The issue of hurting religious sentiments has again surfaced in Arunachal Pradesh. Religious and cultural units of East Kameng district have filed an FIR against the pastor of the Pentecostal Church of Seppa, Chatung Sopung and Tali Langro, among others for burning the symbol of the Supreme Goddess Ain Donyi (Mother of the Sun). They said that the actions of the pastor had hurt their religious sentiments.
A user named Pai Dawe shared the video and FIR on social media and said, “Whosoever tries undermining indigenous Faith sentiment and believe shall have to face the law of the land. This is why we always advocate for the strict implementation of the Arunachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act. 1978. Such brutal proselytization are the result of the lackadaisical attitude of State Govt on the preservation of Indigenous Faiths and culture.” He added that the time has come for the state’s legislatures to implement and execute the act thoughtfully.
In the FIR, the complainant said that the clergy’s action violates sections 3, 4 and 5 of the religious and freedom act of Arunachal Pradesh. The FIR mentions other sections of IPC, including 295A and 298. When the issue was raised on social media, OpIndia tried to contact the president of IFCSAP EK Unit Khyan Sonam, but he was supposedly busy in another meeting. OpIndia also called Carling Dolo, chairman of NIFCS EK Unique, but he did not answer the call.
On gathering more information, OpIndia found some videos that were shared on social media. In those videos, the pastor and his followers were mocking other religions in the name of Jesus. They burnt down the icons and idols of Ain Donyi in the name of Jesus. The pastor was heard saying in the video, “In the name of Jesus, we destroy the powers of all the enemies.”
After the pastor calls for burning the idols and symbols, a man put flammable substance and set them on fire. Those who were present at the scene supported him by throwing dry grass and leaves on the idols. The pastor kept saying “burnt in the name of God” while setting the idols and symbols on fire.