The Manipur government on Thursday retracted its order declaring Easter Sunday on March 31 as a working day for all public offices, reported PTI.

On Wednesday, the state government said in a notification that March 30 (Saturday) and 31 (Sunday) will be working days in government departments for the “smooth functioning of offices in the last few days of financial year”.

The order triggered outrage in the conflict-ridden state.

The Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum, an umbrella body of the Kuki-Zo community, said the order would hurt the sentiments of the Christian community, reported Hindustan Times.

According to the 2011 Census, 41.2% of Manipur’s population is Christian.

Retracting the order on Thursday, the General Administration Department said: “The Governor of Manipur is pleased to declare that only March 30 will be a working day for all government offices.”

‘Deliberate attempt’

Calling the order unconstitutional, the United Christian Forum had called for it to be withdrawn, according to The Hindu.

“It seems like a deliberate attempt,” said. United Christian Forum national coordinator AC Michael. “It is not possible that they are not aware how important the day is, despite running a state with a 41% Christian population.”

Michael said that the order was “related to the new political narrative we are seeing across the country which demeans minorities”.

War of words in Kerala

The Manipur government’s March 27 order was “surprising and worrisome”, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor told mediapersons on Thursday.

“It has come in the aftermath of a devastating year in Manipur where violence happened,” said Tharoor. “Amid all this, to hurt the sentiment of one community is a matter of grave concern. The Government of India should intervene and get this withdrawn.”

Manipur has been gripped by ethnic clashes between the tribal Kuki and the dominant Meitei communities since May. The violence has left 219 persons dead and displaced 60,000 people from their homes since May 3, according to figures released by the state government last month.

Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, VD Satheesan, had called the order “disrespectful” and “divisive”, reported PTI.

Satheesan called the Bharatiya Janata Party “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. He pointed out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who makes frequent visits to Kerala, was yet to go to Manipur after the ethnic conflict broke out.

After the Manipur government withdrew the order, BJP leader Prakash Javadekar alleged that the Congress was “raking up falsehoods”.