The ongoing violence in India’s Manipur state is part of a larger plan “to destabilise interreligious harmony” and raise support for the ruling Hindutva nationalist party, according to local Church sources.
Extremists “want to terrorise” Christians and Muslims to try “to win over Hindus” for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before the general elections next April, a bishop from the region told Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).
The bishop, who asked not to be named for safety reasons, has been in direct contact with Christians in and around Imphal, the capital of Manipur in north-east India, where the conflict has been raging for weeks.
The bishop said: “Many lives have been lost. What the newspapers are giving are the confirmed cases but there are many more lives lost than officially published. The violent activities outside the capital are very much underreported.”