APCC questions CM for ignoring dispute over church construction, seeks allotment for church

ITANAGAR, Oct 21: The Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has questioned Chief Minister Pema Khandu for “turning a blind eye” with regard to the church construction in Tawang district that has led to “communal disharmony among the inhabitants.”

The state Congress also urged the state government to give equal rights and justice to the Christian community in Tawang by allotting the land at the present site for church construction, which it said, “has been pending since 1999.”

Condemning the recent “illegitimate arrest and administrative torture and harassment inflicted on Christian pastors, leaders and believers in Tawang,” the APCC, in a press statement termed it a form of “targeted religious persecution, dividing the people and the peaceful equilibrium of the state.”

“Arunachal, which was once known as the most peaceful states in India has now turned into a hub for religious hate crime under the Pema-led BJP Government,” the APCC said, adding: “The silence of the chief minister is sending a message across the state that the chief minister, who is also an MLA from Tawang district, is endorsing religious discrimination and has no intention of protecting the legitimate rights of the Christian community in the state.”

┬áIt also asked the state government to “respond responsibly” to the plea of the Christian community and initiate rational and unbiased dialogue to resolve the matter of the church construction at the earliest to spread communal harmony and religious equality in the state.