Row Over Cross And Flag Atop Manipur’s Sacred Thangjing Hill In Moirang, Police Case Filed


Indigenous Tribal Leaders Discussion board denied encroachment on Thangting (Thangjing); objects not on sacred web site

Imphal/New Delhi:

The looks of a cross and a neighborhood flag atop a hill close to Manipur’s Moirang city has raised a large controversy, because the hill has a sacred web site of the residents of this lakeside district, 60 km from the state capital Imphal.

Moirang’s Meitei neighborhood had been going for pilgrimage to Thangjing hill, the house of the deity Ibudhou Thangjing. They imagine the Thangjing hill web site to be a minimum of 2,000 years previous. The tribes name this hill vary Thangting. The renaming to Thangting in December 2015 by the then Congress authorities within the state had led to tensions amongst communities.

The alleged encroachments had been seen on digital camera for the primary time on September 11, a Moirang resident informed NDTV. The neighborhood flag additionally worn as a shoulder patch by an rebel group has been eliminated now, although the cross stays, the resident stated, requesting anonymity.

Indigenous Tribal Leaders Discussion board (ITLF) spokesperson Ginza Vualzong denied any encroachment on the sacred web site of the Meitei neighborhood.

“The cross is an indication of Christianity; it’s seen in lots of components of our land, be it in church buildings or properties. As it’s a image of our faith, to erect a cross on the Thangting vary is regular and an expression of our religion. Because it doesn’t encroach on anybody’s land, I don’t see a difficulty right here,” Mr Vualong informed NDTV, denying encroachments on the sacred web site of the Moirang residents.

Thangting (or Thangjing) hill and Moirang town (in red circle), near Loktak Lake in Manipur

Thangting (or Thangjing) hill and Moirang city (in purple circle), close to Loktak Lake in Manipur. Click on right here for top decision pic

A number of civil society teams together with the Affiliation of Meiteis within the Americas (AMA) have, nonetheless, requested the federal government to clear the alleged encroachment from Thangjing hill.

“To make a comparability on why that is a particularly severe matter, we wish to level out that the desecration of Thangjing hill could be the identical because the desecration of Bharat’s holy websites within the mountains like Kedarnath, Badrinath, or the Amarnath shrine,” AMA stated within the assertion.

This hill vary lies between Moirang and Churachandpur districts, 40 km aside. Churachandpur is the place ethnic violence between the hill-majority Kuki tribes and the valley-majority Meiteis started on Might 3.

The folks in Moirang below Bishnupur district – dwelling to the northeast’s largest freshwater lake Loktak – take into account the deity Ibudhou Thangjing the realm’s guardian. Pictures taken with highly effective zoom lenses and drone footage present the objects on the hill, giving it the looks of a spot that has been desecrated, Moirang MLA Thongam Shanti informed NDTV.

Mr Shanti alleged the cross and the flag got here up on the identical spot the place the shrine of Ibudhou Thangjing stands, although Mr Vualzong denied any such factor.

“That is what terrorists do, encroaching upon different folks’s sacred land. We grew up dwelling in concord with different communities and sure, we now have been dwelling peacefully with the tribes too. Solely in latest occasions lots of infiltration has taken place from Myanmar. These folks do not know the land, do not respect the land. They wish to break up Manipur. The tribes we now have been dwelling with would not desecrate our holiest shrine,” the MLA informed NDTV.

Mr Vualzong stated the allegations by Moirang residents {that a} flag of an rebel group has been put in atop Thangjing hill is a blatant lie.

“As for the flag, it’s not the ZRA flag, however a Zomi or a neighborhood flag,” he stated.

Thangting (Thangjing) hill, Churachandpur (bottom red circle) and Moirang (upper red circle)

Thangting (Thangjing) hill, Churachandpur (backside purple circle) and Moirang (higher purple circle). Click on right here for top decision pic

The Manipur cupboard in October final 12 months took a call to incorporate 4 hectares of Ibudhou Thangjing, two hectares of Koubru Laipham and 4 hectares of Lai Pukhri below Part 4 of the Manipur Historic and Historic Monuments and Archaeological Websites and Stays Act, 1976, which protects these locations from encroachments.

A Moirang committee on defending the Koubru and Thangjing ranges has filed a primary info report over the alleged encroachment. The committee alleged the Kuki College students’ Organisation in Might final 12 months informed Moirang residents to take their permission in the event that they needed to supply prayers on the hilltop shrine. This has led to pressure between the 2 communities.

Ibudhou Thangjing’s shrine on the hill was not seen from Moirang valley prior to now, however is seen now with binoculars since a big a part of the hillside has been deforested, a Moirang resident who grew up within the lakeside city and who has executed research on deforestation informed NDTV, requesting anonymity.

He stated communities had been dwelling peacefully till the Thangjing hill subdivision was renamed to Thangting, a reputation recognised by the hill tribes. “I feel that created the bottom for confrontation over Thangjing hill. Even then, via negotiation, the Ibudhou Thangjing committee went to the hill shrine final 12 months,” the Moirang resident stated, including deforestation is clearly evident.

Individuals must cross just a few preliminary lower-height ranges, then a center spot earlier than lastly reaching the hilltop shrine. After the federal government constructed a highway from Kwakta aspect to the hilltop, insurgents started misusing the highway to journey up and down quick, the Moirang resident alleged. Earlier, solely a mud path existed until the hilltop. Kwakta noticed main ethnic clashes prior to now months; it lies between Moirang and Thangjing hill.

“Thangjing hill is believed to be the abode of the Ibudhou Thangjing, some of the revered deities of the Meiteis and Moirang clan particularly for over 2,000 years. The legend of Khamba and Thoibi and the traditional Moirang principality are inseparably linked to this historical web site,” Lieutenant Normal Konsam Himalay Singh, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM YSM (retired) – the primary officer from the northeast to grow to be a Lieutenant Normal within the Indian Military – informed NDTV.

“Being in Hill areas of Manipur, this sacred web site was included within the newly created hill district of Churachandpur in 1969. This sacred web site grew to become a friction level in the previous few years, when contested rights and claims hardened over the positioning between just a few hill villages and the believers of the deity. I’m sanguine that the events concerned will respect the religion of over 1,000,000 folks,” Lt Normal Singh stated.

Maheshwar Thounaojam, a Manipur resident and the Normal Secretary of the Republican Get together of India (Athawale), stated Thangjing hill is a cultural heritage web site for the Meiteis.

“Ibudhou Thangjing is a primordial deity of the Meiteis, for which we have a good time the primary Sunday of the Meitei New Yr or Cheiraoba. I and each Meitei strongly condemn the hoisting of the ZRA flag at our cultural heritage web site,” Mr Thounaojam informed NDTV, referring to the rebel group Zomi Revolutionary Military’s flag, which the ITLF spokesperson Mr Vualzong has already denied shouldn’t be the rebel group’s flag however of a neighborhood, indicating the linking of the flag with the rebel group is deceptive.

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