Arunachal: Three-member Committee Submits Report on Tawang Church Issue 

Church

The three-member high-power committee on Monday led by Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Mama Natung that includes MLAs Nyamar Karbak and Nyato Dukom, presented its findings to Chief Minister Pema Khandu on the Tawang church issue.

The development comes in the wake of the Arunachal Christian Forum’s (ACF) serving a 15-day ultimatum to the state government to make the report public by 2 June.

Minister Natung informed that the committee report is “primarily based on the facts and figures,” referring to the Supreme Court’s rulings and judgments on issues related to religious institutions.

“Our report is based on facts and merits, considering the Supreme Court’s ruling and the provisions under the relevant laws of both the state and the Centre,” Natung said, without divulging the contents of the report.

The Tawang church dispute began when its pastor, Joseph Singhi, was detained in October 2020, after an FIR was filed by the district land revenue and survey officer that alleged that he had illegally constructed the church.

The pastor’s arrest sparked statewide protests by the Christian community. The Tawang district administration had invoked Section 4 (1) of the Arunachal Pradesh Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupant) Act, 2003, after Singhi allegedly “failed to comply with the order.”

Facing widespread criticism, the state government had constituted the committee on 9 November last year to study the ground reality and submit its report to the state government.

 

 

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