UPDATE on Situation in Manipur

This is the most recent update on the civil unrest in Manipur, India.

Because of the demonstrations and violence that erupted in September, BFTW’s schools in the area of Sielmat including Trinity College & Seminary and Selma Christian High School had been temporarily closed.  Selma Christian Hospital has continued to operate through the difficulties, often treating those injured during demonstrations and transferring those patients to government hospitals.

The following is a report by Ronny Pakh and John Pudaite, who are currently traveling in India with the World Race team:

Schools have been allowed to resume classes since last Monday (September 28). However, in view of curfew relaxation between 5am and 2pm, most schools have moved their timing 2 to 3 hrs earlier to compensate for the the loss of afternoon class hours.

The 9 dead bodies — early victims of the violence — continue to remain in the morgue. We understand that some tribal representatives have gone to meet Home Ministry officials in Delhi seeking help to resolve current issues that have crippled the hill areas of Manipur since August 31. The public, apparently, will wait for the outcome of this meeting.

Women volunteers continue to picket peacefully during curfew hours.

A solution to the problem is still not in sight to this day. Churches are praying. Community leaders are doing their best to keep the crowd sensible even as they continue to protest against the three recently introduced bills that sparked the demonstrations and subsequent violence.

Please continue to pray for peaceful resolution to these challenges in Manipur!

World Racers Get Busy!

MedicalClinicThe 50+ members of the World Race team that descended on Bibles For The World’s ministry outreaches in India wasted no time getting busy to help!

Aided by 26 members of the World Race, a medical team from Sielmat Christian Hospital held a Free Medical Camp at Saiphai English School. In total, 506 patients were treated, from the school children, families, and other members of the village/area.  Many families in the area have children sponsored by BFTW “Partner Parents” and were eager participants at the medical camp.

Moving-Bricks-at-Chaltathol-for-the-ChurchAnother team got their hands a bit dirtier as they worked to help transport bricks for a building project.  The Evangelical Free Church of India at Chaltathol is building a new sanctuary with the help of BFTW partners — AND the willing hands of these members of the World Race team!

BrickMovers

 

Update on Manipur Violence

This most recent report on the violence that closed BFTW’s schools in Manipur, India was provided on September 23 by one of Bibles For The World’s staff in India, Rohny Pakh:

So far, the worst effected area appears to be Ccp town area. Schools within the proper town have been altogether shut down. And it looks like until they hear something  concrete from the central government, it looks like things would remain this way including keeping the 9 dead bodies in the morgue, sit in protest, clamping of curfew, etc.

LTL being in the interior area, is known to be having classes as usual. So is also rest of the PMS schools in Tipaimukh and Vangai area.

As far as PMs schools in other states are concerned, things are moving normally.

So is also with churches within Ccp town area. Most churches have stopped regular worship program. However, they remain opened for those who wish to pray individually or in group. Sept beiruol program has been suspended, too.

Churches in other areas are not reported to be affected.

Yesterday, we heard internal security secretary from Home Ministry came and visited Ccp. However, nothing on the outcome of the said visit  is yet known.

TCS is also known to have suspended classes as well. 

As for Sielmat Christian Hospital, it is functioning. However, business may drop significantly as curfew/bandh has been imposed for significant hour on a daily basis.

Hurriedly, 

Rohny

PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR PEACE FOR THE CITIZENS OF MANIPUR — AND FOR BIBLES FOR THE WORLD’S MINISTRIES, INCLUDING CHURCHES, SIELMAT CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL AND SIELMAT CHRISTIAN HOSPITAL!

Manipur Violence Closes BFTW Schools/Offices

The Manipur region of India has been experiencing civil unrest due to political events taking place.  In fact, there have been some violent protests that occurred near our Sielmat Christian Hospital and Sielmat Christian Schools.  The Hospital  sustained damage from bullets and tear gas canisters, which were indiscriminately fired by police.  The photo below shows an ambulance, belonging to the Hospital, that was damaged by bullets. As a result, our India offices and these facilities have temporarily closed and regular communications have been suspended for the safety of all students and staff members.

An ambulance at Sielmat Christian Hospital was hit by random gunfire.

An ambulance at Sielmat Christian Hospital was hit by random gunfire.

PLEASE NOTE THAT as of September 20, ALL sponsored students are safe and communications with them will resume as soon as possible.

The Churachandpur violence that killed eight people was a reaction to three Bills passed unanimously by the Manipur Assembly on August 31. The Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015, the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015, and the Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015, were brought in as substitutes to introducing the Inner Line Permit, or ILP. (Explained below)

The day before the special House session, tribal organizations across the state came together for the first time in years to call a strike across the five Hill districts. On August 31, highways, schools and businesses were closed and, around 6 pm, within hours of the Bills being passed, protesters clashed with police on the streets of Churachandpur town. Churachandpur is the headquarters of the tribal Churachandpur district, which is dominated by the Kuki tribe, but is also home to Paiteis, Zomis and Hmars.

According to tribal bodies, the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms amendment has been brought by the “communal Manipur government” to acquire tribal land in the Hill districts. Land in the Hill districts is protected by Article 371C of the Constitution, under which the land and its resources are controlled by its tribal inhabitants. No non-tribal can buy land in Manipur’s tribal areas.

The tribals have traditionally felt marginalized by the dominant Meiteis, who control the fertile valley and its businesses, dominate the administration, and occupy 40 seats in the Assembly — double the number of Hills representatives.

The Hill districts are underdeveloped and poor, and tribals have for decades complained that most development funds are hogged by the valley. The Hills have only sporadic, if any, electricity supply, few roads, enterprises, and schools, and follow traditional cultivation practices.

Hills vs the Valley

The tribals’ suspicion that the Manipur government, and the Meiteis, are attempting to grab the one thing that they have — their land — has erupted into the recent violence.  Things are now beginning to calm down and, while schools are still closed,

Please join us in praying for a quick resolution to the disputes, that violence will cease and that Hospital and Schools will return to normal operations quickly.   Thank you!

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