TODAY -

Ousted Catholic families return to Leingangching village
Source: The Sangai Express

Ukhrul, May 19 2024: Catholic families who were displaced from Leingangching village in May 2010 on account of converting to Catholicism have resettled at the village through the intervention of Kamjong DC Rangnamei Rang Peter and others.

Their (five Catholic families) resettlement to Leingangching village was coordinated and administered by the Kamjong DC and SDO Rang David in the presence of several Priests, members of All Manipur Catholic Union (AMCU), Tangkhul Catholic Council (TCC) and its units and villagers of Leingangching (S Laho) under Sikibung village.

They were reinstated at the village (Leingangching) with a liberty to practice faith/religion of their choice fourteen years after they were ousted from the village by the village authority on account of their conversion to Catholic Church and for violating "one village one denomination" rule.

Though the High Court of Manipur had allowed the displaced Catholic families to resettle at their village some years back, the matter was resolved only yesterday (May 18, 2024) by the village authority and the displaced families "in the spirit of Christianity".

Rangnamei Rang Peter, the Kamjong DC went beyond his duty to bring an amicable solution to the issue.

He took an extra effort by convening a series of meetings with both Leingangching and Sikibung village and by staying in touch with AMCU.

Rangnamei Rang Peter said that he had to take the initiative of talking to them in a friendly manner so that an understanding can be reached between the two sides.

"Today is a historic day," said Dr C Matthew Kamei, president of AMCU, the apex organization of Imphal Archdiocese referring to the resettlement of the Catholic families.

He expressed his joy over the village honouring the Court's verdict and allowing the displaced Catholic families to resettle at the village.

Expressing his satisfaction over the resettlement of the five families, Thanreiwung Shokwungnao, chairman of Leingangching (S Laho) called on the Catholic converts to forgive for all wrongs done to them and move on to live as one with the other villagers.

Meanwhile, Ningmachan Ramrak, one of the displaced persons expressed his joy and stated that a big burden has been lifted from his shoulder.

He also acknowledged the love and care shown to them by the Priests and Catholic community.

A four-point covenant of peace and resettlement was signed between Sikibung village and AMCU on Saturday.

The two sides agreed to resettle the displaced Catholic families at the village Leingangching (S.Laho) as full-fledged citizens with all the rights, privileges and duties as any other citizens of the village.

The Catholic families are also given the liberty to practice any faith/religion of their choice.

The Catholic families, however, have been asked to work with the headman of Sikibung Village and chairman of Leingangching (S.Laho) to promote peaceful co-existence.

It was agreed that all developmental activities shall be carried out in consultation with the headman of Sikibung village and chairman of Leingangching (S Laho) while matters relating to revenue, legitimate customs and practices of the village have to come under the headman of Sikibung village.

"Breach of these conditions by a way of unauthorized alienation of village land and activities that will disturb the peaceful coexistence of the village shall be dealt with as per the Tangkhul customary practices," they agreed.

About reconstruction of houses and resettlement, Sikibung village and Leingangching (S.Laho) may recommend the names of the families to the Government for relief and rehabilitation and the two villages and any individual may extend help to the families to compensate for the houses and properties that were destroyed at least partially, they agreed.


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