The Manipur government on Thursday issued an order, imposing a prohibition against any deliberate act of renaming districts, subdivisions, places, institutions and addresses of such institutions without the approval of the state government.
The order raised serious concerns on the incidents of many CSOs, institutions, establishments and persons deliberately renaming or trying to rename districts, sub-divisions, places, institutions and address of such institutions.
These acts are objectionable, or likely to create controversy and conflict between communities residing in the state more particularly in the context of the ongoing law and order crisis as an aftermath of the Tribal Solidarity March organised by All Tribal Students Union Manipur (ATSUM) since May 3, it stated.
Any one found violating the orders shall be prosecuted under relevant law of the land for the time being in force, it mentioned.
It further stated that all Central and state government authorities and management authorities of institutions, establishments, autonomous bodies are also advised to check the names, address of respective offices, establishments under them in all signage, official communications, websites, all documents related to services provided, etc. and also to ensure compliance of the orders.
It directed all district magistrates and superintendents of police of all districts to take up necessary action to enforce the orders, stating that the state government views the matter seriously with utmost sensitivity as the same practice cited above may create mistrust amongst the communities and is likely to create, divide or aggravate the current law and order situation in the state.
It may be recalled that some individuals from the Kuki-Zo community had raised complaints on social media, stating that “Lamka” parcels and packets have been stuck in the Imphal office.
Responding to one such complaint raised by an user on X, the India Post Office stated that the destination pin code for “Lamka” does not exist or is not available.
Civil society organisations based in Churachandpur had been using the name LAMKA in place of Churachandpur in official press releases and even encouraging residents of the second largest town in the state to use ‘Lamka’ in posters, signages, shop and establishments instead of the official name, since long.
After the May 3 riots, the practice became more and more prominent even using ‘Lamka’ in backdrops of official government functions which went on unchallenged even by the district administration.
In July in a suspected case of hacking, Air India’s airport ticketing office (ATO), Imphal International Airport, was found printed on e-tickets as ATO, Lamka. A passenger bought a ticket on July 3 for an Air India flight from Imphal to Guwahati for July 12 from the ticketing counter of the government-owned airliner at the Imphal International Airport and the issuing office gave his flight itinerary with the address of Imphal International Airport as Lamka.
However, as they started using Lamka in postal addresses the trouble began with residents complaining that their parcels and letters were being held up. Then, CSOs issued an advisory to use the official name ‘Churachandpur’ only.