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'Renaming' of Manipur sacred Thangjing hill by Kuki group triggers anger, Manipur govt lodges FIR

The Thangjing hills, situated in an area under Henglep police station in Kuki-dominated Churachandpur district, is considered a sacred site by the Meiteis who follow Sanamahi, an ethnic religion.
Last Updated : 21 May 2024, 15:01 IST
Last Updated : 21 May 2024, 15:01 IST

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Guwahati: The Manipur government on Monday lodged a zero FIR against unknown persons after a photograph showing renaming of the Thangjing hills, considered sacred by the majority Meiteis, went viral on social media and triggered anger in the Meitei community of the state.

Many Meiteis reacted angrily on social media as the photograph showed a gate leading to the hills purportedly named as "Thangting camp" of Kuki National Front-Military Council (KNP-MC), one of the Kuki insurgent groups, which is in suspension of operations agreement with the government.

The Thangjing hills, situated in an area under Henglep police station in Kuki-dominated Churachandpur district, is considered a sacred site by the Meiteis who follow Sanamahi, an ethnic religion.

But the site has become inaccessible for the Meiteis due to the ongoing conflict with the Meiteis. Kukis, on the other hand, calls it Thangting.

As the conflict since May last year deepened the ethnic divide, Meiteis and Kukis have stopped visiting each other's areas, fearing attacks.

A case was registered after the zero FIR was lodged at Imphal police station on Monday by Mangoljao Kamei, under secretary of Manipur land resource department. A zero FIR can be filed in any police station against crime committed in another place.

The FIR said that Thangjing hills range falls within the Churachandpur-Khoupum protected forests, which was notified on September 17, 1966 by Manipur forest and environment department under Section 29 of Indian Forest Act, 1927.

It further said the Thangjing (Thang Ching) is a hill of historical importance and the art and culture department had declared it as a protected site under Section 4 of the Manipur Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1976 through a notification in 2022.

"As the erection of the gate bearing the words Kuki National Front-Military Council with the name of the site mentioned as "Thangting" indicates unauthorised changing of the original name of Thangjing (Thang Ching), it is a violation of the of the provision of Manipur Names of Places Act, 2024 and section 4 of Manipur Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1976," said the FIR.

The Manipur Names of Places Act, 2024 was enacted by the Manipur Assembly in March this year after Kukis started replacing names of places in Kuki-dominated areas with Kuki names. Kukis even call Churachandpur, a Kuki-dominated district Lamka, which has drawn anger in the Meitei-dominated Valley districts.

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Published 21 May 2024, 15:01 IST

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