TODAY -

No encroachers at Mt Koubru: Thadou Inpi, Sadar Hills
Source: Chronicle News Service

Kangpokpi, July 12 2021: Rolling up its sleeves to take on any sinister move over Mount Koubru, Thadou Inpi Sadar Hills, Kangpokpi district general secretary Seikhojang Sitlhou stated that the recent slew of allegations from different quarters about encroachers at Mt Koubru and the call for eviction of encroachers, are but a much-ado-about nothing.

Declaring its stand on the Mt Koubru issue, the Thadou said the fact remains that there are no encroachers at Mt Koubru and the pride of Manipur stands tall with all its pristine glory, the scenic beauty, the trees, and the shrubs and the flora and fauna, side by side in harmony with the tribal aborigines, the Thadou-Kukis, through ages.

He said that the diatribe against the local inhabitants from the likes of communally inflamed organisations such as Kangleipak Kanba Lup (KKL), Federation of Haomee (FOH), and Liangmei Naga Council (LNC) 'incited' by the government of Manipur is truly an attempt to dislodge the local inhabitants and deprive them of their age-old source of livelihood which only exposed their communal, parochial mindset and ill-begotten sinister design for land grabbing.

He pointed out that there are no encroachers at Mt Koubru and no civil society organisation based in Kangpokpi has ever laid claim on Mt Koubru barring the LNC while adding that the LNC's claim of Liangmai Naga community's ownership over the Koubru mountain range is not only outrageous but ridiculously devoid of the facts of history.

Asserting that an insight into the geography and a little background note would be of great service to educate such organisations about the topography of the Koubru range, the demography of its surrounding foothill areas, Sitlhou stated that Mt Koubru is located at the heart of Sadar Hills sub-division, the administrative classification of which dates back to the British era, dominated by the Thadou-Kuki tribes on all sides since time immemorial.

He continued that the Koubru range serves as a northern boundary of the Imphal valley, rising from the Leimakhong hill range with its elevation peaks at the Saitu-Tujang area, and thereafter running down the valley joining the Laikot hill range (in Senapati area).

The foothill areas are inhabited by tribal habitats mainly the Thadou-Kuki tribes dating back to the pre-British era.

Therefore, insinuations that the present settlers (Kukis) of the Koubru foothill valleys, who are aborigines of the land, as encroachers is a misnomer, and the war cry for eviction is but unwarranted, unjustified, and a blatant disregard to humanity and civilization, he added.

Seikhojang continued that crying foul on Mt Koubru alone, with slogans of 'Save Kou-bru' with attempts to declare it as protected or heritage site is nothing but an evil design for land grabbing and conquest perpetrated by few vested interest groups of the valley and unfortunately backed by the majority Meitei-centric government of Manipur.

He further said that Koubru as a tourist attraction and pilgrimage point to valley Meiteis has been well acknowledged by the inhabitants surrounding Mt Koubru.

The general secretary also pointed out that Koubru is equally sacred and revered by the aborigine Thadou-Kuki tribes through ages pre-Christian and also in the Christian era before adding that in the era of animism, the Thadou-Kuki worshipped the unseen force whose abode is the Mt Koubru, with rituals through their high priest called Thempu and their folktale is replete with legends of an alliance formed between the unseen forces of Mt Koubru for war and military exploits.

With the onset of the Christian era, Mt Koubru quickly turned into 'Taona Mol' (Prayer Mountain) for the Thadou-Kukis and presently the Kuki Nampi Taona (KNT) or the Kuki National Prayer fellowship is being held annually by the Thadou-Kukis at Mt Koubru, he explained and said that claims and counter claims of ownership of Mt Koubru, sadly, is a recent development, initiated by the so-called Kangleipak Kanba Lup, soon backed by anti-Kuki organisations Federation of Haomee and the like, with an exclusive claim of sacred ownership over Mt Koubru, with plans for temple building which only opened up the Pandora's Box.

The Liangmei Naga Council seizing the opportunity and quickly jumping into the bandwagon is intriguing, their vested interest and ulterior motive when the Liangmai Nagas have no habitation anywhere near Mt Koubru, he said and added that the nearest Liangmai habitation so to speak is Makhan near Leimakhong on the far southern tip of the Koubru range and the Thonglang area on the far northern tip.


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