Home » EaseMyTrip sparks anger by controversially listing “Lamka” as a City in Manipur alongside Imphal

EaseMyTrip sparks anger by controversially listing “Lamka” as a City in Manipur alongside Imphal

by Aribam Bishwajit
0 comment 4 minutes read
EaseMyTrip sparks anger by controversially listing “Lamka” as a City in Manipur alongside Imphal

IT News
Imphal, Jan 31:

In a move that will spark controversy and challenge the sentiments of the people of Manipur, Easemytrip.com, a prominent travel booking website, has audaciously listed Imphal and Lamka as two cities in Manipur on their agent’s page. This decision unfolds against the tumultuous backdrop in Manipur, where Kuki communities are aggressively advocating for the state’s division, fervently pushing for a separate administration. Simultaneously, this audacious move aligns with the persistent efforts of the Kuki community to compel the central government to grant them a distinct administrative status. Adding to the contentious atmosphere, they are resolutely determined to replace the official district name “Churachandpur” with their preferred designation, “Lamka.”
The controversial move by Easemytrip.com has ignited widespread anger among the people of Manipur, particularly netizens, who have expressed their outrage by sharing screenshots of the website. These images reveal a pop-down menu on easemytrip.com, displaying only Imphal and Lamka as the two cities when selecting Manipur as the state. Notably, Lamka is neither an official address nor a recognized city; rather, it is a fabricated term championed by a handful of Kuki communities. These communities are actively spearheading efforts to divide Manipur and carve out their separate land and administration. The use of Lamka on the travel booking platform serves as a controversial nod to their divisive agenda, further fueling the discontent and resistance from the Manipuri populace.
In light of this, Imphal Times reached out to approximately 10 travel agents in Imphal to inquire about their awareness of the controversial listing of Lamka as a city on Easemytrip.com. Opendro, one of the travel agents, conveyed that in their experience, they have consistently encountered only Imphal as the designated city name for Manipur on most travel websites.
Expressing his astonishment, Opendro stated, “It came as a shock to me when I saw Lamka listed as one of the cities of Manipur on this travel website, EaseMyTrip. Upon checking a few other websites, the majority displayed Bishnupur, Thoubal, Imphal East, Senapati, Churachandpur, and so on as cities. However, Lamka is conspicuously absent from any other website. I am perplexed as to how and who added the name Lamka to this particular travel booking platform.”
Bhavan Heirankhongjam, a Ph.D. research scholar accustomed to booking flights for friends and relatives, expressed strong discontent with EaseMyTrip’s move. He remarked, “This move by EaseMyTrip has shown disrespect to the people of Manipur and adds fuel to the ongoing conflict that has lasted for over eight months.” In response to this, he declared his decision to boycott EaseMyTrip, stating, “From today onwards, I will not book any travel tickets from EaseMyTrip and will also spread the word to my friends not to book any tickets from this website.”
Dutta Yanglem, an Assistant Professor at a private college in Imphal, who frequently arranged travel for relatives and students, voiced his concern about the chaos unfolding amidst the conflict in Manipur. He questioned, “Who is involved in creating all this chaos amidst the conflict in Manipur?” Dutta strongly criticized EaseMyTrip’s decision to include Lamka on their website, asserting that it would infuriate the people of Manipur since Lamka is not an official city. He speculated, “It seems some who are powerful from the Kuki community are trying to systematically remove the name of Churachandpur and put Lamka instead. I will not recommend this EaseMyTrip name to my students. This is really not done.”
In July 2023, a significant controversy unfolded as Air India’s Airport Ticketing Office (ATO) at Imphal International Airport began to be printed on e-tickets as ATO, Lamka. This development sparked widespread protests from passengers belonging to the Meitei community. Local MLA R.K. Imo Singh, who holds the additional distinction of being the son-in-law of Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, had responded to the situation. In a proactive move, he penned a letter to Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, urgently requesting the rectification of this apparent mistake on the e-tickets. Additionally, he urged the minister to initiate a thorough investigation into the matter to ascertain the circumstances leading to the controversial designation of ATO, Lamka on the tickets.

Likewise, it is imperative for the government and lawmakers to diligently investigate and uncover the individuals responsible for incorporating the name “Lamka” into this widely-used travel website. The inclusion of such a controversial name on a popular travel booking portal is no trivial matter. The government should employ its resources to identify those involved in this act, initiating a comprehensive inquiry and probe to delve into the circumstances surrounding the controversial listing. This measure is essential not only to rectify the current situation but also to prevent any future misuse or tampering with information on prominent platforms.

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