|Fresh allegations in Mizo priest death case|
AIZAWL, March 8 - Two separate FIRs submitted in the district court here have renewed the case of the mysterious death of a well-known Presbyterian church leader ten years ago.
Mizoram’s main opposition party Mizo National Front (MNF) on Tuesday filed an FIR with the chief judicial magistrate in Aizawl against one Thansanga, who allegedly accused MNF president and former CM Zoramthanga of sanctioning the “murder” of the church leader.
Earlier, on Monday, B Zorampara, president of PAMRA (Peace Accord MNF Returnees Association), a group of former MNF rebels, also submitted an FIR to civil judge T Lalhmachhuana, against Thansanga’s baseless allegations of his (Zorampara’s) involvement in the “murder of the pastor”.
Rev Chanchinmawia, former Mizoram Presbyterian Synod moderator and pastor of Khatla Presbyterian Church was found dead in a pool of blood inside the kitchen of his quarters at Khatla here on October 1, 2007. The mysterious death of the pastor evoked controversies, with many refusing to accept the suicide theory in his death. The Congress, which was then in the opposition, even organised a procession against the “murder of the pastor”.
The special investigation team set up by the then MNF Government, could not find any evidence to support homicide theory in the pastor’s death, and concluded that it was a suicide case.
The government handed over the case to CBI for further probe in 2008 as many sections of the people, including the Presbyterian Church, did not accept the SIT report. However, the CBI too did not find any foul play in the death.
Congress CM Lal Thanhawla, who came to power in late 2009, lambasted the CBI report saying that the agency did not properly handle the case.
The death of the pastor evoked feud between the ruling Congress and MNF again in 2014 when one Muanhlua said the Reverend did not commit suicide but was “murdered”. He accused Zoramthanga of paying his (Muanhlua’s) friend Lalhluna Rs 5 lakh to carry out the murder.
However, fresh allegations came from Thansanga, a Congress worker who in his written statement made at Congress Bhavan on February 27, alleged that then CM Zoramthanga called him over and offered Rs 10 lakh to murder the pastor.
“As I refused to kill a pastor, he then turned to B Zorampara (who was then a peon in the Finance department). Zorampara accepted the offer and then hired militants from Manipur to carry out the task,” Thansanga’s statement said.
“After doing the job, the militants went to CM’s residence and asked for the reward. As they were offered only Rs 7 lakh, against the promised Rs 10 lakh, they refused to accept it. Then, CM telephoned Aizawl SP office. The police immediately arrested the militants with guns and explosives from the residence of Zorampara. When I heard of the arrests, I rushed to Aizawl police station to be told that the militants would be sent back to Manipur without filing a case here”, the statement said.