From Our Correspondent
CHURACHANDPUR | Sept 12
A grand reception programme was organised for chief minister of Manipur, N. Biren Singh at Hiangtam Lamka public ground today where he visited.
The chief minister and his entourage walked from Churachandpur police station till the venue of the reception programme, where they were welcomed by different tribes and community leaders of the district. The CM was traditionally welcomed with the famous bamboo dance ‘Suktuah lam’.
The chief minister, accompanied by his deputy and cabinet ministers were accorded a warm welcome by agriculture minister, V. Hangkhanlian and other MLAs of the district including Vungzagin Valte, GS. Haupu, Chaltonlien Amo and TT. Haokip.
The ADCC team led by its chairman Khaipao Haokip and district administration led by DC Shyam Lal Poonia and SP Rakesh Balwal were also present during the reception.
Hangkhanlian delivered the welcome speech thanking the CM for his visit to Churachandpur. At the same time, he also highlighted the shortfalls in roads and means of communications, issue of supply of drinking water, the need for having a campus of Manipur University in the district, upgradation of the district hospital to a medical college, upgradation of PHED/PHC and government schools and need for utilisation of building that are lying vacant and others.
Addressing the mammoth gathering at Hiangtam Lamka public ground, the chief minister said the request made by the people of the district through his cabinet colleague Hangkhanlian will be taken into due consideration, adding that the government has already planned for a medical college in Churachandpur. However, an approval from Medical Council of India and central government is awaited, he added.
In regards to the issue of drinking water, Biren Singh said that the state government had sent a proposal of Rs. 159 crore to NLCPR to provide piped drinking water to the people of Churachandpur district and adjoining villages by using the water of Khuga Dam.
The state government is putting in efforts on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mission of providing piped drinking water to all the people of the country by 2022.
The water supply plant at Songtal being developed an estimated cost of Rs 4.8 crore is nearing completion and another plant is also being taken up under PHED Zone-III of the district at an estimated cost of Rs. 6.2 crore, said Biren.
The government would also take up rain water harvesting schemes as a means to resolve the problem of water scarcity, he added.
About MU campus in Churachandpur, the CM said that he has been in touch with the vice-chancellor of MU and is hopeful of having one soon in the district though assurance cannot be given as of now.
Regarding infrastructure development, the CM said that there is Rs. 58 crores for the backward Henglep sub-division and development works will be implemented after rainy season.
Under ‘Act East Policy’, the border village of Behiang will be the second gateway after Moreh town and for which good road is a must and the state government has earmarked Rs.30 crore for the project, said the chief minister.
He further said that the first trip of MSRT bus to Pherzawl district had to return back due to landslide, promising that that kind of sad news will not be heard soon. Rs.386 crore will be used for development of Churachandpur and Pherzawl district, he added.
Biren also said that ADCC affiliated department will also be upgraded at the tune of Rs.300 crore which will be particularly for Churachandpur and Pherzawl district. He added that government will give top priority to the hills and there is a need to have a topographic need base policy.
The chief minister today asked the people to think in terms of oneness and said that peace and development in Churachandpur have impressed the top leaders in the Centre including the Prime Minister.
He further said that under his government a state mission was envisaged where ‘Skill Mission’ was formed which can be on computer, carpentry, fashion designing or others. The government will give financial help for the skill development for which the applicant has to furnish their particulars, qualification, skills and other requirements. The mission is a part of his government’s ‘vision for the hills’, he added.
From Our Correspondent
UKHRUL | Sept 12
A gunfight allegedly between NSCN (IM) and combined force of CorCom and Manipur Naga Peoples Front (MNPF) broke out in the wee hours today at Makan village, under Kasom Khullen police station of Kamjong district.
As per information received from sub-divisional police officer of Kasom Khullen, Thotreithing Chalamva, the incident took place at around 2:30 am today.
Sources said that at least five people were killed in the factional clash, in which three persons are alleged to be Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) cadres and the two others belong to MNPF.
Those two killed from MNPF cadres are said to be Tangkhuls. It is reported that the cadres of NSCN (IM) took away four assault rifles and nine numbers of improvised explosive devices of different sizes.
A team of Kasom Khullen police led by officer-in-charge, Sani Mao rushed to the spot for investigation, informed the SDPO Kasom Khullen. However due to bad condition of the road, the police team are yet to reach the spot at the time of filling this report.
According to SDPO of Ukhrul, Ringthing Hongchui, a 407-truck from Ukhrul Reserved Line has also been despatched to retrieve the dead bodies. A team of 17 Assam Rifles at Kashung village has also been rushed to the area.
One of the officers who do not want his identity to be disclosed stated that the action of police forces has always been delayed as the police stations at Ukhrul and Kamjong districts do not have a vehicle.
He added that hiring of vehicle and reimbursement of the same takes a year or more from the department. Reserved Line at Ukhrul is provided with one Gypsy and four 407-trucks.
Makan village is situated about 40 kilometres from Kasom Khullen PS and it is near the international border pillar No. 11 and 12 and shares a boundary with Chandel district and Kamjong district the village has around 40 households.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Sept 12
In a shocking incident which can be termed as gross negligence on the part of the government authority, a pregnant woman was denied child delivery in the Tamenglong district hospital.
The woman has been identified as Noami Kamei wife of Pouguanglung Kamei, from Dailong village of Tamenglong district, which is around 5-6 km away from the district headquarters. According to a reliable source, the delivery was denied as the gynaecologist; Dr. M. Davidson was not stationed at the hospital when Naomi and her husband arrived.
The source continued that Dr. M. Davison who is appointed as the gynaecologist of district hospital Tamenglong is also utilised by the government in Thoubal district hospital and also in Nungba CHC to appease the agitating public of Nungba demanding immediate medical facilities.
When the local medicine doctor examined Naomi, the foetus seemed to have died inside the womb. Naomi has already crossed nine months of pregnancy but labour had yet started yet, on which the doctor refused treatment without the help of a specialist.
Further the said doctor then advised her husband to go to Imphal. On the way to Imphal, because of the bumpy road, Naomi’s water broke and made an emergency delivery at Namkaolong village (20 kms from district headquarters). The hired nurse for the delivery tried her best but child was still born.
It may be recalled that the public of Tamenglong has been demanding the revocation of government order (Order No. 2/8/2014-M dated NIL, September 2017 issued by Soiminlian Lengen, under-secretary of health and family welfare) to utilise doctors and specialists of Tamenglong district headquarters for duty at Nungba CHC. However the government went ahead with the order.
A memorandum was submitted by the CVOs of Tamenglong to the chief minister N. Biren Singh through the DC Armstrong Pame on September 6 and placed a dateline to revoke the order within 72 hours.
The incident happened just the day after the specified timeline given by the CVOs. In this regard, the people of Tamenglong proposed for registering an FIR against the concerned officials, and condemned the step-motherly treatment and marginalising the people of the district.
In this regard a public meeting was held today at Tamenglong bazar demanding adequate doctors, specialists, technical and infrastructural facilities and effigies of health minister L. Jayentakumar and health director, Karam Loken for negligence of health situation in the district and for failure of government in revoking the said order.
From Our Correspondent
TAMENGLONG | Sept 12
In protest against the transferred of two doctors from district hospital Tamenglong despite of acute shortage of doctors in district, civil voluntary organisations (CVOs) of Tamenglong today burnt the effigies of minister of Health, Family welfare, Law and legislative, Art and culture, L. Jayanta Kumar and Health director of Manipur.
The civil voluntary organisations also formed a Joint Action Forum (JAF) of Tamenglong today after series of meeting. The forum today organised health awareness programme at main market shed of the district. During the awareness programme all shops and vehicles movement were shut down. It was also announced to close down all government offices in the district headquarters from today midnight.
The CVOs of Tamenglong earlier served ultimatum setting 72 hours to chief minister of Manipur for immediate fulfilment of the charter of demands. However, no response has been made. The joint meeting was held yesterday and decided to organise awareness programme today and launch series of agitation.
The charter of demands included, passing a ‘stay order’ of the transfer of doctors and specialists of Tamenglong District Hospital until a replacement for the same is made, to fulfil the guidelines laid down in the Indian Public Health Standard (IPHS) for a District Hospital in which at least 20 doctors, 45 paramedical staff, 12 administrative staff, five staff in Operation Theatre, four staff in Blood Storage Unit and three staff in Post Mortem Unit.
Another demand was for replacement and upgrade of all equipment and infrastructural facilities that are outdated and redundant.
In the meantime, the forum issued a press statement signed by convener of JAF, Atana, in which the forum strongly condemned the transferred of two doctors and stated that the transferred order is insensitive, discriminatory and inhuman.
The present BJP led government have been following the policy of subjugating and suppressing to annihilate the people of Tamenglong by neglecting to address issues of the people especially in health sector, said the statement.
It further stated that the Tamenglong district hospital has been understaffed with only 37 beds and 11 doctors against 20 doctors needed including 13 specialists and seven MOs as per Indian Public Health Standard (IPHS).
Moreover, blood storage unit, post-partum unit and operation unit have practically rendered no service. Practically there is no equipment or facilities to give service on imaging equipment and accessories. Also, there is no practical cardiopulmonary, labour and neo natal, ENT, dental equipment to provide minimal standard of service, it added.
The statement also mentioned that a baby was born still on September 10 as the pregnant mother who was referred to Imphal for delivery had already crossed nine months. The incident happened within 10 days of the issued order of utilisation of Gynae MO to Nungba CHC. There are numerous such incidents that went unreported.
JAF has demanded to provide health care facilities at a standard as per the IPHS ranging from man power to doctors, along with modern equipment and accessories and all the facilities prescribed under the IPHS.
It further stated that the government of Manipur should take sole responsibility and pay adequate compensation for the deceased baby and take swift measures to fulfil the demand. The forum is compelled to launch strong agitation and any untoward incident that might occur will be solely held responsible by the government, it added.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Sept 12
A man has been remanded to judicial custody for 15 days for allegedly forcibly eloping and raping a 22-year-old woman today by the chief judicial magistrate, Imphal West.
The accused is identified as Thingom Malemnganba alias Macha Meitei (21) son of Th. Tangka Meitei of Liwa Road, Awang Maibam Leikai. He was was arrested on Thursday by Singjamei police.
The investigating officer (IO) of the case submitted before the court that the victim lodged a complaint on September 1, that on July 10 while she was packing up for going to Silchar from Imphal, she was called several times by the accused asking her to come out of her rent house in Imphal. The accused threatened her that he will come to her room if she refuses.
Due to his threat she came out and she was made to pillion-ride on a scooter forcibly by showing a knife like object and was taken to one house of a friend of the accused located in Imphal and she was raped, added the IO.
The next day she was taken to the accused’s house and the family members of the accused forced her to say that she eloped with her consent, he continued.
The IO said as the victim refused to marry the accused, he beat her every night and also raped her forcibly, and on September 12 she was informed that information of elopement had been given to her family according to traditions and her mother was likely to come sooner for confirming her consent.
She was threatened by the family members that they will not spare anyone who came for asking her. Fearing she did not disclose any words to her mother rather than weeping, added the IO.
Moreover, the accused took away her mobile phone, however after allowing one small conversation with her aunty from Silchar, said the IO.
Later on July 17 the accused took her to D.M. College campus and freed her. He threatened her against disclosing the facts to the police or anyone if she values her and her family member’s life, the IO further submitted.
He added on the next day the she went to her aunty’s house at Silchar to and a civil organisation called “Sanulal”. But the said organisation threatened not to file any case against the accused.
Later again the accused person filed a suit to the civil judge, senior division, Imphal West by making a false allegation that she left the house secretly on the day their family arranged his marriage with her, submitted the IO.
During interrogation the accused person confessed that he had committed the crime and moreover on examining one of the prosecution witnesses, A. Chinglemba Luwang the owner of the scooter used in the alleged elope stated that the victim was against the elopement and tried to run away from the house where she was taken to, continued the IO.
The IO prayed before the court to remand the accused to judicial custody for 15 days as if the accused is released on bail there is possibility of hampering and tempering evidence.
IMPHAL | Sept 12
Education minister, Thokchom Radheshyam Singh said that duty is religion for all the professionals and it should be carried out with dedication and pride. He said that happiness is when duty is successfully performed by overcoming every challenge.
The minister was speaking as chief guest at the Graduation Day Celebration of 2012 – 16 Batch - the 1st Batch of Dental College, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS). Forty three students with twelve male and twenty one females made through the graduation out of 50 students enrolled.
He asked the graduates to dream big, to have a deep focus to achieve it. The more mistake is made the more perfection is obtained as there is no failure in life but only lessons to be learnt, he explained.
Congratulating the fresh graduates, Radheshyam said the passing out students as dentist will help in overcoming the lack of doctors in field of dentistry. The graduates were urged by the minister to become the source of joy, the caregiver performing their duty at the fullest so that they could become more successful in their professional lives.
Human as a social being living in groups need to learn work in teams for success of any organisations depend in team work. The difficulties that one comes across while being posted at different part of the country including the lack of infrastructure or accommodation is the professional hazards, he said.
Maintaining good relation with the people by serving them and making them aware about their health will only lessen the professional hazards, he added.
Director, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry (Jipmer), Professor Subhash Chandra Parija, who also spoke on the occasion, said if the dental doctors fail to contribute with the education they had received for the productivity of the society, the degree they had earned will not be more than just a paper sheet.
Director RIMS, Professor A. Santa Singh said that for any medical institution to become successful there is need for harmony between the doctors, patients and equipment. Congratulating the students he said he is proud to witness their duty at Out Patient Department (OPD) where nearly 300 patients come for dental check – up on daily basis.
During the ceremony certificates were distributed with the prizes to the three topper of the Dental College Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS). Dr. T. Nabachandra sponsored the prizes for the toppers.
The graduation ceremony was attended by superintendent RIMS, Principal Prof. B. Praveen Reddy, professors, faculties, doctors, and students of the RIMS.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Sept 12
The All Manipur Surrenders Association (AMSA) appealed to the government to release their stipend and onetime payment as per the surrender policy before September 20.
Speaking to media persons today at Manipur Press Club, Imphal the association’s general secretary, M. Thambalngou Meitei said that the government had assured to give a monthly stipend of Rs. 4000 and onetime payment of Rs. 3 lakhs after three years from the date they surrendered as per the surrender policy for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 surrendered batches.
Several memoranda were submitted to the authority concerned as well as to the chief minister and in reply they said that the work is in under process, he added.
Stating that verification process has ended long back the general secretary said that five months is more than enough to finish the work process to sanction their fund.
Mentioning that it is very doubtful that many of the surrendered persons were killed by the central forces as more than half of the surrendered persons were missing and were unable to be contacted he appealed to the government to take measures to protect their lives.
The association warned off a general strike from September 21, if the government fails to release the pending fund by September 20.
IMPHAL | Sept 12
“The activist in me is still alive. I am joining a national political party doesn’t mean that I will abandon all my activism”, said Ratika Yumnam, newly appointed youth president of National People’s Party (NPP). She was appointed president last week in Shillong.
Speaking to the Imphal Free Press over the phone, Ratika said she take it as an opportunity to be given the responsibility of a president of the youth front of NPP. “I know there will be lots of speculations on my new move particularly among the activists community with whom I have associated with”, she said.
Further Ratika said she is aware of the possible challenges ahead to be working in a political party. “I know things will not be all smooth. There will be differences of viewpoints on issues that matter the Northeast and Manipur in particular. But I am ready to walk the path”, she added.
Ratika maintained what is important is that by joining a mainstream political party, she would be able to work at the decision making level. “The party has given me the responsibility having recognised my engagements in activism. Whatever I have learnt from the field as an activist, I will try to implement it”, she said.
Earlier speaking to the media in Shillong, after being felicitated on her appointment by the party members of the state, Ratika said, “We will try to design skill development courses according to the needs of the region”. She further said that the main priority is education, which is needed and set for the situation.
“Not education per say but it should be quality education as per our own needs, talents and potentials,” she added.
The National Youth President of the NPP also stated that she joined the party because she felt that it was “a secular, progressive, forward thinking party which is rooted in the northeast.”
Ratika graduated with triple majors in media studies, psychology and literature from Christ University, Bangalore and completed her Masters in South Asian Studies from the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, University of Oxford, UK in the year 2014.
She has also been working as an indigenous rights activist with the Indigenous Perspectives, which is based in Imphal for the past 4 years.
IMPHAL | Sept 12
The proscribed Maoist Communist Party Manipur said the ideas introduced by the colonial masters in Manipur are being further amplified by some paid scholars on matters regarding the ban of liquor and drugs are being falsely propagated to the people.
A release signed by coordinator, standing committee, Maoist Communist Party, Kyonghan Mangang said a group of individuals who are considered well learned by the public have also jumped into the bandwagon without doing any deeper research and have started advocating the same.
The big question is who is putting a ban on liquor in Manipur, it questioned. Is it banned by the Manipur excise department or by the police personnel who are going rounds every evening at Pologround Maning and collecting money during Holi festival, it asked?
These intoxicants are available at the streets everywhere because they are not banned by anyone in Manipur, it said. The prevailing issues on liquor in Manipur are not caused by the inability to ban them but they are actually caused by not banning them at all, the release added.
Further highlighting the history of Nisha Bandh, it said the movement resulted out of the several cases where male members of the community instead of earning money, spent all family resources on drinks and committed domestic violence on women and children.
The mothers being were worst affected by abuses of alcohol, started banning intoxicants to save the community, it said adding the movement lacked proper organisation, and at the beginning of 1980, the Nisha Bandh movement changed its direction towards the Meira Paibi movement due to oppressions of Indian colonial forces.
Manipur was simply declared as a dry state in 1991 by the state government but it had never initiated any proper actions to implement it, it alleged. The Manipur liquor Prohibition act 1991 still lies today as an act that was never really implemented, it continued.
If liquor should be banned successfully, then the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act 1991 should be amended and made stronger to meet with the changing times and start giving stringent punishments to the guilty, it said.
Except for the few prohibitions voluntary made by the CVOs, the State government has not put up tangible form of prohibition till today, it further alleged. As for the claims made by the police of arresting vendors, there are no clear information on what form of punishment was given except photos being splashed across the pages of newspapers, it continued.
There are places in world where a pharmacist can be thrown to prison for eight years for selling illicit drugs, it said. However, in Manipur, the Indian army and sons of former CMs had been caught with drugs but they are roaming free without receiving any form of punishments, it said.
How can anyone, considering the given circumstances, express that the measures to prohibit illicit alcohol and drugs have failed, it said. It should be banned first, and the argument can be made about the results later, it added.
The release appealed to the people to not to fall into the half-baked argument made by self-acclaimed intellectuals and paid scholars that measures to prohibit liquor have all failed. One should rather ask them how it would be possible to ban alcohol when it is not really banned at all, it continued.
IMPHAL | Sept 12
The proscribed United National Liberation Front said that Sapam Manaoton (Inaotomcha) alias Santikumar (44), who was arrested by a team of Imphal East district Commando on September 10 from Kumuda area had retired from the party and is a retired person.
Manaoton, son of (L) S. Mani from Keibi Kumuda Maning Leikai took training under the armed wing of UNLF, Manipur People’s Army, (MPA) in 1997/98 and worked up till the rank of 2nd Lieutenant (2nd Lt.), said a release signed by director, department of publicity, M. Sak-hen.
His service number was 571/13, it said. However, after the sudden demise of his wife, he had retired from UNLF and MPA in August last to look after his family and remaining children, it continued. Therefore, Manaoton (Inaotomcha) is no longer related with UNLF and MPA in any manner or form, it added.