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Imphal Free Press - Imphal Free Press

By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | June 23
The officer in-charge of the then Special Intelligence Unit (SIU), Kangjam Ranjit, one of the prosecution witnesses in the 2013 Tulihal drug haul case, today confessed before the court that he received threats to his life in connection with the case.
K. Ranjit, prosecution witness no. one, deposed before the court of special judge Th. Saimon Singh, narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances (ND&PS). He was also crossed examined by the defence counsels.
The then officer in-charge, SIU, who is now working as OC of Narcotic Cell, Imphal West (since April 29, 2017) said that Henry Okram was the nephew of former chief minister of Manipur, Okram Ibobi Singh and Tarpon is his (Okram Ibobi) Singh’s close associate.
He pointed out that in January 2013 he was the OC of SIU Imphal West as well as OC of Narcotic Cell, Imphal West and that the unit was formed by Y. Jayenta, the then SP Imphal West on May 6, 2012.
Ranjit further revealed that the purpose of the SIU was to detect crime and collect information about commission of crimes and the unit was comprised of eleven police personnel including a lady officer (Sub-Inspector).
He recalled that on January 11, 2013 he along with his SIU team excluding SI Miranda Devi, the lady officer, had lunched at the farm house of his brother situated at Malom near Imphal airport in between 2 to 3pm.
While they (SIU team) were about to return to their station after lunch, one of the SIU members, sub-inspector E. Ajit received reliable information from his source about a drug consignment coming to Imphal by Deccan flight Cargo and that the same was lying at Imphal airport, said Ranjit.
Subsequently, the team was directed to rush to airport after E. Ajit recorded a source report in c/w about the information received, continued Ranjit.
He revealed that the SIU team was led by SI E. Ajit and SI Amitabh Arambam.
According to Ranjit, he did not enter the premises of the airport and only gave direction to his sub-ordinate staffs because the owner of the alleged contraband drugs belongs to a very powerful person in Manipur. He said that the matter was also informed to the additional SP Herojit Singh who was in charge of the SP Imphal West since the SP, K Jayanta Singh was out of station.
Ranjit further said that he received information from SI E. Ajit Singh and SI Amitabh Arambam from their mobile phones that members of the SIU team had reached the airport near the cargo area.
Amidst this Ranjit reportedly received phone call from Henry Okram from mobile number 8974059909 and another number 8575967818 and another call from Tarpon from mobile number 9856089388.
“They were asking me to call back my men from the airport and they also asked me not to touch the materials inside the carton boxes,” said Ranjit.
The team reportedly found seven boxes from among the cargo containing suspected contraband drugs and later these were taken into custody by the team as the boxes were not claimed by anyone.
The boxes were brought to the SIU office at Imphal around 9.30 pm.
K. Ranjit said that the same day of the seizure of the alleged contraband drugs he received his transfer order from Narcotic Cell to Inspector CAR, Imphal West.
The seized consignment of drugs was handed over to Singjamei police station on January 12 by SI E. Ajit Singh with a report submitted to the OC concerned.
On January 15, 2013 the SIU which was formed under the supervision of SP Imphal West was abolished and the entire staffs were transferred to different places.
Ranjit further alleged that on January 17, 2013 armed miscreants open fire in front of his residential gate before fleeing the scene.
He said that even as the incident was reported to police authority including the concerned police station no case was registered in connection with the incident.
Further during cross examination, he said that the mobile phone numbers of the owners were not mentioned in his examination-in-chief statement due to strong pressure.
Further responding to queries of defence counsel of Tarpon and Ranjit confessed that he did not disclos the number of Tarpon Singh while he deposed his statement before the JMIC, Bidhannagar due to threat to his life.
“It is true that I am disclosing the alleged mobile number of Tarpon Singh before the court even if there is a threat to my life. It is true that due to threat to my life I did not disclose the name of the powerful persons who were the owners of the seized illegal materials during while recording my statement under section 161 Cr.P.C and 164 Cr.P.C. I have every seuspicion that the owners of the said illegal drugs belong to Henry and Tarpon”.

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By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | June 23
A new committee named Wildlife Protection Forum, Manipur (WPFM) was formed today to safeguard wildlife in the state and preserve nature. Members of the new organisation include functionaries of BJP and All Manipur Working Journalists Union (AMWJU).
Manipur state BJP cultural cell convenor, Sh. Nabachandra Sharma, singer, popularly known as Naba Volcano was appointed as the chairman of the new committee while AMWJU president, W. Shamjai as co-chairman.
AMWJU vice-president, K. Sarojkumar Sharma, AMWJU general secretary, S. Nanda  and member of Press Club Management Committee B. M. Sanzu, film maker/ free lance journalist, an All India Radio lyricist identified as Mohinikant Pyarelal are the executive members.
Addressing a press meet today at Manipur Press Club, Imphal the newly formed committee’s chairman said that the numbers of bird and wild animal in the state dwindle considerably due to poaching.
“To protect and conserve wildlife the committee has been formed to spread awareness and campaign to stop the hunting of birds and wild animal and also create awareness of its impact on the nature,” Nabachandra added.
The committee’s executive member D. Abonmei, who is also a filmmaker said that the rear bird Hornbill (Langmeidong), which is found in Langpram village, Tamenglong district is decreasing its population day by day as well as the monkey species Hoolock Gibbon (Yongmu) is becoming extinct from the state.
Many birds and animals are taking vital role in maintaining the ecological system as well as in protecting the crops. So we must end the culture of poaching wildlife, he added.
Executive members Atem A. Shimray who is also the chief of Tongom village, Ukhrul district said that hunting increases after air rifle was introduced.
Volcano appealed to to the government to ban selling of air rifle and its cartridges to check poaching.

Published in News
Saturday, 24 June 2017 00:00

Govt mulls ban on air guns

By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | June 23
A State Level Stakeholders’ Workshop for Science Based Conservation Planning of Sangai and adaptive management of KeibulLamjao National Park was held today at Imperial Hall, Classic Grande Hotel, Imphal.
The workshop was organised jointly by the Manipur forest department and the wildlife institute of India.
Th. Shyamkumar, minister of forest and environment, Govt. of Manipur, attended the inaugural function of the workshop as the chief guest while Shambhu Singh, addl. chief secretary, forest and environment, Govt. of Manipur as the president.
Th. Shyamkumar pledging full support to the endeavour emphasised on the need for sensitising and capacity building of the local communities especially the local youth for the successful management of the area.
He also talked about provisions for alternative livelihoods through proper incentive mechanism for the local communities in the fringe villages of the Park.
Shyamkumar also indicated that it is in the Government’s agenda to ban air guns and other accessories that ease poaching.
Shambhu Singh said that conservation of Sangai should be our priority and creation of another population is essential for the long-term survival of the species.
He also said that declaration of the Park as a World Heritage Site is very important. He implied that the stakeholders’ consultative workshop should not only focus on the issues of Sangai conservation but also come up with strategies to ensure both conservation and livelihood.
In his keynote address, Dr. S.A. Hussain, Scientist-G and senior professor from the wildlife institute of India spoke about the challenges facing the survival of the Sangai. Dr. Hussain is an ecologist who has been working on the population, habitat and behaviour ecology and conservation genetics of the Sangai for the past 13 years.
He further quoted the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi,by saying that in order to save the species the people of Manipur should take some bitter pillsso as to reinstate the Sangai population in the State.
 As the prescription for the restoration of Sangai and improved conservation of KeibulLamjao National Park he suggested that the people of Manipur cannot compromise on the area of the Park or its integrity.
 He stressed on developing science-based protocols for monitoring and evaluation of the status of the Park and the Sangai in the wild. Dr. Ruchi Badola, Scientist-G and Senior Professor from the Wildlife Institute of India spoke about the role of the people of Manipur as stakeholders in the conservation of the species.
She quoted that the inter-linkages between the culture of Manipur and the Sangai is the biggest and only force which can make Sangai conservation a success and that only the people of Manipur can save the species through the aid of Forest Department.
 She suggested weaning out of people from using Park resources by developing alternate livelihood options for the local communities. At the end of the consultation, the House strategized an adaptive approach to the management of the Park.
A satellite population for the species is to be established and conservation-breeding efforts are to begin immediately.
The House also gave emphasis on the importance of developing livelihoods through synergies between different govt. departments and other stakeholders.
The stakeholders suggested to relook into the water allocation policy of Loktak Lake and to assess the ecological, social and economic impacts of the Ithai Barrage. The house agreed that a comprehensive solution for these issues should be formulated.

Published in News
Saturday, 24 June 2017 00:00

Women Helpline ‘181’ launched

By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | June 24
For the first time in the history of Manipur, a helpline especially for women was launched today at Kuranga Nayani Hall, D.C. office complex of Lamphel by Manipur State Commission for Women (MSCW) and department of social welfare.
The helpline “181” was launched by state minister for social welfare and corporation Nemcha Kipgen as chief guest. Principal secretary social welfare, J. C. Ramthanga, director of social welfare, Jacintha Lazarus and deputy commissioner of Imphal West district N. Geoffrey IAS attended the function as guests of honour.
Addressing the launch programme, Nemcha Kipgen said that this helpline is to fight and reduce crime against women in the state.
“The reports of crime against women have been alarmingly increasing over the years, as can be observed through the daily news, which calls for an action to stop such incidents from occurring in our near future,” she said.
She also urged the people of Manipur to cooperate and extend support to run this helpline smoothly and effectively in the interest of all women in the state.
The helpline will provide 24 hour telecom service to women affected by violence seeing support and information. It will also facilitate crisis and non-crisis intervention through referral to the appropriate agencies such as police, hospitals, ambulance services, district legal service authority (DLSA), protection officer (PO)/OSC.
The helpline will also provide information about the appropriate support services, government schemes and programmes available to the women affected by violence, in her particular situation within the local area in which she resides or is employed.
Dignitaries had expressed their heartfelt congratulations to the MSCW and hoped that it will not just become an ordinary helpline but bring positive changes in the state amid everyday news of crime against women.
Chairperson of Manipur State Commission for Women, K. Sobita Devi said that there is still a long way to go and this is only a beginning to empower in the state.
This scheme is available and designed for all 16 districts of the state and for this purpose District level nodal officers have been appointed.

Published in News
Saturday, 24 June 2017 00:00

Abducted man found dead

By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | June 23
A man who was picked up from his home yesterday afternoon at around 3pm by five unidentified masked men was found dead after two hours with a mark of bullet shot on his head.  
The deceased is identified as Angson Tontang (29) son of Mocha Tontang of Biyang village, Chandel district.
The deceased has four sons, the eldest son is studying in two standards and the youngest is only one year old.
According to the deceased’s father, Angson was a simple farmer who does not quarrel with anyone in the past.  He continued that the Angson’s wife and some adults tried to stop the masked men from taking away the former. But the masked men overpowered them, he recalled.
 Mocha said that, “As a father I strongly condemn the killing of my son without giving any warning of his faults.” He appealed to those involved to give reason for killing of his son through the media.
Meantime Angson’s body has been deposited at JNIMS morgue and post-mortem will be conducting tomorrow. A case has been registered at the Machi police station regarding the incident.

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By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | June 23
The deputy commissioner of Tamenglong, Armstrong Panmei has been charged of ignoring court directive and awarding land compensation to two individuals amounting to nearly 37 crore. The land is allegedly disputed and contested by two parties, the compensation is for land acquisition of the Jiribam- Tupul rail head.
Briefing media persons at Manipur Press Club today, N Gondaimei, village chief of Marangching (Makhuam), former member of Marangching village authority D Gangmei and former secretary of the same village M Gondaimei said that they have handed over a memorandum to the chief minister’s office today. It mentioned that within 48 hours, the DC Tamenglong must withhold payment of compensation and action must be initiated against the deputy commissioner for his unjustified action of awarding compensation. The authorities warned that agitations will be launched if the government fails to comply within the deadline.
The memorandum mentions that there is still cases pending at High Court of Manipur. The case put up is that the names of the true landowners were not included and several representations have been put up. At present, the writ petition is not disposed and the case was heard today only.
The memorandum mentions on June 9 last, the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Authority of Tamenglong district has also fixed June 30 , 2017 as the date of hearing on this imbroglio and the deputy commissioner is also notified to appear.
The village authorities charged that Armstrong Panmei has ignored the existence of such pending cases and awarded the compensation to two individuals. One T Gangmei was awarded around 12 crore and Kh Lovejoy of Pungmon was awarded compensation of around 25 crore. The amount was for 37.88 acre and 77.10 acre fixed at Rs 20 per square feet for both of them.
The deputy commissioner Armstrong Panmei told Imphal Free Press that during the survey process, the names of Makhuam (Marangching) do not appear in the field survey. They have never challenged the field dairy which is the main basis for awarding compensation. He said that the entire process of land acquisition was already done and the award was issued on March 21 last by the former DC, however the final payment was halted due to pending court case. He added that a court verdict had disposed the case on June 16. The traditional court had also settled the matter.

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Newmai News Network
DIMAPUR |June 23
The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) has accused the Naga People’s Front (NPF) of giving a “final burial to its regional identity and have become a full-fledged proxy party for BJP-RSS in Nagaland by hurriedly supporting the BJP-RSS candidate” for the Presidential of India election.
According to the NPCC, “Our belief, culture and way of life have been greatly compromised in the name of garnering benefits of development and good governance which is still a farfetched dream”.
The NPCC censured the NPF-BJP alliance bereft of any principles but based solely on petty benefits, while adding that “despite BJP calling NPF 200 percent corrupt and NPF calling BJP anti-Christian party, yet they continue to sail together in a rotten boat.”
On the other hand, the NPF has said that NPCC president, K Therie “have no moral right to question the decision of the NPF to maintain its alliance with the NDA or with any other party at the Centre.
The NPF doesn’t need the approval of NPCC to support someone’s Presidential candidature, the NPF said in a statement today.
It continued that the NPCC president is well aware that NPF has always been an ally of the non-Congress national party since 1977 even before the BJP was formed and this alliance was renewed and strengthened in the early part of 2003 when in our state the non-Congress political parties formed the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland.
“NPCC president, K Therie, who himself was once a minister in the NPF-led DAN government, knows the principles of the NPF party. But strangely, he is now trying to decide for the NPF party for the Presidential election”, it added.
According to the NPF statement, those leaders who hop from one party to another party at the snap of the fingers for their selfish gains should not question the integrity and principles of NPF party, the party which has maintained its regional spirit since Statehood.
The statement reminded the Congress party and its president that NPF, being an alliance partner of the NDA, “shall continue to uphold the alliance principles, and the people forward to the destination of peace, progress and prosperity”.

Published in News
Saturday, 24 June 2017 00:00

MLA condemns robbery

IMPHAL | June 23
MLA of Tipaimukh constituency, Chalton Lien Amo has strongly condemned the robbing of cash and mobiles phones from the staffs, nurses and doctor of Sibanpurikhal Primary Health Centre in Pherzawl district on June 21.
A press statement signed by the MLA said that such incident of threatening the lives of medical staff who are providing medical services to the people can be taken as violation of human rights.
 It further appealed to the state government and authority concerned to book the miscreants involved in the incident under the law and take up measures to prevent such incident from happening in future.

Published in News
Saturday, 24 June 2017 00:00

Commissioner appeals

IMPHAL | June 23
Revenue commissioner, government of Manipur, Th. Chittaranjan Singh, in a press statement, has appealed the GOC of 57-Moutain Divison, Leimakhong to consider for relocation of the Army camp at the old Air field, Koirengei to a new site in the proximity of the Army Head Quarters at Leimakhong in public interest.

Published in News
Saturday, 24 June 2017 00:00

Road to be closed for repair work

IMPHAL | June 23
Public Works department, government of Manipur has notified to all the transporters, drivers, government officials and general public that the road communication along National Highway-102 will be closed with effect from 5 pm of June 24 to 10 am of June 26.
Repair and extension work by another 20 feet length is to be taken on the existing Bailey bridge at Tengnoupal on NH-102.
A release said that all types of vehicles will not be allowed to cross the Bailey bridge until the repair work is completed and added that the department will not be responsible for any accidents or unwanted happenings to the vehicles, loss of lives or injuries etc.

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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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