IMPHAL, February 9: The Information Centre for Hill Areas, Manipur (ICHAM) today conducted a tour of the Thangal Surung along with media representatives and the MLA of 46 AC, Saikul (ST), Yamthong Haokip.
37 KM away from capital Imphal, the road towards Thangal Surung remained covered by a fog of dust. From the foothill, a 10 Km uphill climb on foot takes one to the historical cave known as Thangal Surung. Thangal Surung village is also said to be the birth place of Thangal General popularly known as Thangal Major who sacrificed his life for the safeguard of the integrity of Manipur.
At the hill top, there were patches of corn, sugarcane etc being grown. The major surprise was a poppy plantation on the hill top just 2 Km from the Thangal Surung. Cutting of trees and charcoal pits were also seen on the hillock.
On reaching the historical Thangal Surung,the group found that the `cave` was reduced to just a mere pit hole.
MLA Yamthong Haokip said that during 1958, the whole village shifted from the hill top to the ground. He said that the Thangal Surung Village is inhabited by the Thangal tribe. He continued that the cave is believed to be connected with the Kangla fort during the earlier period.
He said that today, the local community has failed to maintain the historical spot and added that the state government had failed to look into this historical place.
K Lengkham, the village chief said that many years back, Meities would visit the cave and offer fruits and flowers with prayers. He added that the Thangal community with their conversion to Christianity had burnt all evidence related to cave.
The village chief then submitted a memorandum to the visiting MLA for the construction of the school which was burnt on March 28, 2000 which was earlier occupied by 121 CRPF company. N Rajendra, president of ICHAM also submitted a memorandum to the MLA regarding construction of a General Thangal Guest House and a satue at Thangal Surung Village, Saikul Sub Division, Senapati District.
The Memorandum also called for the construction of a road from Thangal Surung Village to Thangal Surung Cave.