Imphal Free Press - Imphal Free Press

‘Leisaa Latpa’ ceremony performed for Barak & Maku bridge 

IMPHAL | Oct 12

First and foremost priority of the new government is to bring development in the hill areas of the State for without the progress in the hill districts, there would be no inclusive development in the State, reiterated N. Biren. 

This was stated by him today at the Leisaa Latpa (Bhoomi Puja) for the construction of Barak and Makru bridge on the NH-37 held near Barak bridge, Tamenglong.

Seeking love and support of the people, the chief minister continued without the support of the people and government, the National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) would not be able to complete the project under the stipulated time.

He maintained that the government has kept its door open 24X7 and everyone is invited for to knock the door so that the issues/grievances of the people could be solved as soon as possible.

He further said that the purpose of the today’s visit was not just for Bhoomi Pujah of the two bridges but also to observe how the people of the living in hill areas of the State. The NHIDCL has committed to complete the construction of these bridges by December, 2017.

On the occasion, chief minister said that the construction of the Barak and Makru bridge will definitely improve the flow of traffic in the Imphal-Jiri Road. Apart from the construction of Bridge, the government would be preparing a detailed project report within 6 months for the construction of Irang Bridge, he added.

During his maiden visit to Barak, Tamenglong, large number of people warmly welcomed and felicitated N. Biren Singh, his council of ministers and MLAs at various places such as Tupul, Noney, Khongshang, Nungba, Rengpang, Kambiron etc.

He said he would be visiting Tamenglong district on October 24 of this month and would be announcing some developmental programmes for the district. During his visit to the district, he said that he would announce a Rs. 35crore water supply scheme to provide potable water supply to the people of the district.

Mentioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative of ‘Saab ka Sath Saab ka Vikas’, he stated that the objective of the new government is to render human service for the welfare of the people of the State.

Further he said that new medical insurance schemes to provide better healthcare to the poor and BPL families of the State would be announce soon. The scheme would provide free medical treatment to BPL/poor families. Under this scheme, the beneficiaries will be entitled to medical treatment coverage up to Rs. 2 lakhs per family per year.

Biren also pointed out that the State government is planning to launch a special scheme for differently-abled persons of the State. Under the new scheme, skilled differently-abled persons would be given soft loans to help start their own business.

The scheme would also have a provision to provide monthly pension to fully disabled persons and the said scheme would be implemented from December 3 on the occasion of ‘International Day of People with Disability’, he added.

The team also inspected the construction and progress of Jiri-Tupul-Imphal Railway line at Noney.  He also inspected and reviewed the progress of the world’s tallest girder rail bridge located at Noney.

Speaking on the occasion, executive director of NHIDCL, Ajay Ahluwalia said the total estimated cost for the construction of Barak and Makru bridge is 110 crores.  He further said that NHIDCL act as an instrument for infrastructure development to improve road connectivity and efficiency of the international trade corridor to enable efficient and safe transport.

The company is working for the road construction of 1500km in Manipur, he added. In the first phase, the company would be engaging in the repair and restoring of various roads of the State.

 The Barak and Makru bridge would be having a 154 meter span and 122 meter span respectively on the Jiribam-Barak Road (NH-37) and will be constructed by Bharatia Infra Project Limited.

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By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Oct 12

The Special Judge, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Imphal West today sentenced a 62 year old man to rigorous imprisonment for a period of 12 years and imposed a fine of Rs. 20,000 on him for sexually assaulting a 9 year old minor girl.

The man identified as Huidrom Bheigya Singh, 62, son of late H. Anagangyaima Singh of Komlakhong, Ereima Maning Leikai, was convicted under section 4 of the POCSO Act for committing penetrative sexual on minor.

The convict was produced before the special judge of POCSO, M. Manjokumar Singh today and the sentence hearing was conducted.

During the hearing the special public prosecutor submitted that the accused is convicted under section 4 protection of POCSO for committing penetrative sexual assault on a minor girl, which is very serious offence particularly because the accused is a matured person, having full knowledge of the situation and prayed to award the sentence to maximum like life imprisonment.

The counsel of the accused in his submission however contended that the accused is now an aged person of 62 year and has a wife with an unsound. He also said the accused has no antecedent of criminal activities.

It also further mentioned that on that day of the offence the accused was drunk and the act was done under the influence of alcohol. Moreover, the counsel submitted that his client has also been in judicial custody since the day of the incident and prayed for awarding minimum sentence by considering these mitigating factors.

The court after hearing submissions of both the counsels and considering the materials on record, observed that the act committed by the accused to a victim, who was a minor of 9 years and who also used to call him “pupu” (Grandfather) is a very much an inhuman act.

The Special judge therefore ordered that the convict Huidrom Bheigya Singh be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a period of 12 years and fine of Rs. 20,000 under the section 4 of POCSO Act and in default of payment of fine, the accused has to undergo another six months simple imprisonment.

It is also further ordered that the said fine of Rs. 20,000 shall be deposited to the court and the said amount be given to the victim as compensation. The period which the victim has already undergone in judicial custody during the period of investigation as well as during the trial will be set off from the sentence awarded, the order said.

The court has also recommended for providing compensation of Rs. 2 lakhs from the scheme “Financial Assistance and Support Service to Victim of Rape” a scheme for retrospective justice launched by the Ministry of Women and Children Development, Government of India.

The convict Bheigya Singh was apprehended by the police following a written complaint lodged by the mother of the victim girl on September 2, 2015 stating that on September 1, 2014 at about 4.30 pm her two minor daughters went to their nearby shop to buy some eatables.

On their way home, the accused who is their neighbour and also the so-called grandfather of the said kids, called them inside his house.

The report further stated that the accused sent the younger sister of the victim to play outside his room but he accompanied the victim insides his room and on the pretext of scratching the skin itches, he raped the victim on his bed.

The incident came to light when the victim girl disclosed the same to her aunty on September 2, 2015 thereupon a regular case FIR No. 45(9) 2015 WPS, IW,u/s 4 POCSO Act was filed.

Following the completion of the investigation by the women PS, Imphal West submitted charge sheet against the accused on February 23, 2016 before the special judge POCSO, Imphal West and continued trail during which statement of 13 witnesses have recorded and examined by the court.

The accused was convicted by the judge on October 9 and sentence was issued today.

Published in News
Friday, 13 October 2017 00:00

Ningthem files for anticipatory bail

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Oct 12

Former project director and presently officer on special duty of Manipur Development Society (MDS) Yambem Ningthem, has filed a pre-arrested bail (anticipatory) at the High Court of Manipur.

The bail petition (AB/28/2017) has been listed for hearing on October 13 by the bench of Justice Kh. Nobin Singh.

Advocate Sheela Khumukcham, M. Gunedhor will represent the petitioner while Government advocate Shyam Sharma, represent the respondent (state of Manipur).

A case was lodged against Ningthem and five others including former chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh on September 1, alleging huge financial irregularities totalling Rs.185.79 crores were committed.

The others in the FIR included former chief secretaries, D.S. Poonia, P.C Lawmkunga, O. Nabikishore Singh and also S. Ranjit Singh (administrative officers, MDS).

The FIR was lodged against them by Dr. Th. Muhindro Singh, joint secretary planning, government based on findings of the investigation conducted by the state vigilance commission.

The state vigilance commission had in its inquiry report stated that Ningthem had kept several files pertaining to MDS projects at his residence.

Following the FIR Ningthem’s house was raided by the police on September 4.

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By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Oct 12

The acting Chief Justice High Court of Manipur, N. Kotiswar Singh, has awarded a compensation of Rs.5 lakhs as compensation to the father of Ngangbam Naoba alias Phulchand Singh of Uripok Polem Leikai, Imphal West district, Manipur who was killed by the personnel of Manipur police commando 2009.

A statement issued by the Human Rights Law Networks (HRLN), said in 2009 on the intervening night of May 6 and 7, personnel of the Manipur police commando of Imphal West had intruded into the house of the deceased and apprehended him.

Thereafter he was dragged out towards the south-west corner of their homestead and killed in a stage-managed encounter.

Subsequently, L. Bedajit Singh, the then sub-inspector of police (CDO-IW) reportedly lodged a written report with the officer in-charge of Imphal police station to the effect that the petitioner’s son was a member of a proscribed organization and was allegedly killed in an encounter.

In this regard, on March 31, 2010, the mother of the deceased Ngangbam Kamalini Devi filed a writ petition before the High Court, it said.

Consequently, the High Court instituted an enquiry through the district Judge Manipur East to ascertain the facts and circumstances leading to the death of the petitioner’s son.

It is learnt that after having conducted an extensive enquiry, the Judge submitted its finding by ascertaining that the petitioner’s son was killed by the personnel of Manipur police commando of Imphal West on the intervening night of May 6 and 7, 2009 by firing indiscriminately from their service weapons without any admissible reason and without any attempt to arrest the deceased by following the rule of law prevailing.

The matter was finally heard today and the HC directed the state of Manipur and the Union of India to pay Rs. 5 lakhs as compensation to the petitioner within four months considering the clear cut case of violation of the human rights guaranteed under article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Meihoubam Rakesh, advocate, appeared on behalf of the petitioner and R.S. Reishang senior advocate and senior Government advocate appeared on behalf of the state of Manipur.

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By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Oct 12

The results of the 5th Gram Panchayat election of the state have been declared yesterday and today, and many zilla parishads cried foul in the voting, counting and declaration of the results.

Reports of complaints from Ngaikhong Khullen ward no.8, Khurai ward no.7 and Hiyanglam GP came in today at Manipur Press Club.

Member candidate of Hiyanglam GP, ward no.5/6, Sapam Kumarjit said that unfair means have been used in the counting of ballot papers by presiding officers on duty. He alleged that during the voting day, voters were allowed to do thumb print ballot instead of using allotted stamp method by presiding officer on the late hours.

However, he said that yesterday in the counting, the RO denied thumbprint votes and “we feel that our voting rights have been denied.”

One of the counting agents, urged re-poll and not to let the five yearly rare opportunity of the people exercising their voting rights go waste. He demands re-poll alleging discrepancies and unfair means used by the election official.

Khangembam Rajchandra Singh, social worker of Ngaikhong Khullen, ward no.8 said that voting rights were denied for his zilla parishad. After voting, presiding officers told agents that 378 voted on October 7, but during counting there were only 376 ballots.

He said that applications were given to the DC and the returning officer not to declare the result until the missing two votes were sorted out. But the RO had declared the result anyway and we condemn the neglect, he added.

Another complaint is from 8/20 ward no.7 of Khurai area which also complained two votes were missing but declared result anyway (439 out of 441).

The complainants demanded re-poll and condemned the biased and irresponsible conduct of election officials in the 5th Gram Panchayat election.

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IMPHAL | Oct 12

Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution minister, Karam Shyam said the quality and value of handloom and handicraft products will be virtually impossible to be replace by any increased in technology. The minister said this as chief guest during the inaugural function of 3rd Ningol Mela 2017 today at Gandhi Memorial Hall.

He said if qualified youths cooperate with the weavers, the economy of the state can be augmented easily.

People all over the world know the state’s famous handloom and handicraft but our own people fail to take advantage of this brand value to expand their businesses on these products, he lamented.

Our people need to know the value of time and should use it cautiously or else it will be impossible to bring a good society, Shyam further added.

He said the weavers are also facing a big problem in the marketing sector. The handloom and handicraft products continue to sell mostly within the state, though the products have the potential to compete at the global level. Because of the lack of marketing strategies and infrastructures, handloom and handicraft industry continue to remain paralysed and stunted, he added.

The minister said the most important thing in business is to be honest and sincere, and people need to work together and exchange constructive ideas.

Department of handlooms and textiles needs to do a close survey aimed at uplifting the weavers and the department should give awareness to the weavers regarding the schemes available for handlooms and handicraft, Shyam added.

Deputy director (handicrafts) of the directorate of handlooms and textiles, E. Jiten who also spoke at the function, said handloom and handicraft products have great potential for export in the global market, but due to lack of awareness many quality products fail to cross the state boundary.

He further said if the government offers schemes for promoting handloom and handicraft products, it will be easy to export them in the global market. Next to agriculture, handloom and handicraft products are taking a big role in giving valuable contribution to the state’s economy and identity, Jiten added.

Chairman of the Manipur handlooms and handicrafts development corporation, S. Rajen Singh, president of handloom promoters council, Chingtam Luwang also attend the function.

The 3rd Ningol Khudol Mela 2017 opened with 75 stalls of handloom and handicraft but due to sudden rain in the city, costumers were sparse on the first day.

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The Kohima bench of the Guwahati High Court has deferred the hearing of the ‘Whip issue’ to October 25, according to Dr. Shurhozelie led Naga People’s Front (NPF) today.

The Dr Shurhozelie led NPF, in a release said today’s deferment of the hearing on the ‘Whip issue’ should not be construed as anything negative or positive “for either of the parties since the Judge before whom the matter came up for hearing had excused himself from taking up the case on the ground that two of the respondents to the case are his kith and kin”.

The release continued, “It is a truth universally accepted that it is the president of a political party, or someone authorised by the president, who appoints the chief whip of that political party so as to keep its legislators within the parameters of the party’s principles and ideologies, especially when it comes to voting in either the Parliament or the Legislative Assembly”.

Further it said anyone who deviated from “this universal truth” and practice would be doing so at his own peril, “like what TR. Zeliang and group are doing, since their delinquent behaviour or action cannot stand scrutiny of the law”.

“The case before the Court of law is very simple: Is it the political party or the Legislature Wing which appoints the Chief Whip for the Party?” the statement of Dr Shurhozelie led NPF asked.

According to the release, the Tenth Schedule of the Indian Constitution does not mention that the legislature wing should appoint the chief whip of the party, but makes it abundantly clear that it is the political party which appoints the chief whip so as to enable it to keep its flock together.

The idea behind amendment of the Constitution is to prevent instances such as that of one legislator, Ram Lal of Haryana who defected three times in a single day, giving rise to the phrase “Aya-Ram-Gaya-Ram”, it added.

The statement maintained that a direct bearing to this argument is the fact that Mmhonlumo Kikon, the chief whip of the BJP in Nagaland was not appointed by Paiwang Konyak, the leader of the BJP legislature party in Nagaland Legislative Assembly, but through the direction of the National BJP general secretary, Ram Madhav.

“This ‘Whip Issue’ in the Court is hanging over the TR Zeliang-led government like the proverbial Damocles’ Sword, and sooner or later, the law will catch up with the wrong-doers and rectify the gross injustices they have perpetrated,” the statement added.

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IMPHAL | Oct 12

Manipur University of Culture Teachers Association (MUCTA) has warned of agitation if the funds for ten months of the Manipur University of Culture are not released within October 18.

A release said that MUC which is the first culture university in the Northeastern states of India is in a deplorable state and added that the varsity has no proper infrastructure of its own.

It said that the varsity formed under the Manipur University of Culture Act, 2015, is run in a borrowed building of others where the large number of students is being taught by few teachers for more than a year.

The teachers are facing a lot of problems and has resolved not to take classes from today onwards until the grievances of the teachers are met, it added.

Even though the paper works of issues of the university to produce in the state cabinet has been done long ago but it has not be produced till date, it said adding that no positive response has been made till date although the Art and Culture minister, chief minister and the governor of Manipur, who is also the chancellor of the university has been apprised of the problems faced by the teachers.

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IMPHAL | Oct 12

Child welfare officer, department of social welfare, L. Dhaneshwor said that the new disabilities act of 2016 is better and has more benefits than the previous act of 1995. He made this statement on the opening day of a two-day residential awareness programme of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, held today at Hotel Tampha, North AOC.

Dhaneshwor said that the new Act provides special court and a special prosecutor for any differently abled person who needs legal assistance in seeking justice. He also said that under section 25 of the Act, free health care is also guaranteed and special provision for people from rural areas.

He further mentioned Section 47 which provides equal pay for equal work, non-discrimination in government employments and to dodge promotion denial.

Dhaneshwor also lectured on many other new features and new benefits of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

Head member of State Platform of Disabled People’s Organisation Manipur (SPDPO), Md. Yunus Khan said that the awareness programme was organised by SPDPO and funded by Manipur North Economic Development Association (MANEDA), Shishu Sarothi, Guwahati and Light for the World of Christoffel Development Cooperation.

Director of social welfare, Jacintha Lazarus attended the function as chief guest of the function and advisor to SPDPO, Dr. Sapam Jasobanta as guest of honour.

The workshop was attended by five representatives from each district and organisation of PWD. State has a total number of 54,100 persons with disabilities.

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IMPHAL | Oct 12

North-East Students Society of Delhi University (NESSDU) demanded revocation of the HRD’s decision making Hindi compulsory in academic courses or introduce a Compulsory Hindi Test (CHT).

Vice president of the society and a representative of the state, V. S. Mungreishing elucidated on the issues faced by Northeastern students in the country’s capital. He said that making Hindi mandatory will be tough on the NE students studying Delhi University as they do not hail a region where Hindi is not their mother tongue.

A student of third semester in DU, Mungreishing told reporters at Manipur Press Club that “many seniors have completed their graduation but have not received their degrees as they flunked Hindi.”

“The result is a social stigma compelling our seniors to go no further than work in call centres or seek part time jobs, feeling ashamed of going back home because they do not have a degree in hand. They cannot even go for competitive exams and other well-paid jobs also,” he added.

Compulsory Hindi Test was imposed from the academic year 2013 in Delhi University for graduation students and is mandatory to get a degree.

He said that representatives of NESSDU started out to cover all NE states to give awareness to public as well as the government about hardships faced by students of NE studying in Delhi. He also said that he would meet the education minister and the chief minister to give recommendations to the central HRD department to remove the said mandate.

A recommendation was also submitted to the vice-chancellor recently but there is no response till date, he said.

The students’ society also demanded the construction of a hostel in the campus of DU especially for students of Manipur as accommodation charges are prohibitive in the campus vicinity.

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About IFP

Imphal Free Press is a widely circulated English daily published in Manipur, North-East India. Started in 1996, it has relocated its head office from Sega Road, Imphal to Palace Gate, Imphal.

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