Rights defenders and relatives of victims renew repeal call
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Aug 18
Rights defenders and relatives of victims of fake encounter killings renewed their demand for repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act on the completion of 59 years existence of the Act.
It was on this day in 1958 that the parliament passed this Act.
To renew the demand a one-day public meeting was organised under the theme “59 th year of AFSPA and state of impunity” today at Manipur Press Club, Imphal.
The function was jointly organised by Extra-judicial Execution Victim Families Association Manipur (EEVFAM), Human Rights Alert (HRA), Just Peace Foundation (JPF) and United NGOs Mission Manipur (UNMM).
The meeting adopted four resolutions. The resolutions urged the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to repeal the AFSPA and chief minister N. Biren Singh to revoke the disturb area status under the AFSPA from Manipur at the earliest.
The resolution appealed to the families of victims, witnesses, the civil society, government of Manipur and all concerned to extend full cooperation to the CBI constituted Special Investigation Team, which is investigating the case of extra-judicial executions under the “draconian law.”
The meeting also decided to submit the evidences of 23rd July 2009 killing of Sanjit and Rabina at Khwairamband Bazaar to the CBI for prompting necessary actions.
After the meeting, a procession was taken out by the relatives and human rights activists to submit a memorandum to CM but they were stopped by police halfway. Only selected representatives of around ten people went to CM’s office and submitted the memorandum. The chief minister diid not meet the delegation as he was preoccupied. However, Biren sent assurances to the delegation that he would respond to their concerns very soon.
Addressing the gathering, Babloo Loitongjam, executive director of HRA said that he welcomes the decision made by Union government to give authority to the state governments of both Assam and Manipur to decide on the status of ‘disturbed areas’ for the their states.
He, however, said he is concerned that the on-going investigation by the CBI in the 23rd July 2009 killing of Sanjit and Rabina at Khwairamband Bazaar has not been able to establish the commander responsibile for the killings and charge-sheet against those responsible for the killings despite hard and substantive evidences exising in public domain.
Social activist and former MPS officer Brinda Thounaojam and Malem Ningthouja, scholar and social activist strongly condemned the enactment and implementation of AFSPA in the state and that it should be removed immediately.
One of the victims’ mother emotionally said that her son was allegedly terminated by the order of the former chief minister O. Ibobi Singh in 2009 and has not received justice till now. She complained that she wants to get justice immediately.
“When I met the chief minister he told me that he had instructed to bump off all the suspects,” the mother claimed. Her son was a kick-boxer and he won four gold medals.
From A Correspondent
THOUBAL | Aug 18
A district level peoples’ consultation on Manipur Vision 2032 was held today at the meeting hall of Integrated rural development service organisation, Wangjing, Thoubal district today.
The meet was jointly organised by IRDSO, Wangjing, women in governance (WiNg) Manipur and coalition for advocacy on lifelong learning (CALL-Manipur) with supports from the centre for study of social exclusion and inclusive policy, Manipur University.
The consultative meeting was being organised as a part of peoples’ participation in shaping Manipur vision 2032 in line with sustainable development goals 2032. This comes as a part of the planning department’s initiative in drafting Manipur vision 2032.
The purpose of the meet was to hear out and exchange views and perspectives between the civil society members and government officials on sustainable development goals in drafting the state’s vision 2032.
Director of CSSEIP, Manipur University professor, E. Bijoy, convenor of CALL-Manipur, B. Deban Sharma, Thoubal district co-ordinator, Nonibala Narengbam, principal of Thoubal College, O. Chaoba Devi were the main speakers of today’s meet.
It may be mentioned that the united nation’s sustainable development goals 2030 includes specific targets like end poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2032, end hunger,
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achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture by 2032,ensure healthy lives ,inclusive and equitable quality education, achieve gender equality and empower women and girls, ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, build resilient infrastructures, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation, take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact by 2032 etc.
Members of civil society organisations, women police personnel and media personnel also took part at the meet.
From Our Correspondent
UKHRUL | Aug 18
The governor of Manipur officially accepted the resignation of chairman of ADC Ukhrul in a special meeting at the office chamber of vice-chairman of ADC Ukhrul on August 14.
The meeting was convened by vice-chairman of ADC Ukhrul, K. S. Thanmi and it was attended by 15 council members. The resignation of the chairman of ADC Ukhrul, Yaransho Ngalung was accepted with immediate effect as per Rule 6 (b) of the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Rules, 1972. Accordingly, the same intimation was served by DC Ukhrul to vice-chairman, ADC Ukhrul and CEO-ADC Ukhrul.
The members present in the meeting expressed gratitude to Yaronsho Ngalung for tendering his resignation and for the many initiatives he had undertaken during his chairmanship.
S. Thanmi also extended his appreciation to the council members and appealed for smooth functioning of the ADC until a new chairman and other executive members are elected. Upon resignation of the chairman, the nominated executive members shall cease to be members of the executive committee. The vice-chairman shall act as chairman of ADC Ukhrul till a new chairman is elected.
Meanwhile, Naga Peoples’ Front (NPF), that has a majority in the house of 24 members and two nominees has chosen K. Dickson to be the new leader. However, the house is yet to officially elect and declare its chairman.
Newmai News Network
IMPHAL | Aug 18
The Zeliangrong Baudi Manipur (ZB-M) in a statement alleged that a combined team of 23 Assam Rifles and 14 Sikh Regiment Tamenglong raided the ‘region camp’ of the NSCN (IM) Zeilad Zeliangrong Region in the wee hours of August 14, 2017 at Inrianglong village of Tamenglong district headquarters. While condemning the incident, the ZB-M termed the alleged act of the security forces as “unwarranted actions”.
“In the said raid by the said combined team 9 cadres of the NSCN (IM) were arrested and an AK-47 rifle was also seized from the region camp,” the Zeliangrong Baudi-Manipur further alleged. “When Naga people led by the Collective Leadership of the NSCN (IM) has been engaging in a peaceful dialogue with the Government of India which is nearing to its logical conclusion this kind of act of raid by the security forces is uncalled for and highly condemnable by all right thinking citizens of the land”, it added.
Narrating the turn of event the ZB-M said that, in quick reaction to that “unwarranted raiding” and subsequent arrest of 9 cadres of the NSCN (IM) of Zeilad Zeliangrong region camp a lightning bandh was called in Zeliangrong areas and the vehicular movements on the NH-37 (Imphal – Jiribam Road) came to a grinding halt in the afternoon of the same day. “On the pressure of the Zeliangrong public including several civil society organisations led by Zeliangrong Baudi, women folks, students, youths front etc. those 9 arrested cadres of the NSCN (IM) were allowed safe release to the public,” it claimed.
Accordingly, 8 cadres were handed over to the public in the morning of August 15, 2017, it also said.
“Many brave hearts, Zeliangrong women, youth fronts, students, individuals, civil society leaders had spent sleepless night on that very night that resulted in the safe release of the 8 cadres except one detained with an assurance from the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary to release him after 3 days in police custody as per law,” the ZB-M further said. It was further assured that the detained cadre will not be harassed or tortured in police custody, according to the ZB-M. “Therefore, both the civil society leaders and the public were allowed to receive the 8 cadres of the NSCN (IM) Zeiled Zeliangrong Region as a reciprocal gesture to the appeal from the authorities of Government of Manipur. We would like to remind the Government to translate its assurance in letter and spirit,” it demanded.
Zeliangrong Baudi Manipur then extended its gratitude to the Zeliangrong public particularly women folks of Tamenglong headquarters, Longmei area, Nungba area and leaders of various civil societies who had participated and contributed “their might” and mite in securing the safe release of those cadres of the NSCN (IM). It also extended its gratitude to the district administration particularly Armstrong Pamei, deputy commissioner Tamenglong and the SP of Tamenglong etc. for their intervention in bringing the “chaotic situation” to an amicable solution. This organisation also extended its gratitude to the Government of Manipur, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, the Chief Secretary and many others for allowing the said problem into peaceful settlement in the larger interest of peace and tranquility in the district in particular and state in general.
“Zeliangrong Baudi Manipur and Zeliangrong public in general will not leave the stone unturned in maintaining peace and social harmony with government, every section of society in the days to come,” it affirmed.
From Our Correspondent
MOREH | Aug 18
A combined team of 12 Assam Rifles and Moreh Custom Preventive force reportedly arrested a gold smuggler carrying 140 gold bars weighing approximately 23.230 kgs worth Rs 6.969 crores at vehicle check post, Tengnoupal yesterday.
During a press briefing, superintendent of Moreh Customs Preventive force, Whk. Luwang said that following an intelligence input, a combined team of 12 AR and officials of Moreh Customs intercepted a bus bearing Registration Number MN 04 7351 carrying wooden planks and stopped at motor vehicle check post (MVCP), Tengnoupal for checking.
He further said that during checking, some suspicious modification was noticed near radiator of the bus above the driver side head light and on further checking some suspicious packets were recovered from the modified compartment which came out to be the gold bars.
The driver of the bus has been identified as Md. Kamal Hassan son of Late Hazi Salim of Kwakta Sevla Ward Number 3, Bishnupur district, he added.
From Our Correspondent
UKHRUL | Aug 18
Shirui Kashong Area Forest Land Owners Conservancy (SKAFLOC) organised a social work in the vicinity of Shirui Kashong Peak, for which signboards were put up in various points and intersection.
Around 50 households participated in the social work and took pledge to protect and preserve the rich flora and fauna found in the Shirui village.
The headman of Shirui Aze, AW Khavangpam mentioned that the state bird of Manipur, Nongin is gradually diminishing with each passing year at Shangphungrei and Ngarahanrei of Shirui village.
Chairman of SKAFLOC Mayopam Shangh remarked that the habitat of Tragopan birds at Maiharam and Rongngai at Shirui are facing threat due to constant landslide caused by the ongoing road construction of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) from Shirui to Ngapum and Zingsui areas. Deforestation in the Shirui peak and its adjacent range is also one major factor for the disappearance of Tragopan, he added.
IMPHAL | Aug 18
The Manipur Naga People’s Front (MNPF) has alleged that developmental works implemented by the government, NGOS and companies in the past decades all over Manipur’s hill areas particularly in Naga areas have never achieved the targets because of “malicious intervention” and “misappropriation” by the NSCN (IM).
The Naga areas of Tamenlong, Chandel, Senapati and Ukhrul districts are all in pathetic condition as road condition and various other institutions are in deplorable situation due to NSCN (IM), alleged a release signed by assistant publicity secretary MNPF, Thomas Numai.
People are suffering as resources and funds for developmental programmes are snatched away, it charged.
The front further wondered why NSCN (IM) is still continuing with extortion, robbery and kidnapping to “loot” developmental fund.
The release said the MNPF strongly opposed and condemned Thuingaleng Muivah led-NSCN (IM) for “forcibly” grabbing the four-packaged PMGSY work programmess in Ukhrul district, Phase-XI,Batch-1,2017-1018, to be implemented at four different sides and locations.
The locations are Chatric to Gambal, Phungyar to Tusom , Siroi to Hamlang and Tuinem to Champhung, it added.
The release said MNPF will appreciate all contractors who execute works for the welfare of the people while cautioning that if any contractor is found toeing NSCN (IM) line the front will never tolerate it and NSCN (IM) will be held responsible for any unwanted development.
By Jeijei Newme
IMPHAL | Aug 17
Promoting Manipur’s disparate indigenous cultures at the national and international level is her main aim, said 18-year old Lansana Thokchom Chanu, a singer, dancer and an artist par excellence.
Growing up in a family deeply rooted in art and culture, Lansana has learnt a good deal of art and culture from her elders including, grandfather, uncle and her father. Her father was a state level and national awardee for film and performing arts and Bal Sahitya Puraskar.
She said that she does this not just to upkeep her family’s traditional occupation or because she is a daughter of a well-known artist. Instead it is her own passion and interests which is driving her.
The first daughter of Thokchom Thouyanba Meetei and Thokchom Manileima, she start performing since the age of four on AIR Imphal and by the age of six, she had already sung 40 songs at the radio station.
She has participated in various school, state and even national level competitions and won many first positions and in these.
She got the best dancer award in the year 2010 organised by Allahabad Natya Sangha, Allahabad. She is a recipient of Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) scholarship since the age of six.
Lansana juggled studies and her interest in art and culture since her school days and she confessed it has been hard keeping up her excellence in both. She even managed to get first division in both Class 10 and 12 exams and is now pursuing her further studies in Maharaja Bodhchandra College, Palace Compound.
She has also completed her Bisarat level which is equivalent to diploma level for dance from JN Dance Academy.
The 18-year-old artist said that one of her proudest moments is representing India in the ABU Radio music festival held at Beijing, China in 2016. She said that she had stiff competition and got selected in all national level to represent India. “I felt proud at that moment showcasing my culture, my identity as Manipuri to the whole world, and let my culture’s presence felt in the stage”.
She got interviewed in various international media but felt despondent coming back home in Manipur as her fame and her work was not encouraged by the government as well as the media.
Her most recent big gig was participating in Bangladesh during Yaoshang festival, 2017.
In an exclusive chat with Imphal Free Press, she revealed that it has been a wonderful journey. She knows how to sing, and dance different dance forms, not only of Manipuri, but of Odissi and Kathak.
When asked if she has any interest in contemporary music and dance, she says she respects the different art forms but she rather prefer her own culture and said that it can’t be found in other place else and it should be well preserved.
“My pupu is my role model and he has has taught me a lot of things, I admire him not just because he is my grandfather but because of his achievements and his interest and his passion that taught me a lot”, she said.
She would like to give a message to her generations and younger ones that “we should follow our hearts, I did and I am on my way to conquer the world with my talents. It is not that I am successful already but doing what you want to do gives the fullest dedication and you could achieve the highest”.
IMPHAL | Aug 18
A cash reward of Rs. 1,00,000 has been announced for any person who provides information leading to the arrest of Vumthianlal Tombing alias Romeo, said a release by PRO Police.
It said, the town commander of ZRA, Romeo (40), son of Tunzakap from Dorcas Veng, New Lamka, Churachandpur has been absconding and he is required to be arrested in connection with FIR case number 48(7)2017 CCP-PS U/S 302/34 IPC of Churachandpur PS.
Information of Romeo may be given to the following police personnel of Churachandpur at their respective phone numbers, SP at 8131965814, addl. SP (LO) at 8974748584, SDPO at 8787508060 and OC at 8132816816.
BISHNUPUR | Aug 18
Two shops at Ningthoukhong Bazar, Bishnupur district were gutted by fire last night at around 11:30 pm.
The owners of the shop were identified as RK. Ranjit and L. Surjit. The adjoining shops were saved by the timely arrival of the firemen of Bishnupur Fire Service and Moirang Fire Service.
According to sources, Bishnupur police nabbed a woman who was suspected to have set the shops on fire.