The Liangmai Naga Council, Eastern Zone (LNC-EZ), has strongly condemned the “diktats” issued against devotees Koubo Ra (Lord of Koubru) and destruction of the “road and bridges in Koubru Hill Range by some sections of Kuki people”.
“It is unfortunate to learn that recently some sections of Kuki people under Kangpokpi district issued diktat against the devotees of Koubo Ra (Lord of Koubru) to stop performing their religious yatra on the Koubru Hill Range by damaging the road and bridges which is the lifeline of different communities residing in that area and is also the only road which leads to the sacred site of Koubru Hill,” the Liangmai body said in a press statement on Saturday. “No right thinking citizens of the country should support such senseless acts,” it added. The Liangmai Naga Council, Eastern Zone, termed those acts as “immature and mindless acts of vandalism”.
The LNC-EZ then said that in a democratic society there is no place for violence and vandalism. It further said that all right thinking citizens should condemn such “uncivilised acts” and expose those anti social elements who were involved in destroying the public properties.
“It may be mentioned that Koubru Hill Range is our traditional and ancestral territory which falls under the boundaries of the following Liangmai Naga villages: (1). Tokpa Naga (2). Thanamba (3). Nsak (Leikhanpokpi) (4). Makhan (5). Khunkhu Naga (6). Konsaram (7). Tapon Naga (8). Harup Naga (9). Thonglang (10). Makui (11). Puilong (Ereng) (12). Tucha (Samuk). 13 Taniulong( Langka),” the Liangmai body pointed out. It further said that, in continuation of “our earlier stance”, the LNC (Eastern Zone, hereby, reiterated its position to protect the Koubru Hill Range in general and the particular site in question from being encroached and destroyed by any community as the entire Koubru Hill Range is sacred to the Liangmai people “not only because it forms a part of our ancestral land but was also held sacred by our forefathers as it was revered and preserved as the abode of the ‘Koubo Ra (Lord of Koubru)’.
It then said that Liangmai Naga villages around the Koubru Hill Range have rich historical legends and cultural heritage connected to the “Lord of Koubru”.
According to the LNC-EZ, over the years, the “thick virgin” forests of the Koubru Hill Range have depleted to a great extent due to different human activities. “As such, any disturbance in the ecologically sensitive zone will have a considerable negative impact on the living beings leading to catastrophic and devastating destruction of human lives and nature,” it expressed. “Scores of rivers which sourced from Koubru Hill Range in Manipur will be destroyed, posing a severe threat to human lives. Needless to mention, the erstwhile tubewells along the Sekmai, Kanglatonbi foothills have all dried up as all the water conserving vegetation in the Koubru hills have greatly depleted,” it added.
It then said that although the “people of Liangmai Naga” have no issues with the setting up of the proposed sacred site in “our ancestral land, we strongly feel that the concerned authorities should invite the above mentioned primary stakeholders and be taken into confidence before the project is taken up”. However, any deliberate attempt to utilise the ecological sensitive areas for human habitation in the name of creating a religious site/place and mass destruction of forests will be stopped at any cost, it cautioned.
The LNC, Eastern Zone then said it was compelled to point out the “total failure” of the Forest department in checking the encroachment in the Kanglatongbi – Kangpokpi Reserved Forest since its inception.
“We, the LNC Eastern Zone, therefore urge the state government to take up necessary actions to protect and manage the Reserved Forest in a sustainable and scientific manner,” it urged.