IMPHAL, May 25: Godman Panthou has been told to shift his temple from Wangkhei Hijam Leirak. The decision was taken at a meeting convened by the ‘Joint Action Committee against the Present Crisis of Wangkhei Hijam Leirak’ at Young Volunteers Organization community hall today.
The JAC had been formed on this issue by the Wangkhei area locality comprising of meira paibis and clubs of Wangkhei Hijam Leirak, Wangkhei Pukhrambam Leirak and Wangkhei Wangkheimayum Leirak on May 23 last.
It may be mentioned that the said localities have been kept under curfew for the last one month, although relaxation time have been stretched from 6 am to 5 pm at present.
The reason for the curfew is to prevent violent incidents from occurring at Panthou temple which had happened on April 17 and April 21 last.
Godman Panthou alias Hijam Ratan Singh, 42, who is the fourth among five siblings of Hijam Babu Singh has not made known his whereabouts since he vacated his temple premises on April 21 following the uprising against the temple by the locals. The devotees of Hijam Ratan were not allowed entry into the temple premises since by the irked locals and the ban has not been lifted as of yet.
In the aftermath of the mob attack at Panthou’s Ima Leishem Inat Loishang (ILIL), where many vehicles were torched following a land dispute between the local residents and Panthou devotees, there have been several rounds of talks between the representatives of the locality and ILIL in the presence of the Imphal East deputy commissioner and superintendent of Police in the past but there has not been any positive outcome.
The local JAC had complained that there has been heavy congestion in the Hijam Leikai road owing to the number of vehicles brought by devotees of Panthou and loud sermons being preached through the public announcement system constantly was an unbearable nuisance for many years. It was learnt that the JAC had recently demanded that the godman shift his temple premises to another suitable location
The last meeting between the ILIL and the JAC was held in the presence of Yaiskul MLA, Elangbam Chand Singh on April 23 last. A six point agenda was brought up according to the demands and clarification urged from both sides. The members of ILIL team was led by its advisor Ramesh Phanjoubam, former Human Rights Commission member and senior journalist Yambem Laba and his wife Joyshree Devi and secretary Medha Devi. The JAC was represented by its advisor RK Sanajaoba, RK Jayanta, Nongmaithem Yaima, Thongam Chitra Devi and Mema Devi.
The appeal from Panthou devotees which included soundproofing of their community hall to avoid noise pollution was discussed at length at the said meeting at YVO community hall which was convened by RK Manglemsana with JAC member RK Sanajaoba as advisor.
The meeting ultimately resolved that the decision to shift godman Panthou cannot be compromised by any means and Panthou and ILIL has to relocate from Wangkhei Hijam Leikai.