Pastor killed in clash over land dispute in India
According to the Times of India, Pastor Thanjalal of Aimol Chingunghut village was seriously injured, along with twenty other people, when tensions over land in Manipur’s Tengnoupal district turned physical last Saturday evening.
The outlet reports that tension escalated when a group attacked several individuals playing football on a plot of land between two villages in the district. Both villages have reportedly claimed the plot, causing discord between the two groups.
Pastor Thanjalal was “seriously injured” as the clash between the opposing villages heightened. The pastor was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.
Manipur Director General of Police LM Khaute told the Times that police forces were deployed to the area and claimed efforts are being made to arrest those responsible for the pastor’s death. Police also told the outlet that “other precautionary measures and steps to restore peace are being initiated.”
Though it is unclear how the pastor became involved in the dispute, persecution of Christians has escalated in Manipur, where Hindus make up the majority of the population. Christians follow closely behind, making up nearly half of the region’s population.
Last year, leaders in Itam Nungoi village in Manipur’s Imphal East district published a “leaflet” advising villagers on which religion they should follow. The leaflets warned that anyone found following a religion other than Hinduism or what their ancestors followed, would face social ostracisation and banishment, according to the New Indian Express.