Shirui Peak in Manipur, before (left) and after the wildfire Credit: File Image

Kohima: The NSCN-IM through its ‘ministry of forest and environment’, on Monday, expressed dismay over the burning down of Shirui Peak at Ukhrul, Manipur. Making references to the wildfires and bush fires of Amazon and Australia that horrified the world over environmental concerns, the NSCN has drawn attention to the recent incident that destroyed the scenic beauty of Ukhrul’s highest peak Shirui.

An official statement from the group said that the Shirui comes under the Wung Tangkhul Region (WTR) where the famous Shirui Lily grows and is known for its scenic beauty, the rich fauna and flora. “There is a standing order of GPRN which banned the burning of forests, using of chemicals in the rivers and hunting of wild animals, especially during the breeding season,” the statement read. It also said that such act “must be the handiwork of local miscreants”.

Explaining further, the statement said: “Interestingly, the burnt ashes are eaten by the migratory bird, locally called ‘Shiri’. When the birds get thirsty, they rush down to drink water from the stream that flows below. This is where the locals set the trap to catch the birds. This birds migrated from Siberia every year during this time of the year.”

Shirui Lily, the state flower of Manipur, blooms between the months of May and June at Shirui Peak in Ukhrul district

It added that its concern was over “the fire that burnt down Shirui lily seedlings and saplings, besides damaging another species of beautiful plants called ‘Summer Flower’ that blooms in the months of June and July. Shirui lily blooms from the first week of May”.

“Who is to be blamed other than the local miscreants? GPRN highly condemns such recklessness and selfishness. The local village authorities must come up with precautionary measures to prevent burning down of jungles and forests,” it added.

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