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IFCSAP slams NPP chief’s view on anti-conversion law

Arunachal Pradesh National People’s Party (NPP) president Mutchu Mithi

Itanagar: The Indigenous Faith and Cultural Society of Arunachal Pradesh (IFCSAP) has slammed the “viral statement” made by National People’s Party (NPP) state president Mutchu Mithi on social media in which he has dubbed the Anti-Conversion Law (Arunachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 1978) of being “malicious, targeted & bigoted against a specific faith, the Christian Faith”.

Mithi, who represents the Roing assembly constituency in the Arunachal Pradesh assembly, in his recent post on Facebook had also called for the Act to be “scrapped” and announced to take up the matter in the state assembly whenever possible.

Condemning the NPP leader’s statement, the IFCSAP on Monday said that “Mithi, being a regional party member, should instead support the Act for the interest of preserving and protecting the tradition, culture, languages and faiths of the regional ethnic groups.”

“It seems that Mithi has no respect for the regional ethnic groups or even for the Indian Constitution. The Act was passed in the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly and also received the assent of the President of India on October 25, 1978,” the society said in a statement.

The IFCSAP said the Act has been made in the true spirit of secularism of the Indian constitution for the interest of indigenous people of Arunachal Pradesh.     

Opinion unchanged:

Mithi, while reacting to IFCSAP’s statement said: “I welcome opinions based on one’s own set of wisdom. At the same juncture we are firm in our views that divisions have been sowed in the ground via a divisive law, a law intentionally lopsided, disproportionately against a certain religion and against the spirit of our constitutional framers intent.”

There is no reason for me to retrospect or think otherwise and nor have my opinions changed, he added.

The Arunachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 1978 or the Anti-Conversion Law, though never enforced in the state, prohibits the conversion from one religious faith to any other religious faith by use of force or inducement or by fraudulent means and for matters connected therewith.

According to the 2011 census, Christianity accounts for 30.26% of Arunachal’s total population with 29.04 % being Hindus and 26.2 % practicing other religions.

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