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SOURCE: Manipur News

The Manipur government has initiated action against a Kuki insurgent group for renaming a sacred hill of the valley-dominant Meitei community and claiming the area as their “camp”.Manipur government sources said today.

The Kuki armed group’s actions could spark another round of violence amid ethnic tensions between the hill-dominant Kuki tribes and the Meitei people. The Kuki National Front – Military Council, or KNF (MC), which also calls itself the “Kuki Army”, put up a signboard at the base of Thangjing Ching (hill), calling it the “Thangting Camp” of the “Kuki Army” .

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh said in a post on Twitter that the state government has registered a police case against the Kuki armed group as the area is a protected site. Mr Singh said the name change by the armed group also violated the Manipur Place Names Act, 2024. “Measures have been taken to immediately book any group or individuals involved in changing any existing name without the approval of the government.

A case has also been registered for changing Thangjing Ching under the Manipur Place Names Act, 2024 , which is also a protected site, “Chief Minister Thangjing Ching Range, located 40 km away in Churachandpur district, is where the ethnic violence started on May 3, 2023. The people of Moirang, home of Loktak, the largest freshwater lake in the northeast, also consider the deity Ibudhou Thangjing as the patron of the area.

In October 2022, the Manipur Cabinet decided to include four hectares of Ibudhou Thangjing, two hectares of Kobru Lipham and four hectares of Lai Pukhri under Section 4 of the Manipur Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1976, which provides protection . These places should be freed from encroachment. Manipur government sources said the blatant act by the Kuki insurgent group of installing a signboard claiming the hill as the “camp” of the “Kuki Army” would be construed as an act of hostility. He said the central government would be kept informed about the escalation and possible action by the armed group.