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India: Jesuit Missionaries attacked in Manipur

Solidarity March by tribal students' union Manipur

A group of men attacked five Jesuit missionaries and a student during the ongoing Manipur violence on May 3 near Moirang, Manipur.

According to an eyewitness, Jesuit priests Fr. Boni, Fr. Melwyn, Fr. Stephen Naulak, Fr. Felix Movi, and a student from Phesama were stopped by a mob while returning to Moirang after a house blessing in the project area. 

Some members of the mob, who were drunk, attacked the missionaries because they thought they were trying to escape. 

After their jeep was set on fire, the group escaped to the nearest field. But some members of the mob realized that they had attacked a group of priests and took them to a house nearby.

However, Fr. Stephen Naulak sustained injuries to his forehead and was taken to the hospital. 

Manipur is divided into hilly and valley areas. The hilly regions that comprise 90 percent of the state’s total area are inhabited by Naga and Kuki-Chin-Mizo, or Zo, ethnic tribes. The non-tribals, or Meiteis, dominate the valley areas.

The “solidarity march” was organized as a protest against the demand for inclusion of the state’s Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category following the Manipur High Court directive on April 19. 

The development has reopened an old ethnic divide between the plain-dwelling Meitei community and the hill tribes.

On Wednesday afternoon, the rally organized in the Churachandpur district turned violent when the demonstrators clashed with a group of people in an area bordering the Bishnupur district. Unidentified suspects set fire to houses belonging to a particular group.

Sporadic incidents of violence were reported in several parts of the state, including the capital, Imphal. 

The government imposed a curfew in most 16 districts until further orders and suspended mobile internet services for five days. The Government also imposed an inter-state travel ban.


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.