Three days after a controversy (rather misconstruction) over his death, Zionnghaka well known as Ziona, the patriarch of what is believed to be the world’s largest family that live in central Mizoram’s Serchhip district, will be finally laid to rest on Thursday amid pious tribute, family sources said.
The funeral of the Chhuanthar community chief will be held at 10:45 am at his mansion- “Chhuanthar Run,” under strict Covid-19 protocols, the sources said.
Members of Chhuanthar Military Band party will perform during the funeral to give pious tribute and farewell to the departed soul, sources said.
The priest of Lalpa Kohhran Thar, the religious sect which Ziona had headed, will perform the last rite, the sources added.
Ziona died of complications related to diabetes, hypertension and old-age on Sunday around 3 pm.
He remained unconscious after being treated at his residence and was taken to Trinity hospital in Aizawl, where doctors declared him “brought dead.”
Trinity hospital director Dr Lalrintluanga Zahau had said that the patriarch was already dead by the time he was brought to the hospital.
Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) was performed to revive him but to no avail, he had said.
As per Mizo tradition, he was supposed to be buried on Monday.
However, his family and member of the religious community refused to bury him as they were not convinced with his death.
They claimed that the leader regained pulse beat after he was brought to his residence, his body still warm and not stiff either.
Later the family declared that the leader passed away finally on Monday around 9 pm.
Sources said that his body will be laid at the holy or sacred place of the sect.
Ziona had married to 39 wives, of which 38 are still alive.
He has more than 90 children and over 30 grandchildren
More than 180 family members live in his four-storey mansion located at Baktawng village in Serchhip district about 60 km from Aizawl.
After the death of his father Chana in 1997, Ziona headed the religious sect founded his by uncle Khuangtuaha around 79 years ago.
The total number of his followers is estimated to be about 2500 belonging to 433 families.
The religious sect was referred by the locals as “Chana Pawl” (Chana’s sect or group), while the sect members referred it as “Lalpa Kohhran thar” (New church of God). It is more or less a millennial denomination as it believes in millenarianism.
The religious head is given high respect and treated him almost equal to God. The sect allowed its male members to be polygamous.
Their community is called “Lalruat Chhuanthar” or Chhuanthar (new generation established by God). Chhuanthar is sometimes used to refer to the religious sect.