (MKHC), a conglomeration of leaders of different churches, has condemned recent attack on a Baptist church building, which was allegedly constructed on disputed land.

The attack was “was extremely sad, shocking and shameful” MHKC statement said. It wanted sanctity of places of worship in country and state be protected. It also condemned “any kind of violent attacks on churches and other religious places.

The church leaders committee also appealed to all the Christians in Mizoram not to try to sow a seed of division and hatred among the Christian denominations in Mizoram out of the incident.

A angry mob from Bawngkawn locality in northern Aizawl attacked the church building alleging that it was constructed on a land earlier identified for construction of an indoor stadium.

Almost the entire area of Brigade Land, on the northern outskirts of the city, is under dispute between private landowners and the Mizoram government when the Indian Army handed it over to the State government recently after it occupied since the outbreak of insurgency in Mizoram in 1966.

The land on which the church was constructed was also owned by an individual who then sold it to the Baptist Church of Mizoram early this year. However, the local council of Bawngkawn submitted a written complaint to the state land revenue & settlement department, as the local legislator had verbally agreed the Bawngkawn local council’s proposal to construct an indoor stadium on it. The director of the land revenue & settlement department, then stayed the church building construction.

The state government held that land passes issued by concerned village council/local council for agricultural purposes are periodic patta and cannot be treated as pucca patta (land settlement certificate) issued by the land revenue department. However, a large number of such periodic pattas had been transformed into pucca patta, reported The Northeast Today.

The Baptist Church also claimed that the land on which the church was constructed belonged to one Kapthanga, who transferred the village council pass into a permanent land settlement certificate. Kapthanga had already received rents from the Indian Army, which clearly suggested that the land pass was accepted by the government.

However, the church went to the court claiming legitimate ownership of the land. The senior civil judge in Aizawl district court, taking cognizance of the church’s appeal, summoned the state government to appear before the court. The judge also nullified the land revenue & settlement director’s stay order.

The church chairman, in his FIR to police, stated that as worship services were conducted with the consent of the court, the attack on the church was a contempt of court and demanded arrest of the culprits behind the vandalism.

- the northeast today


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