9.6 C
New York
Sunday, December 3, 2023

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

Row Over Cross And Flag Atop Manipur's 'Sacred' Hill, Police Case Filed

Indigenous Tribal Leaders Discussion board denied encroachment on Thangting (Thanjing); objects not on sacred website

Imphal/New Delhi:

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

Moirang’s Meitei group had been going for pilgrimage to Thangjing hill, the house of the deity Ibudhou Thangjing. They imagine the Thangjing hill website to be not less than 2,000 years outdated. 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 digicam for the primary time on September 11, a Moirang resident advised NDTV. The group flag additionally worn as a shoulder patch by an rebel group has been eliminated now, although the cross stays, the resident mentioned, requesting anonymity.

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

“The cross is an indication of Christianity; it’s seen in lots of components of our land, be it in church buildings or houses. 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 advised NDTV, denying encroachments on the sacred website 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 crimson 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, nevertheless, requested the federal government to clear the alleged encroachment from Thangjing hill.

“To make a comparability on why that is an especially severe matter, we want to level out that the desecration of Thangjing hill can be the identical because the desecration of Bharat’s holy websites within the mountains like Kedarnath, Badrinath, or the Amarnath shrine,” AMA mentioned 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 individuals in Moirang underneath Bishnupur district – dwelling to the northeast’s largest freshwater lake Loktak – contemplate the deity Ibudhou Thangjing the world’s guardian. Images 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 advised 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 individuals’s sacred land. We grew up residing in concord with different communities and sure, we have now been residing peacefully with the tribes too. Solely in latest occasions numerous infiltration has taken place from Myanmar. These individuals do not know the land, do not respect the land. They need to break up Manipur. The tribes we have now been residing with would not desecrate our holiest shrine,” the MLA advised NDTV.

Mr Vualzong mentioned 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 isn’t the ZRA flag, however a Zomi or a group flag,” he mentioned.

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

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

The Manipur cupboard in October final yr took a choice to incorporate 4 hectares of Ibudhou Thangjing, two hectares of Koubru Laipham and 4 hectares of Lai Pukhri underneath Part 4 of the Manipur Historical 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 data report over the alleged encroachment. The committee alleged the Kuki College students’ Organisation in Might final yr advised Moirang residents to take their permission in the event that they needed to supply prayers on the hilltop shrine. This has led to stress between the 2 communities.

Ibudhou Thangjing’s shrine on the hill was not seen from Moirang valley previously, 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 finished research on deforestation advised NDTV, requesting anonymity.

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

Folks must cross a couple of 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 dust path existed until the hilltop. Kwakta noticed main ethnic clashes previously 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 specifically for over 2,000 years. The legend of Khamba and Thoibi and the traditional Moirang principality are inseparably linked to this historical website,” Lieutenant Normal Konsam Himalay Singh, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM YSM (retired) – the primary officer from the northeast to develop into a Lieutenant Normal within the Indian Military – advised NDTV.

“Being in Hill areas of Manipur, this sacred website was included within the newly created hill district of Churachandpur in 1969. This sacred website turned a friction level in the previous couple of years, when contested rights and claims hardened over the location between a couple of hill villages and the believers of the deity. I’m sanguine that the events concerned will respect the religion of over 1,000,000 individuals,” Lt Normal Singh mentioned.

Maheshwar Thounaojam, a Manipur resident and the Normal Secretary of the Republican Occasion of India (Athawale), mentioned Thangjing hill is a cultural heritage website for the Meiteis.

“Ibudhou Thangjing is a primordial deity of the Meiteis, for which we rejoice the primary Sunday of the Meitei New 12 months or Cheiraoba. I and each Meitei strongly condemn the hoisting of the ZRA flag at our cultural heritage website,” Mr Thounaojam advised NDTV, referring to the rebel group Zomi Revolutionary Military’s flag, which the ITLF spokesperson Mr Vualzong has already denied isn’t the rebel group’s flag however of a group, indicating the linking of the flag with the rebel group is deceptive.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles