Rally to demand minority status

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Imphal, Sep 22 (UNI) A peaceful and solidarity rally sponsored by the Meitei Christian Minority Thoubal District Forum and All India Christian Council was held at Mela Ground, Thoubal District Headquarters, here today.

Thousands of Meitei Christians from all districts of Manipur demanded that the Prime Minister's 15 point programme should be made equally available to Meitei Christians also.

Madhu Chandra, spokesperson of North East Support Centre&Helpline, New Delhi, demanded that appropriate members from Meitei Christian community should be appointed both in Welfare for Minorities and OBC Department and Manipur State Minorities Commission.

''The fair distribution of Prime Minister's 15-Point programme for Minorities and welfare of the Meitei Christian minorities can be only made available, when appropriate members from Meitei Christian community are appointed in Welfare for Minorities&OBC Department and Manipur State Minorities Commission,'' Mr Chandra said.

Th Devadas one of the rally organiser from Meitei Christian Minority Thoubal District Forum, said that the majority of the Meitei Christians in four valley districts of Manipur were not listed as Christians in the Census of India. ''Being not listed as Christians in the census, the Meitei Christians lose all the minority related schemes of state and the Central Government,'' Mr Devadas said.

Rev N Nipamcha State President of All India Christian Council said, ''Manipur having 35 per cent of Christian population, the state does not have any members in Welfare for Minorities and OBC and Manipur State Minorities Commission.'' ''To ensure that the Meitei Christians are listed under the choice of their religion, a Writ Petition will be filed in High Court,'' Mr Chandra said.

Rev Debendra President of Meitei Christian Minority Thoubal District condemned the violence on Christians in Orissa, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. They decided to appeal to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to implement Article 355 immediately in Karnataka, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh. ''Hindutva groups must be listed like any other outlaw outfits,'' Rev Debendra demanded.

At the end of the rally a Meitei Christian delegation submitted a Memorandum to Prime Minister through the office of Deputy Commissioner of Thoubal.

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