Date:
Imphal Free Press - Imphal Free Press
Wednesday, 06 December 2017 00:00

Liquor seized

THOUBAL | Dec 5

100 litres of DIC liquor were seized from the unauthorised possession of Ksh. Dalber Singh and Ksh. Sobhajit Singh both from Kakching Thonglan Pareng. They were picked up from their residence by teams of Kakching police station led by SI, Joy Martin.

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By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Dec 5

The All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union, AMWJU, has asked the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi for urgent intervention over the alleged high handiness and tyrannical attitude of state unit BJP leaders against the journalist union’s president Wangkhemcha Samjai.

A memorandum was submitted during a sit-in staged at Keishampat street, today. Representatives of the journalist met Governor Najma A Heptulla on the issue.

A copy of the memorandum was submitted to each of the President of India Ram Nath Kovind, Press Council of India, Indian Journalists’ Union and the Governor.

The memorandum stated that the media in Manipur has plunged into a highly imperiled situation with the journalists’ free and unbiased versions and opinions to shape the society continued to be gagged by the people in power.

It highlighted the incident that compelled the union to come out in the streets to protest against the excesses of some leaders of Manipur unit BJP which is ruling the state.

On November 24 Shamjai, along with two others – a BJP MLA and an academician – had delivered their views as panelists on the topic ‘VlP culture in Manipur” during a daily discussion session hosted by ISTV, a local television network service.

During the discussion, the union president dwelt on the ugly faces of VIP culture in the nation in general and the state in particular, stated the memorandum copy.

Despite the commendable efforts having extended by the Prime Minister to end VIP culture in the country, some leaders of the state unit BJP have taken security escorts mentioned president Shamjai.

During the discussion, our president mentioned the names of such Manipur unit BJP leaders who have been given security escorts. They included vice president Ashnikumar Moirangthem, spokesperson RK. Shivachandra, secretary K. Sharat and Jadumani Singh.

Of them, Shivachandra, Ashnikumar and Jadumani contested and lost in the last assembly election held in March this year on BJP tickets from Keishamthon, Thanga and Thoubal assembly seats.

Samjai did not demand the government to pull out the security escorts from them. Without any prejudice and ill feeling, he simply questioned the rationale behind granting the security escorts to the BJP leaders, stated the memorandum.

On November 30 Shivachandra called up Samjai over the phone and threatened him for naming in the list of the BJP leaders who obtained security escorts. Shivachandra also used crude and defamatory language against him.

AMWJU, in its press statement issued on December 1, strongly condemned the excesses and autocratic nature of Shivachandra. The union, while terming it as an attack to the sanctity and independence of the media, also maintained that Shivachandra should take total responsibility if anything happens to Samjai.

Much to the surprise, Shivachandra made a post on his facebook account defaming Samjai on the same night. He even used highly objectionable language enough to assassinate Samjai’s character, an unbecoming and immature version of a leader of a political party that rules both the centre and the state.

In a media conference held at BJP lmphal office on December 3, Shivachandra and Sharat threatened to file a defamation suit against our president if he fails to tender apology on what he had stated against them during the discussion on VIP culture, added the memorandum.

An emergency meeting of the standing committee of AMWJU convened yesterday resolved that the union will fight collectively against those unprincipled leaders to preserve and strengthen the sanctity and the independence of the press.

The journalist union requested the Prime Minister for necessary action against the alleged unprincipled individuals in the earliest possible time in the interest of safeguarding the true essence of democracy and the media’s freedom.

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IMPHAL | Dec 5

The chief minister of Manipur, N. Biren Singh visited ‘Hornbill Festival’ at Kisama today. He was accompanied by PHED minister, Losii Dikho, along with MLAs, L. Susindro, K. Robindro, L. Rameshwor, Th. Satyabrata, S. Subhaschandra, Awangbou Newmai and advisor to CM Rajat Sethi.

On the grand occasion, N. Biren Singh stated that he felt much honoured to be among the people of Nagaland and being in the lustrous land, defined and shaped by bravery and the rich traditions of the many tribes.

‘It is also indeed a privilege to be part of the ‘Hornbill Festival 2017’, in this picturesque setting of Kisama and experience the impressive rich cultural displays and traditions of Nagaland’, said N. Biren.

On behalf of the people of Manipur, the CM extended his best wishes and warm greetings to the people of Nagaland and for the celebration of 54 years of statehood for Nagaland.

‘Nagaland is indeed the land of festivals and Hornbill festival is definitely the festival of festivals’, praised N. Biren.

He thanked the chief minister of Nagaland for the invitation to attend the festival and also thanked him for taking time to visit Manipur last month for the recently concluded ‘North East development Summit’ in Imphal during ‘Manipur Sangai Festival’.

There is so much that connects the two states and its people and based on the shared history and close cultural affinities, people must build the foundations upon which institutions of the two states can collaborate and cooperate with a strong sense of common purpose, said N. Biren.

Pointing out suggestion made by Nagaland CM on ‘tourist circuit’ for the northeast region, N. Biren stated that from next year onwards, attempt will be made to evolve concrete collaborative mechanism for jointly promoting the two biggest festivals of the states, Manipur Sangai festival, which is held in the last 10 days of November and Nagaland Hornbill festival, which is held in the first 10 days of December.

There are many untapped opportunities which Manipur and Nagaland as neighbours should jointly leverage to unlock the full potential of the two states and fulfil the aspirations of the people, especially the youths, he added.

While recalling the history, the CM mentioned that some of the fiercest and deciding battles of the Second World War were fought in Imphal and Kohima, 74 years ago. Collaborative efforts of the governments with entrepreneurs, historians and enthusiasts to develop a tourist circuit should be supported not only for promoting tourism but for preserving the history and relics of forgotten battles of World War II, he added.

Biren Singh further spoke about the importance of sports in the region. He said that the enduring foundations laid by the inspiring legacy of Dr Ao of Nagaland, who was the first captain of Indian national football team after independence had been a promising prospects for the young sports talents, like those of the eight Manipuris who represented India in the recent U-17 FIFA World Cup.

Sports unify people and more opportunities should be explored to increase interactions between the two states in the area of sports at various levels starting from schools, colleges, village, professional clubs level and others, he added.

He continued that there is a need for extensive and meaningful ‘people-to-people’ interactions and between institutions for collaboration and partnership in the area of entrepreneurship, skill development, commerce, arts, culture, films and theater.

The CM congratulated the government and the people of Nagaland for putting up a grand impressive show and the kind hospitality. He also mentioned that the cultural troupes from Manipur will be reaching the venue to attend the festival.

CM N. Biren also extended his warm greetings and best wishes for Christmas, on behalf of the people of Manipur.

Published in News
Wednesday, 06 December 2017 00:00

Back to AFSPA

The state cabinet last Wednesday decided to extend the Disturbed Area Act, DAA, for another year.  Accordingly, the Governor of the state, on the very next day, issued a notification that by the provision of Section 3 of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, AFSPA, the entire state, with the exception of seven Assembly constituencies in the Imphal municipal area, was placed under the DAA for another year. The silence of the Manipur public on the matter should raise some relevant and perhaps disturbing questions. Have they become cynical that no good can come out of the demand for AFSPA’s repeal and have resigned, or have they become indifferent to the issue? It could also be a question of the AFSPA returning cleverly cloaked in all the seeming public largess of development packages that the BJP government has so eagerly declaring, and the public euphoria generated, false or otherwise, have seemingly lulled all senses on the question of the AFSPA. Even Wednesday’s declaration of the DAA extension was packaged with another Cabinet decision of rationalizing the extent and manner of transfer and posting of government employees. Indeed, most newspapers the next day led with the transfer and posting news, and the DAA development was buried deep in the same story away from easy notice, therefore removing the sting that it would probably have come with, had the media given it the space it deserved.

The extension of the DAA was expected. It has been doing so for as long as the AFSPA was in force in the state without much ado except for occasional explosions of public anger whenever security forces go on rampage in the name of counterinsurgency operations. It was indeed after one such explosions of public rage in 2004 in the wake of the custodial rape and murder of Thangjam Manorama by the Assam Rifles, leading to the historic naked protest followed by weeks of violent street protests, that the Government of India had to reluctantly concede to the proposal by the then state government headed by Okram Ibobi, to lift the AFSPA from seven assembly constituencies in the Imphal municipal area, and law and order upkeep in these constituencies be handed over to the state police. Although there has been no tangible changes on the matter of containment of insurgency thereafter, the difference is, the state got to see that unlike forces acting under the AFSPA, state police do not have the impunity therefore victims are not totally disempowered. This was more than adequately demonstrated in the BT Road custodial killing case where the law ultimately caught up with those who broke it, regardless of whether they were in uniform. It is also not a coincidence that custodial killings took a dramatic decline after the case. In AFSPA all such mechanisms of moderations are done away with, therefore it remains a more cynical and draconian legislation. It is also for these same reasons that it is considered a law unfit for a democracy.

Are we then back to square one? Is this then saying that all that have gone by are of no consequence at all? Not Sharmila’s 16-year hunger strike or the naked protest outside Kangla that took the world by storm, or Chittaranjan’s self-immolation. As of now, few seem interested in the answers. It may be interesting to explore how such a state of mind might have come about. Probably there are a combination of factors behind this. One plausible cause is fatigue. People are tired so would want a breather. Two, is desensitization. When exposed to extreme conditions for a prolonged period of time, there is a tendency for these conditions to become normalized. In a skewed way, this is a show of life’s resilience. It absorbs and adjusts to whatever condition it is exposed to for long. The third reason probably is a clever design of subterfuge of the powers that be. It has through its own ingenuity succeeded in dissociating the DAA with the AFSPA in public consciousness. Indeed, when the news of the DAA extension was reported in the media, few brought up the fact that DAA is a precondition to the imposition of the AFSPA. But let there be no mistake, these are only a question of buying time and no solution can said to have been reached. The public rage now muted is probably ticking like a time bomb somewhere waiting for the next provocation to explode again. Thus while the present lull is encouraging, it must be said it is also deceptive. Let the government then not be too quick to celebrate and be humble that there is still much work left to be done.

Published in Editorial
Wednesday, 06 December 2017 00:00

Cheque distribution ceremony

IMPHAL | Dec 5

Medical directorate, government of Manipur has informed to all the beneficiaries under Manipur State Illness Assistance Fund (MSIAF) that there will be cheque distribution ceremony at chief minister’s office complex on December 8 at 11:30 am, said a release by director of health services, Manipur. It further said that all beneficiaries are requested to attend the function in time with necessary documents like BPL card or ration card with one passport size photograph.

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Wednesday, 06 December 2017 00:00

Deadline extended

IMPHAL | Dec 5

The last date of submission of registration for external and supplementary candidates for HSLC examinations 2018 has been extended till December 29, with a fine of 400 rupees per candidate, said a release.

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Wednesday, 06 December 2017 00:00

HSLC exam forms ready for distribution

IMPHAL | Dec 5

Application forms for HSLC examinations 2018 are ready for distribution to the schools recognised by the board of secondary education, Manipur. Heads of institutions can collect the forms from the board office during office hours, said a release.

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Wednesday, 06 December 2017 00:00

KDS observes Kabui Salang Maiba memorial

IMPHAL | Dec 5

The annually held ‘Kabui Salang Maiba Ningsing Thouram’ was observed by Kabui Dharma Sabha Manipur on December 3 at the Kokdan community hall under Loktak project.

A release said the observation attended by president, Kabui Dharma Sabha Manipur, VL. Kabui and village chief, Kokdan village, V. Namsachung, was held with the theme ‘Salang Maiba amasung Khamba Thoibi.’ The speakers expressed in the observation that the role of Kabui Salang Maiba is vital in the folklore of Khamba and Thoibi, it said. In the Khamba Thoibi dance, the dance steps performed by Thobi are that of Moirang dance while the steps performed by Khamba is that of Kabui, the release said.   

Before the function began, a programme for paying floral tributes to Moirang Thangjing was organised, it added.

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CCPUR | Dec 5

In regards to the construction of Guite road in Churachandpur, Zomi Re-unification Organisation (ZRO) has appealed to the general public to co-operate with the road construction which is in progress under Bhartia Infra Projects Limited (BIPL).

ZRO further appealed all the passers-by, passenger and private vehicle to co-operate with the workers of the company in the interest of the general public and added that participation of the people in infrastructural development is immensely important for socio-economic development of the region.

Published in News
Wednesday, 06 December 2017 00:00

69 CRPF Bn holds cleanliness drive

IMPHAL | Dec 5

69 Battalion of CRPF at Mantripukhri launched a cleanliness drive on December 5.

The drive was conducted under the aegis of IGP Manipur and Nagaland Vikram Sehgal in observance of Swachhta Hi Sewa campaign of Swachhta Pakhwada, said a release. Battalion commandant Dharm Prakash briefed officers and unit personnel, and later they carried out ‘safai abhiyan’ and ‘shram daan’ at Jai Hind high school and Jai Hind primary school, the release added.

Meanwhile, 109 Battalion of CRPF held a cleanliness drive at an old age home in Mongsangei, Imphal, on December 5, said a release.

The drive was launched by battalion commandant Vinod Kumar in observance of Swachhta Hi Sewa campaign of Swachhta Pakhwada, it said.

52 battalion personnel and senior citizens of the home participated in the drive, the release added.

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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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