Imphal: Police have strictly guarded the residence of Christian
missionary Takhellambam Ramananda of Langol Tarung West Colony after hundreds of unknown youths wearing black attire reportedly stormed the house of Ramananda and searched for him for making a ‘highly blasphemous speech’ targeting the religious faith of a community.
Infuriated by his speech, unknown youths numbering
around 200 came to the residence of Ramananda at Langol Tarung West Colony on Sunday morning and demanded the family members to produce Ramananda. As Ramananda was not available at home, the unknown youths wrote slogans “Sanamahina Yaiphare” on the wall and the residential gate.
Takhellambam Ramananda hails from Ukhongshang Mamang Leikai but presently staying at Langol Tarung West Colony, Imphal West. He is said to be a Christian missionary and Assistant Director of Leadership Training Centre.
Following the incident, Imphal West Police has taken up strict
security measures in and around the residence of Ramananda to prevent occurrence of unwanted incidents.
Meanwhile, Utra Sanglen Sana Konung has sought a public apology from Ramananda for his ‘blasphemous speech’ targeting the religious faith of Meetei community.
Addressing reporters at its Sana Konung premises on Sunday, Maichou Purel Kangjiya Mangang said that the ‘blasphemous speech’ made by Evangelist Ramanand targeting the Meetei Sanamahism faith during a Gospel outreach program of Sagang Baptist Church on March 26 is unconstitutional.
He said that showing disrespect to one’s religious faith is unconstitutional in a democratic country like India that upholds the spirit of secularism. One religion should respect one’s faith. In Sanamahi religion, when a man dies, those who went for cremation are sprinkled with water using Tairel leaves and fire is lit at the residential gates to ward off evil. This practice is performed by Meetei community and some other communities including Kom, he said.
He said that the Kom community should also strongly condemn Ramananda for his ‘hate speech’ that could trigger communal flare up in the State.
He mentioned that missionary Takhellambam Ramananda was detained by police for making the ‘hate speech’ on Saturday but one MLA from the hill allegedly took him away while the police were questioning him. To de-escalate the tense situation, the woman MLA should make Ramananda tender public apology for his hate speech, he said.
Contending that the Meetei Brahmans in the State worship Sanamahi at their homes although they embrace Hindu religion, he appealed to the Meetei Christians to worship Lainingthou Sanamahi.
Notably, evangelist Ramananda was accused of making offensive remarks against the Meitei indigenous faith during a Gospel outreach program of Sagang Baptist Church on March 26. The incident was recorded on video and went viral on social media, leading to a complaint filed against him.
Ramananda made ‘derogatory remarks and gestures’, spat on the stage, and said, “Noigi mi siba kanda, noigi mi siba chatluba meeoishinga hallakpa kanda tairel mana pairaga eshing khiktokle aduga thongalda mei thai, karigino hairaga phattaba changdanabane hai, thui!”. This can be roughly translated into, “When your people die, those who went for cremation are sprinkled with water using Tairel leaves and fire is lit at the residential gates. On being asked about this practice/custom, people said that it is meant to ward off evil.”
His speech targeted the Sanamahi faith and the Meitei community expressed their outrage and condemnation over Ramananda’s remarks on social media.
Titular king and Rajya Sabha MP Maharaja Leishemba Sanajaoba questioned Missionary Takhellambam Ramananda’s identity and pledged to take strong action against him.
Sanajaoba took to Facebook to express his anger and said that
he would never forgive Ramananda for his disrespectful behavior towards the Meitei community. He even swore in the name of Ebudhou Pakhangba that he would “skin him alive” if an apology is not issued.
The titular king also pledged that he does not care if he remains an MP or not but he will not tolerate any derogation of the culture and customs of the Meitei community.