Tripura HC directs action over persecution of converts to Christianity | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Tripura HC directs action over persecution of converts to Christianity

ByPriyanka Deb Barman
Oct 18, 2023 08:43 AM IST

Purnomoy Chakma and Tarun Chakma, who were excommunicated after converting along with their families, moved the court accusing the two Buddhist organisations of persecuting them

The Tripura high court has ordered police and the administration to intervene and make arrests if required over the persecution of two Buddhist families for converting to Christianity in November last year.

The petitioners said they were prevented from attending prayers at a church. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The petitioners said they were prevented from attending prayers at a church. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Purnomoy Chakma and Tarun Chakma, who were excommunicated after converting along with their families in Unakoti, moved the court accusing the two Chakma organisations of persecuting, threatening, putting their livelihood at risk, and confining them to their homes.

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Purnomoy Chakma, a daily wager, said he was being denied work and that he earlier worked under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. Tarun Chakma, an auto-rickshaw driver, said Chakma organisations issued a diktat for his boycott and threatened up to 40,000 as a fine if anybody hired his auto. He said he had taken a loan to buy the auto-rickshaw and also a personal loan to meet his expenses.

The petitioners said they were prevented from attending prayers at a church and that Buddhist Chakmas have asked people not to interact with them or else they would be fined and punished according to their customary law.

The organisations cited the customary laws and said the converts were being punished for the “ crime” of being Christians and that they would accept them if they returned to the Buddhist fold.

The petitioners sought the intervention of police on June 26 accusing Chakma organisations of misusing the customary laws for persecuting them. The inaction prompted them to move the high court.

Senior advocate Samrat Kar Bhowmik said Justice Arindam Lodh on Tuesday directed the Chakma bodies to stop the unconstitutional diktats or else police and the administration would take stern action. “The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion to the citizens. The Chakma bodies’ activities in the name of religion are unconstitutional.”

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