Under Green Manipur Mission, the BJYM Manipur unit led by president Manoharmayum Barish Sharma is conducting plantation drives in Koubru and Thangjing hills. On Saturday, his team was confronted by the Kuki villages on Thangjing hill. The Kuki villagers prevented the BJYM members from carrying out a tree plantation atop the denuded Thangjing Hill. Later, Barish was able to convince the Village chief and continued the plantation drives.
A group of BJYM Manipur Pradesh members led by its President M Barish Sharma went to Thangjing Hill to carry out a tree plantation drive atop the denuded Thangjing Hill and offer prayers at Lord Thangjing. However, the team was blocked by the villagers of Tayang Kuki and other villages.
The villagers said that only BJYM leader Barish Sharma would be allowed to climb the Thangjing Hill to plant a tree while others would not be allowed. A heated altercation broke between the two sides with a heavy exchange of words.
The villagers told that permission with regard to climbing Thangjing Hill and carrying plantation drives should be taken from the village authority, to which the BJYM leader Barish Sharma replied that they came to plant trees atop the denuded Thangjing Hill in view of the degrading environment as fallout of mass deforestation and to offer prayers at Lord Thangjing.
Barish Sharma told the villagers that planting trees to protect the environment is not in the interest of a particular community but for the interest of all. He also mentioned that restrictions on the entry of anybody into Thangjing Hill will only cause a communal flare up in the State.
Questioning how far offering of prayers to Lord Thangjing, followed by tree plantation has harassed the tribal village settled there, he said that valley people climbing Mount Thangjing to offer prayer and plant trees should not be viewed as enemies by the hill people.
As the situation grew tense, police personnel of Phoubakchao, Moirang and Ithai rushed to the spot and tried to control the mob.
After reaching an understanding with the village chief, the BJYM team climbed the Thangjing Hill and offered prayers to Lord Thangjing, followed by a tree plantation drive.
Notably, the deadlock over Thangjing Hill erupted after Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO), Henglep Block recently issued a press statement preventing the entry of valley-based individuals and CSOs in Thangjing Hill to carry out activities like tree plantation there.
The organization had said that it is unethical and unbecoming of any individual, group, or society to conduct activities of any sort without taking the due consent of the local populace or the Chief.
Various organizations in the valley have strongly reacted to such restrictions imposed by the KSO and sought intervention from the State Government to ensure that no communal flare up erupts in the State as a fallout of the issue. They observed that the situation may go out of control unless the government intervenes in the issue at the earliest.