By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | July 13
It’s finally wedding bells for Irom Sharmila, the anti-AFSPA crusader. She will finally tie the knot with her long time fiance Goa born NRI, Desmond Coutinho. The couple are making arrangements for the wedding ceremony, which is most likely to happen in the second week of August.
“We are making preparations for a simple ceremony. I would like the wedding solemnised in Meitei tradition. However, there are many complications due to the distance and time factor,” Desmond told Imphal Free Press.
He said that they have applied to the sub-registrar office at Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
He added that there are some complications in solemnizing the ceremony as Desmond is an Irish national and Sharmila an Indian citizen. They have to ‘apply’ for the marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
The Special Marriage Act, 1954 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to provide a special form of marriage for the people of India and all Indian nationals in foreign countries, irrespective of the religion or faith followed by either party.
“Despite the formalities being completed under the Hindu Marriage Act, we were told by the sub-registrar that we will be granted permission only after they have registered it under the Special Marriage Act, this requires a 30-day notice period and have to be solemnized within three months once it is approved,” Desmond said adding that they are likely to arrange the wedding on either August 14/15 depending on the availability of the wedding service.
Desmond was born in Zanzibar, Tanzania, where his uncle, Wolf J. Dourado served as attorney general, retiring as a high court judge. His father was a chief town planner. He is now a legal resident of the Republic of Ireland.
Desmond was in Bengaluru in 2009 when he read a review of Sharmila, ‘Burning Bright’, by Deepti Priya Mehrotra and was moved by the story.
“Her story was both repulsive and attractive. Her photo... something about the image of this frail woman struck a chord. The review mentioned that she liked reading. But books weren’t always passed on to her. They had also published her full address, so I sent her Tagore’s Gitanjali and St Exuperty’s Little Prince and told her I would send her books every month,” Desmond told Imphal Free Press when he was in Imphal last.
Desmond had sent her letters while she was at the JNIMS security ward. Their first meeting took place in 2011, in the presence of a judge privately.
IMPHAL July 13
The inquiry committee, which was constituted to probe procurement and installation of CCTV cameras at Raj Bhavan, CM’s Bungalow and Khwairamband bazaar areas has submitted its final report to chief minister N. Biren Singh today.
The release, issued by the chief minister’s secretariat informing about the submission of the report to the chief minister, however, did not include the findings of the committee like if any lapses found and if so who were responsible for it. Sources said the Cabinet will fist discuss the report, our bureau adds.
The three-member committee was headed by ADGP Pramod Asthana, information technology and rural development and panchayati raj secretary Sumant Singh and IGP (Zone-I) Clay Khongsai were the members of the committee.
The state government decided to inquire the process of procurement and commissioning of 155 CCTV cameras on March 31, 2017.
Pramod Asthana handed over the 276-page report to the chief minister in the presence of editors of different media houses at CM’s secretariat.
The report has eight volumes of annexure having over 2000 pages.
The chief minister lauded the committee for successfully completing the enquiry and submitted its report on time.
Pramod Asthana said that the committee took around three months and two weeks in compiling the final report.
The committee went through a huge number of documents and recorded statements of many officials and persons to prepare the report.
As the committee members were engaged in their normal duties as well, they could not submit the report within the stipulated 15 days’ time.
IMPHAL | July 13
Chief minister N. Biren Singh said the new government was formed with certain missions to bring inclusive development and is committed to do something good in bringing positive changes in the State. He was speaking today at the inaugural ceremony of Free Computer Training Programme for youths of Heingang A/C organised by Information and Cultural Society, Manipur (ICSM) held at Liberal College, Luwangsangbam.
Biren said his government is fully committed to bringing inclusive development in the state and no variation would be there among hills and valley. The new government’s commitment is to serve the needy and poor people of the state, so the government needs the support of the people, he added.
Appreciating ICSM for their relentless effort to impart free computer education to the young students of Heingang area, chief minister said that such “digital literacy programmes” should be extended to other areas including the hill districts of the state.
During the three months of the new government, Biren said the government has been conducting intensified mass drives against drugs and other intoxicants and the government would try its best to ensure a healthy mind and body for the people of the state.
Chief minister stressed that the rate of drug addiction is alarming in the state and all should strive to bring back victims of drug abuse into the mainstream of our society. The menace of drug-abuse could only be rooted out with collaborative efforts of parents, society and government, he added.
He further said the menace of drug-abuse cannot be controlled by simply making arrest and putting them inside bars. He mentioned that a Health Care Insurance scheme for widows, who have lost their husbands due to substance abuse and alcohol under the MOBC department would be introduced by next year.
Highlighting that the government is planning to introduce a healthcare insurance policy for all and an insurance company has been entrusted for the insurance policy, chief minister said a financial support of Rs. 2 lakhs would be provided to the BPL families (around 2.43 lakhs) under the new health insurance scheme. He further said that the government would bear the premium amount of the insurance policy.
Mentioning about the current flood in the state, Bireb said nature doesn’t need us, people need nature for survival so people must preserve and respect nature. He said what is needed is proper planning to cope with such natural calamities.
“Deforestation, encroachment and construction of buildings at river banks are some of the causes for present flood in the state,” he added.
On the occasion, Biren said the Anti-Corruption Cell was set up to keep vigil and check corruption in the state. The Cell cannot take up all the corruption cases committed during the previous government. The Cell was formed to work prospectively not retrospectively, he added.
He appealed to all concerned to lodge formal complaint through proper channel such as vigilance, court, police etc. if one wants to file a case which happened during the previous government. The government would take due action on each and every corruption cases, he assured.
Secretary (IT) Sumant Singh said Luwangsangbam becomes the first area to provide free computer education programme for youths under Digital Literacy Campaign. He mentioned that youths should be groomed with communication and presentation skills as there is huge demand of Manipuri boys and girls in outside state in IT sector.
President of BJP Heingang Mandal, Khumanthem Jila, zilla parishad member, Imphal East, P. Bimola, teaching and non-teaching staffs of Liberal College and public of Heingang A/C attended the function.
From Our Correspondent
TAMENGLONG | July 13
An enraged mob entered the office of deputy commissioner of Tamenglong and attacked DC Armstrong Pame, alleging him to be on the side of the accused person of the murder case of Gaitaoliu Phaomei.
Earlier the mob attacked and destroyed the house of accused person Etube.
After identifying the human skull as Gaitouliu Phaomei, pieces of body parts were also found at different places. However, the husband of Gaitouliu denied killing his wife as he was at Jalukie in Nagaland.
In the same time, the victim family claimed that Gaitouliu’s husband is the main culprit who murdered their daughter and abandoned the body in the jungle.
Alleging that the DC failed to keep his promise and gave favouritism towards his native man, the mob started to attack the DC.
Members of JAC formed in connection with the heinous murdered of Gaitaoliu and district administration had talked at the office chamber of Tamenglong DC and later the DC assured to the members to come to Namjuan Pei (Joint village Court) of the victim.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Armstrong Pamei said that his hands were slightly hurt during the attack and considering the turmoil going on in the victim’s family, he sympathised the enraged people.
He informed that the district administration has less security personnel now and had informed the higher authority to send more security personnel as law and order has been quite bad.
“I do have the entire power with me to complete the matter as I wish so. But the matter is with the police and the court. So the law is taking its own course of action. The accused person whom the girl’s family has mentioned in the missing report has been arrested and he is being currently interrogated and I am sure the truth will come out”, said Armstrong Pame.
He continued that he has requested the Gaitaoliu’s husband family to go to the family of Gaitaoliu along with elders of the town and sit together and reason out according to the traditional law.
In the meantime 144 CRPC has been imposed at four areas including DC office complex, in and around Tamenglong bazaar, medical gate and CMEHSS areas with immediate effect.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | July 13
A five member team of from ministry of home affairs lead by join secretary (A), Prakash today inspected flood affected areas in Imphal East and Imphal West district.
Tomorrow the team will be visiting the flood affected areas in other districts according to officials of disaster management.
During the inspection the team took comments from victims of flood and the local people of the flood affected area.
Speaking to the media, State Disaster Management, vice-chairperson, Adim Pamei said that the present scenario of flood in the state is in worst condition as it has affected many houses and paddy fields.
As the condition of flood is critical, he hopes that the central government will take up the matter seriously, he added.
During the inspection one of the victims of flood, L. Dina asked the officials to build pucca river banks to prevent rivers from breaching.
The team also visited Wangoi Maning Khaidem were breaching of river bank took place late last night. The team found that vast area of paddy land and houses were flooded due to breach of river bank.
The officials were not ready to give any comment regarding the inspection while enquired by media.
From Our Correspondent
UKHRUL | July 13
A pink flower has been named after Mount Wuyakachui at Shingcha village, Ukhrul district, Manipur.
Singcha is located in Ukhrul district, a two hour drive, about 45 kilometers from the district HQ and it is approximately 90 kilometers from Imphal.
The blooming season is at its peak in the month of July and it is a sight to behold. The flower covers the entire hillock of Wuya Kachui.
According to history, during the time of war, the villagers would return and camp at the mount.
And the people camping there experienced nightmare during their sleep and thus the name was given.
The flower was officially given the name Shingcha Wuyawon on July 24, 2016 by the people of Singcha. Awon means flower.
The mount was once known as Hoyang Kachui but the people of Singcha have reverted to its original name Wuya Kachui.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | July 13
Concerned People from the Disability Sector condemned and raised their voice against alleged substandard and discriminatory remarks made by an individual named Sarangthem Samungou alias Angamjou against Konthoujam Maikel Meetei, who is a victim of bomb blast. On July 8 against Maikel, a differently abled person.
Narrating the incident secretary of Angamba Disabled People’s Organisation (ADPO) and a member of CPDS, Laishram Ricky told media persons at Manipur Press Club today that Samungou’s alleged remarks against Maikel were “discriminatory and insulting” in every way to a differently abled person. Maikel was a victim of Pawrabi bomb blast of December 16, 2007 where he lost his both legs from the explosion. But despite the loss of limbs he is a respected personality in the disabled community, Ricky said.
A felicitation programme of Maikel was held at Khewang Company community hall, in Imphal East on June 23. Maikel was felicitated for getting a junior fellowship on painting by Centre of Cultural Resrources and Training, ministry of culture.
Later on July 8, a meeting was held at Wakhong Makha Leikai, allegedly made discriminatory remarks saying “ Maikel is a disabled person, he has no thinking capability and we can do anything to him.”
His statement has “enraged” the differently abled communities and he should be given necessary punishment for his remarks and his thinking attitude towards the community, demanded Ricky.
Ricky said that such disrespect for disabled persons should not be repeated in future by any individual or civil society. Under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, they have many privileges and could use the act if such disrespect happens again in the future, warned the secretary.
By Ningthoujam Prasant and Elangbam Nikita
IMPHAL | July 13
Even before the state could fully recuperate from ‘Cyclone Mora’, the torrential downpour continuing for the past few weeks has affected various parts of the state. It has not only flooded many homes and ruined the agricultural lands but also, some of the schools and colleges.
Campuses and classrooms in and around Imphal have been inundated, disrupting regular classes. Such is the condition of some educational institutes now.
“The college is in need of improving its infrastructure and again it is worsened by the rain,” said a student from Bodachandra College, Imphal while walking on a bench laid on a small flooded pavement leading to his classroom.
He added that the rainwater inside the college campus and most of its classrooms not only hampers the daily classes but also the stagnant water releases unpleasant smell, which is hazardous to the students and staffs of the college.
The college is now going through hard times in managing with its few classrooms which are left unaffected by the water. Thus, a few numbers of students were seen attending classes.
While in other colleges, teachers and other staff members were seen with gumboots and slippers, with their pants pulled up, trying to reach their respective rooms. But, a few or no students turn up because their classrooms were filled with water.
In some colleges like Standard College and Modern College, the water level has not decreased despite the rainfall receding in the past few days. It has forced the colleges to close their classrooms until the water level decreases which may take around a week or more even if the rain stops.
One of the teachers while speaking to the reporters said that “it is the act of mother nature and we cannot do anything but take preventive measures in order to lessen the impact.”
Interestingly, fishing nets were seen in the campus of a college while its classrooms and verandas remained submerged under water. The campus almost looks like a water body sustaining aquatic animals. Not only colleges but also some schools have been affected by the torrential downpour.
The street connecting to City Montessori School and NR academy, Lamboi Khongnangkhong has been flooded in a way that it is almost impossible for vehicles to reach the schools.
While different student unions and other organisations are appealing for making education a free zone from any type of public agitations this time nature has come as an added woos on campuses, staking the future of students.
IMPHAL | July 13
The proscribed Maoist Communist Party has alleged that a Congress MLA close to the ruling dispensation, is collecting bribes from candidates for plum government posts.
The alleged MLA has collected a large sum of money for delivering the post of the Managing director of Manipur Police Housing Corporation, said a release. The party has not only investigated the matter thoroughly, but also collected all the necessary evidences, it added.
The party warned that the MLA should stop his wrong doings within 48 hours or else be ready to face consequences in full view of the public, it said adding the official of Police Housing Corporation who is involved in doing the negotiations, is kept under the radar of MCC.
The official who is acting as the middleman for recruitment to the post of MD must apologise to both the public and the party, it demanded.
The release further alleged that Congress MLA is a political turncoat though still remaining within the Congress family.
The party is quietly observing the reaction of the people under the new government that came after the end of 15 horrendous years of the Congress rule, but one should not take advantage of the party’s silence, it said. The party will consider that the chief minister is also involved in the corruption if the said post of managing director is appointed in a hurried manner, it added.
IMPHAL | July 13
JAC against Discriminatory and Unceremonious Removal of Chief Secretary Oinam Nabakishore Singh, IAS declared that they will have a public consultation programme on July 15 at Lamyanba Shanglen to discuss about further steps to be taken regarding removal of Nabakishore.
Convener of the JAC, R.K. Tombisana Devi told reporters at Manipur Press Club today that state’s chief minister N. Biren failed to turn up in the proposed meeting with the JAC on July 11. She urged the general public and members of civil society organisations to come and participate in the meeting which is scheduled to be held at 10 am.
The JAC which is made up of women market vendors, student organisations and civil society organisations protested and tried to storm the Raj Bhavan on July 9 evening. They met the chief minister and promised to meet on July 11, but they could not meet the CM, so they decided to take a public consultation meeting, said the convener.
The JAC is formed to raise their voice against the removal of Nabakishore from the post of state’s chief secretary on July 6.