From A Correspondent
THOUBAL | July 10
A grocery shop located at the entrance of Chandrakhong road, Yairpok Keithel was completely burnt to cinders at around 3 pm today.
The incident reportedly occurred when the owner of the shop Thongram Ratan (50) son of (L) Modhu tried to light up a gas stove kept near the shop. The fire completely destroyed the two storey shop which also stores petrol.
Two fire tenders one each from Yairipok fire service and Thoubal extinguished the fire in about 45 minutes. As for now, the value of damaged properties is yet to be determined.
Biren attends to 232 complaints, 1000 people on Hill Leaders’ Day
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | July 10
Chief minister N. Biren Singh today clarified that the transfer of former chief secretary Oinam Nabakishore is just a “normal course” of the government process and that the people should not be disheartened by it.
He was making the statement on the sidelines of the third Hill Leaders Day at his secretariat. He said that many other posts have been subject to transfers before and this will continue. He assured this is with a view to better governance of the state.
The new chief secretary is also a Manipur cadre officer stationed in the state for more than 30 years and is no different, he added.
Meanwhile replying to a query about the irregularities on NFSA, he said that those irregularities were committed before the BJP government came to power. Biren said that he had instructed the concerned DCs to look into the matter of PDS and NFSA irregularities.
The CM had also assured that there will be no complaints in his regime and as for the recent landslides in both the National Highways, he said they will be sorted out soon. He said that NH-39 will be repaired soon and for that works department has been instructed to intervene and repair the road as soon as possible.
Biren Singh attended to as many as 232 complaints and met over 1000 people of hill districts coming all the way to meet him from 9 am to 3.30 pm.
Various issues concerning road connectivity, drinking water problem, absence of community hall and personal grievances were highlighted before the chief minister by civil societies and others.
Biren said he is fortunate to be attending to their grievances and would continue to do so even in the future. “I can feel they trusted me and hoped that something positive would come out after meeting me and that’s the spirit I am serving the people”, he said.
He urged every department to take their work seriously and concentrate in their work and think for the betterment of the people. He also highlighted that people should get benefits from various welfare schemes.
An outstanding case of the meet that shocked the CM was the case of a family of four siblings who were living with disabilities. The eldest among them, Lena Songjao (30) from Khongnangpokpi, Senapati district said he had six siblings and out of which three are blind, including him and one with mental disorder.
“I lost my eyesight when I was studying in class seven and passed my matric examination from a blind school. We remained unemployed and we heard that our chief minister is giving hill people a chance to meet him personally every date 10 of every month. So we decided to meet him today”, Lena said.
The chief minister, after hearing their story, gave Rs.5000 each to the disabled persons out of CM’s Relief Fund. The one who had passed class 12 was told to undergo vocational training under the social welfare department which also guarantees a government job. They were told to grab the opportunity of getting a scheme under social welfare which offers Rs.6000 per year.
A man named Thongpao Guite from Phoilen village of Chandel district said the SSA run school, Phoilen Primary School had been neglected and there is not a single government teacher in the school. Only three private teachers were employed in the primary school and he had been paying their salary for the past 3-4 years. He wanted the government to reimburse the salary he had paid for the private teachers employed in the SSA run school.
In good times as well as in bad times, the role of a healthy media is to hold power to account. Never taking anything the government, any government, say as gospel truth and to always suspect and be sceptical of those who wield power must remain the defining character of such a media. In a distant though interesting way, what is said of the army, that it is much easier to maintain the fighting discipline and integrity of soldiers during war than in peacetime, is also true of the profession of journalism. It is therefore much easier for the media to play its role as critiques of the government’s ways during times of crises than in times of relative calm. A German media scholar, during a media conclave organized by The Statesman, Kolkata, two years ago put this very well in a critique of the state of the German media in these stable but staid times of the country. He said the German media has become moribund and the surest indication of this is that all newspapers have become alike in their styles and contents. He even cited a day when four major newspapers of the country carried identical lead headlines, and on other days, even when they were not identical, they all said very much the same thing. That this corresponds with a time the country is marked by relative prosperity cannot be a coincidence. The mood is one of complacence. Secure jobs, good salaries and good businesses, and suddenly nothings else seem to matter. Life also gets reduced to existing rather than living. One is reminded of the “End of History” scenario that academic Francis Fukuyama sketched to describe the ushering in of a new era after the end of the bitter ideological war between Capitalism and Communism towards the end of the 1980s marked by the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the Capitalist world emerging as the decisive victors. It had seemed the Western model of Capitalism would have nothing more to fight for, and life would recede to a routine world devoid of any major challenges. That scenario we now know was illusory, and the unipolar Capitalist world is again faced with challenges from many newly emerged power poles.
We write this as a reminder that the Manipur media too must not allow itself to be lulled by the relative calm after the big storms witnessed in the past few years. For one, those explosive energies have still not been put to rest, but continue to tick away like time bombs to probably explode again once the tensions in the society reaches their critical points. For another, to be critical of the government of the day, no matter how good the government, and to instinctively suspect the proneness of power to corruption, is not a question of favouring or not favouring anyone. It is just the mandate of the democratic media. It must be said, like the scenario sketched by the German scholar, Manipur media seems to be going through a period of complacency. This is not a call for the media to take a hostile stance against the powers that be. This is only a reminder that the media cannot and should not be partners of state power, but its critics. This should be how participatory democracy is defined. There can also be no gainsaying that democracy by its very definition implies the participation of the people in the governance process. In other words, people in a democracy cannot afford to be passive recipients of government policies, and this is profoundly so for the media. The need is for “Radical Democracy”, as Prof. Charles Douglas Lummis once put it in a lecture delivered in Imphal a decade ago. This calls for the people to know their rights well, and not only rectitude, and ensure that these are preserved intact under the supervision of the government. It also calls upon them to be participants in the enterprise of shaping public policies. Manipur’s democracy has indeed seen strong attributes of radical citizen participation, although too often in untamed and un-moderated by consideration of larger consensual interests. The bandhs, blockades, strikes, JACs etc, are just some examples. They demonstrate how in certain circumstances the citizenry are not passive recipients of whatever the government gives them but at the same time, these also are evidences of an acute myopia that makes a larger section of the citizenry see only their own objectives as non-negotiable, while those of others open to compromises to suit their vested ends. These protests have become a constant and dull drone in the backdrop of life in the state. It must also be admitted that on so many occasions, explosive and violent agitations have indeed swung public policies of vital importance to the future of the state and its people dramatically, although not always following democratic consensus as their guiding principle, failing almost always therefore to bring about any cathartic denouement. Quite unlike the Radical Democracy Prof. Lummis explained these agitations often reduce to extreme and even pathological understandings of democracy, whereby the state as well as those standing up against its mores mutate into monstrosities. If on the one hand the role of the media is to be the institution to check state power, on the other hand its mandate is also about being the moderating influence to transform the raw energy of democracy seekers on the streets, into forces of a creative democracy.
IMPHAL | July 10
Vocalist of Eastern Dark band, Heisnam Lokesh had clarified that he is being projected in the social media as having links to certain underground organizations. The slur is also there on his family member which is perpetrated by a fake account holder.
He briefed reporters at his residence at Keisamthong Khwairakpam Leikai that he is the vice-president of Lok Janshaki Party, Manipur and also contested the last election from the party. He said that some individuals with vested interests are trying to malign his image on social media. He has filed a report to the cyber crime cell in the regard.
IMPHAL| July 10
Two picnickers were swept away by the current at Sekmai river on July 7 last. One body was found at Khabam Makha Leikai today. The body was identified as one R. K. Ajit alias Pinochio from Uripok Tourangbam Leikai.
IMPHAL | July 10
A team of district police commando arrested one active member of PREPAK (PRO) from Wangjing Bazar area and the arrested person was identified as R. K. Manisana alias Mani (42), son of RK Khedasana of Wangjing Heituppokpi Mayai Leikai, said a release by PRO police.
One point 45 ammunition was seized from his possession and a case has been registered at Thoubal police station and investigation is going on.
From Our Correspondent
BISHNUPUR | July 10
An army personnel of Assam Regiment was found dead last night in the canal in between Kwaksiphai and Nachou.
The personnel was shot on his forehead by unknown miscreants and he was identified as Moirangthem Herachandra Singh (43), son of (Late) M. Chaobhal of Moirang Khunou Khongnang Makhong Leikai, Bishnupur district.
The dead body has been picked up Bishnupur police and kept in RIMS mortuary. An FIR has been lodged regarding the incident and the reason of the killing has not been confirmed.
From Our Correspondent
BISHNUPUR| July 10
Under the National Food Security Mission 2016-17, a one day farmers’ awareness programme was organised by Keinou Farmer Club in collaboration with district agricultural officer (DAO), Bishnupur at Keinou Thonthak Awang Leikai Bamon Mandop.
On the occasion DAO Bishnupur, T. Holen Singh said that farmers should take up new techniques for producing more as the areas for farming are getting reduced with the increase of population. Certain chemical fertilizers, pesticides, weedicides and hormones may help in increasing agricultural production but they can cause many health damages and harm the soil.
He further said that agriculture department is taking up many schemes under NFSM for the welfare of farmers. Under those schemes, the various techniques for farming are included. The programme was held in order give the farmers awareness about those schemes and techniques. The Farmers Club was given an amount of Rs. 50,000 to help its members to initiate horticulture based farming. He expressed the desire to make the farmers produce more with the cash and get more profit.
The programme was attended by the pradhan, Keinou Gram Panchayat, W. Homeshwar Singh, S. Tomba Singh, retired ZEO Thoubal, social worker Keinou, Y. Dhanachandra Singh as presidium members. Many experts from agriculture department spoke extensively about prevention of crop diseases by practicing organic farming. Many farmers of Keinou attended the program.
IMPHAL | July 10
Troops of Veng Battalion under the aegis of Churachandpur Sector Assam Rifles of Red Shield Division arrested two arms dealers in an operation conducted on July 5.
A release said that following a tip-off regarding presence of arms dealers in Lanva and Ngathal areas of Churachandpur, an operation was launched by troops of Veng Battalion which resulted in apprehension of two arms dealers along with an AK-47 Rifle.
The duo were identified as Ginthinsiam, (53) son of (L) Lamkhup of village Lungthul L, Post Office Thinghat, District Churachandpur (Manipur) & Anekhennang, age 45 yrs, son of (L) Thkam of Ngathal village,of Churachandpur district., it added. It further said that the apprehended arms dealers revealed that they were involved in smuggling of arms to various Under Ground groups in Churachandpur district and added that the arms dealers along with recovered weapon were handed over to Churachandpur police for further investigation.
IMPHAL| July 10
Indigenous People’s Association of Kangliepak (IPAK) expressed gratitude to the SP Imphal East, K. Kabib and OCS Chandrakumar, Porompat police station for timely action. Receiving information that Eastern Students Club, Nongmeibung is organising a Tambola on July 8, for which tickets have been sold for Rs 3000 each, for a draw that includes a car as the houseful prize, the members of IPAK went to the said location to stop the draw from being carried out, said a release.
While trying to stop the housie along with volunteers of IPAK, meira paibis and club members, OCS Chandrakumar, Porompat police station, led by SP Imphal East arrived at the scene and peacefully prevented the Tambola draw without causing any unnecessary altercations between the organiser and members of IPAK, it added.