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No Haokip Reserved in Thanging hill, Manipur government

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IMPHAL, Feb 19: Manipur forest, environment and climate change department on Monday refuted Thangjing hill ownership claim made by the Ukha-Loikhai village.

On February 16, chief of the Ukha-Loikhai village, Thenkhomang Haokip claimed the village as the owner of the Thangjing hill in Churachandpur district while terming it as ‘Haokip Reserved’. He also referred to Thangjing as ‘Thangting’.

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“There are no records of the Haokip Reserved notified under any resolution/Act/rules as per records maintained by the state government contrary to the claim made by the self-proclaimed chief”, the forest, environment and climate change said, in an order issued on Monday while discrediting the claim.

The order asserted that the claim is fabricated and holds no legal standing.

The order stated that the present day Thangjing hill range, which falls within the Churachandpur-Khoupum Protected Forests, was notified on September 17, 1966 under section 29 of the Indian Forest Act, 1927.

The present day Ukha-Loikhai settlement falls within the boundary of this protected forest and the order for setting apart Ukha-Loikhai from the Churachandpur-Khoupum protected forest was cancelled by an office memorandum of the state forest department issued in November 2022. Fresh inquiry in this regard has already been initiated by the state government, the government order stated.

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Contrary to the village chief’s claim, there are no records of the ‘Haokip Reserved’ under any Resolution/Act/Rules, as per the state government’s maintained records, it added.

The order emphasized that Thangjing (Thang Ching) holds historical importance, leading the government to declare it a protected site under section 4 of the Manipur Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1976, through Gazette No. 376.

The order signed by special secretary (forest, environment and climate change department) RK Amarjit Singh stated alleged that the claim is a deliberate attempt to mislead the general public while labeling it as non-existent with a mala-fide intention. The claim has no locus standi and is treated as non-est.

Meanwhile, Thangjing Seva Mandal Moirang and Committee on Protection and Preservation of the Historical Rights of Koubru and Thangjing Hill Ranges (CPPKT) rubbished the claim made by the self-proclaimed village chief.

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Addressing a press conference at Moirang, the two bodies insisted that the concerned authorities of the state government should initiate legal action against Thenkhomang Haokip.

CPPKT secretary Y Shyam Khuman said that no individual or organization or NGO has the right to own the hill, which the state government had declared as protected site Manipur Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1976.

He claimed that the place is mentioned as ‘The Sacred Abode of Lord Thangjing’ in ‘Wakoklol Heelel Salai Amailon Pukok Puya’ verified by National Archives, New Delhi and in various ‘Puya’ (Sacred Book), Moirang Ningthourol (Royal Chronicles of Moirang) and various credible books including British Accounts.

He said that the site has an inseparable bond with the Meitei people, especially residents of Moirang. The site has a significant part in Moirang Khunthoklon (the beginning of human civilization) and Moirang Kangleirol, also the history of Moirang which can be traced back to the reign of Iwang Puriklai Fang Fang Ponglenhanba.

Moirang flourished as a kingdom with a rich heritage, culture, tradition and history and all of this is a historical credential of more than 2000 years, not a concocted name and history, he said.

The Thingjing hill has been a controversial point since the ethnic conflict erupted in the state after a cross was installed atop a hill repeatedly desecrating the shrine of Ibudhou Thangjing.

A cross was installed on January 25 last despite a Supreme Court order on December 16, 2023 that the Manipur government should ensure all religious buildings including churches and temples are protected.

The Supreme Court order came in response to vandalism of 386 religious structures following the outbreak of ethnic clashes in May last year. (NNN)

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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