From Our Correspondent
UKHRUL | Sept 2
Education minister Thokchom Radheshyam will be attending the first State Level Edu-Fest, a state level inter-school competition, to be held from September 6 to September 8 at Ukhrul. The event is organised by North East Foundation for Education and Culture (NEFEC).
NEFEC has been organising the event since 2015 in district level. For the past two years, Super 10 and Humble 15 has been a yearly event in district level. Super 10 winners were awarded with a cash prize of Rs. 15,000 and Humble 15 with Rs. 6,000 and a one year free coaching.
The foundation has been instrumental in giving career guidance and free coaching for students who are going to appear matric examination in Ukhrul district.
NEFEC secretary, Tamyo AC has stated that around 18 Schools have come for audition for the Edu-Fest. The festival aspires to provide a myriad of opportunities for students and a platform to demonstrate their talents and creativity, he added.
IMPHAL | Sept 2
A one day consultation of ‘Protection of Land and Natural Resources in Manipur’ was held at Manipur Press Club, Imphal today.
The consultation was jointly organised by Loktak Project Affected Areas Action Committee, Mapithel Dam Affected Villagers Organisation, JAC-Mapithel Dam Downstream Affected Peoples, Loktak Fisheries Welfare Association, Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur and Committee on Human Rights.
A release said, secretary of Centre for Research and Advocacy, Jiten Yumnam stressed the need for stronger protection of land and natural resources of Manipur. He expressed concern that the current neo-liberal model of development introduced in Manipur has led to expropriation and plunder of land and resources. The policies and projects are introduced without consultation and consent of the people of Manipur, he added.
Pamei Tingenlung, CPNRM expressed concern over the ongoing push for oil exploration in Manipur without the consent of indigenous people and without conducting any assessment of the multiple impacts on land, flora and fauna and the livelihood and survival of communities.
Salam Leinungshi from Thanga shared that many varieties of fishes and plants are extinct and native rice varieties like Taothabi and Moirangphou are almost gone due to the continuous submergence of Loktak. The Ithai Barrage is one of the factors of issue in Loktak, however, the government has blamed the locals for the pollution of Loktak wetlands. President of All Loktak Lake Areas Fishermen Union, Haobijam Kumar also expressed for repeal of Manipur Loktak Lake Protection Act, 2006 and to decommission the Ithai Barrage.
Pantiliu Gonmei, Rongmei Lu Phaum shared that the ongoing effort to drill oil in Tamenglong areas and to build dams over the Barak river is a big concern. The indigenous need to unite together and defend the land and resources, she added. The chairman of Mapithel Dam Affected Villagers Organisation, Dominic Kashung also shared that Mapithel dam has led to submergence of more than 2000 hectares of agriculture land and caused livelihood loss in downstream areas.
Speaker of Zeliangrong Baudi, Majabung Gangmei shared that development policy like Hydro Power Policy 2012 was formulated proposing 10 dams all over the rivers of Manipur. The policy is despite of the failure of many dams built in Manipur.
Chairman of Committee on Human Rights, Phulindro Konsam said that international financial institutions like Asian Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency and others facilitating the loot and plunder of land and resources in Manipur through their road and railway projects.
Joy Haobijam of Loktak Project Affected Areas Action Committee, Heisnam Chaoba of Loktak Fisheries Welfare Association and managing trustee of Just Peace Foundation, Anandini also shared their views at the meet.
The participants of the consultation unanimously resolved; to urge the state government and government of India, to decommission Ithai Barrage of 105 MW Loktak Multipurpose Hydroelectric project, to stop commissioning of Mapothel dam and ensure free flow of Thoubal river, to ban on 1500 MW Tipaimukh dam and 190 MW Pabram dam over Barak river, to stop oil exploration in Manipur and revoke all licences and contracts to Jubilant Energy, Oil India Limited and Asian Oilfields, to repeal all development policies like North East Hydrocarbon Vision 2030, Manipur Hydro Power Policy 2012 and Manipur Loktak Lake Protection Act 2006, to ban financing by international financial institutions like Asian Development Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency, and to recognise indigenous people’s rights and not to carry out any development processes without prior consent of the people.
IMPHAL | Sept 2
The proscribed Maoist Communist Party, Manipur said there have been many cases of security forces being used for wrongful purposes by the politicians and the latter have become political victims as a result.
Out of several cases, one that was very obvious and made the people raise their eyebrows, was the case of one police officer being severely beaten up in front of his family in by the escort of the former speaker, an MLA from Khundrakpam assembly constituency said a release signed by coordinator, standing Committee, Kyonghan Mangang.
It became apparent to all that the escorts were encouraged by the powerful politicians to beat up a police officer, it said. As the politician gave them the courage, they no longer had any fear of going against the law, it further said.
When the matter had reached court, the politician was kept from harm’s way but those who had shown extra courage on that day under the impression that politicians will be there to protect them, had to bow their heads in shame, it continued. This incident is one pure example of security personnel acting like gangsters by breaking laws in order to protect the politicians, it further said. However, this was just the tip of the iceberg, it added.
On the other hand, many cases of extra judicial killings that occurred during the last 15 years of Ibobi’s rule have reached the Supreme Court, it continued. There are records of former chief minister himself admitting in the assembly session saying “We have no other choice except to kill”, it added. Those words expressed in the assembly session have deeper implications and they actually mean to suggest that all those fake encounters were committed under the consent of the government, the release alleged.
When the matter finally reached the Supreme Court, the police personnel have resorted to collecting money privately to fight their own cases, it said. Regarding this, all the security personnel and the people of Manipur need to carefully analyse the matter, it continued.
Meanwhile, gallantry awards have been given to those police personnel who abuse drugs and indulge in alcohol and kill anyone without a second thought, it alleged. Their promotion became an insult to the service career of those sincere and hardworking people at the police department, it added.
These are examples of security personnel being utilised as the muscle of the politicians, it alleged. This has caused many sufferings due to the loss of many sons, husbands amongst so many families, it further said.
Those politicians, who controlled the security forces when the fake encounter cases were happening, are now living without any concerns; the release alleged adding, this has caused the security personnel to become victims and made to collect funds amongst themselves now.
Those security personnel who were involved in fake encounters would not get any help from the general public as they were extremely ruthless, and now they have fewer supporters from the inner circle of security forces, it maintained.
Regardless of all this, the powerful politicians will not receive any harm though the security personnel who enjoyed the former’s ‘perks’ will have to fight their cases alone at the Supreme Court, it said.
Therefore, those security personnel who will be visiting the Supreme Court must learn the important lessons and remaining ones should realize by now that following every command of the politicians will only cause them to suffer in end, it continued.
The new development of fake encounter cases in the Supreme Court is an important lesson to our society, it further said. The organisation appealed to every individual and authorities concerned not to fall into the traps of the politicians, and to leave aside all differences and become one regarding the fake encounter cases and help bring justice, it added.
By Kh. Ibomcha
Though it may not be a tall claim to say that we have been engaging in several struggles aimed at providing new meanings to our life, one can nevertheless say that it is moving nowhere but remains frozen somewhere between time and space without achieving desired or promised goals. This is largely due to our inability to equip ourselves with a new paradigm replacing the old one, impractical and unpragmatic, enabling us see the whole story, which in turn will help give a holistic response to challenges we are confronted with.
People have to be at the heart of any struggle meant for better change or freedom. If we fail to see this plain fact, any strategy, we invoke to bring change in a society would prove counterproductive, even causing to end up with a heavy defeat.
If present ways of launching social movements or freedom struggle are critically analyzed, it can be seen more than clear that we never gave premium importance to maintaining mass support which a social movement needs the most. Also, one can observe that the idea of infusing the masses with political consciousness of what they are doing while taking part a social movement is something not cared about.
Another essential point to be noted is that even the basic task of keeping people conscious of conditions limiting their freedom by equipping them with capacities of being critical of prevailing situations and teaching them how to resist forces described as external influence are not seen anywhere in any movement’s docket.
Perhaps it is because of our leader’s tendencies of pushing even historically tested revolutionary theories away from being adopted as ideological tool categorizing the same as too theoretical and unrealistic, or it may be, if adopted, due to lack of capabilities to seek truths from social facts to adhere to the set ideas integrating with Kanglei realities.
The idea of helping the masses understand realities surrounding them and the roles they should play says a lot more than just making them merely taking part in a movement. A real revolution takes place when people become political, and this happens only when there is a political party with leaders passionately dedicated to spreading political ideas among people, something which we never saw in the story of social movements ever witnessed in Manipur.
With the absence of a firm ideological framework, for years we seem to be groping in the dark searching for ways leading to our long cherished society without any intellectual and moral compass thereby causing extremest form of moral and political degeneration in the society.
So, we need a new ideological paradigm with a moral and intellectual compass facilitating to lead the nation to victory where we can be more human enjoying at least basic inherent human rights which remain deprived of for years. The necessity of paradigm shift spawns from our years-long social movement’s inability to lead people to a right path, making them politically conscious of the realities with which they are rotting.
One can evidently see that all the social movements Manipur saw in the last few decades were products of emotional outburst. It seems that our leaders often fail to see events defining our times in a correct perspective as they have scant or no knowledge of revolutionary theory. They were mobilizing people through emotional appeals invoking irrational sentiments which must not be taken as powerful enough to draw the people to move on that turbulent path of revolution. In short, they never had a strong theoretical foundation to give the masses or even to themselves a clear picture of what is a revolution and how it can be made to happen.
If all we need now is a revolution having potentials to give a new meaning to our life, we urgently need to rethink, re-evaluate the hitherto invoked paradigm so that a wholesome revolutionary paradigm can be charted out making people think freedom and change as something achievable.
By Jajo Themson
History of India witnessed rampant involuntary social displacement and subsequent sub-standard life of its citizens due to development interventions like Industrial expansion, Highway & Railway construction, Mining activities and dam multipurpose projects. In each of such development undertakings, compulsive marginalization, loss of ancestral land, forest, homes, animal grazing fields, rivers etc. usually give drastic change of ecology, environment, and negative impacts on socio-cultural, economy, health and survival of the original incumbents of the project areas have been a common characteristic in century.
Yes, it is undeniable that the infrastructures development is keys to improving well being of its citizen, advancement and up-gradation of national economy. However, the irony is, life of some sections of the society who sacrificed their invaluable land, forest, homes, river and resources for the general welfare, are permanently uprooted and pushed down to ground level towards abject pauperism, inability to continue dignified life and left with no hope of access to the main stream of the society in the name of development. Life of the settlers of Loktak Lake who were uprooted from their ancestral homes by Loktak Hydro-electric project and of the displaced tribal communities of Khuga dam project in Churachandpur, are some of the right examples of social displacement that led to disruptive livelihood and subsequent disaster thrown upon them due to mega projects in Manipur so far.
Being a welfare state, it is very much mandatory on the part of the states in attempt to undo continuous victimization of its own citizens in development interventions. The main objectives of Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RR) policies in all legislations- emphasis were laid on minimizing displacement and to promote,' as far as possible, non-displacing or least-displacing alternatives; to ensure adequate rehabilitation package and expeditious' implementation of the rehabilitation process with the active participation of the affected people. Welfare and well being of the public shall not be excluded adequate housing, living standard, education and better of the quality life of its own citizen.
R & R anomaly in Mapithel dam
The affected villagers of Mapithel dam have been demanding for framing up a concrete R&R policy program of Manipur since early part of 2000’s and urged conclusion of Mapithel R&R matter under the plan. There were times when experts of various Govt. departments have been exhaustively working to frame up a definite shape of an RR for Mapithel dam since 2008 till 2011 in its review process. The recommendations of the experts field investigation were laid special emphasis on inevitability of arrangement of alternative livelihood sources, economy, proper RR etc. including detail impacts assessment. However, the expert’s reports were totally left oblivion.
Mapithel dam might be the first in the entire history of the world where multiple and varied standards of R&R policy programs are implemented and series of agreements signed in execution of one development project. The first R&R program of Mapithel dam project was implemented in 1990’s for construction area covering Louphong, Phayang and Maphou Kuki village followed by Memorandum of Agreed Terms and Conditions, 1993 for upstream. Another unilateral R&R plan was sketched in 1994 which was revised in 1998 and named it as RR plan of 1998. Still another R&R plan was formulated in 2008 for some group. This was followed by yet another segment of R&R plan in 2011. Still different kinds of R&R plan are coming up for different affected villages in the upstream, construction area like 2nd time RR for Maphou Kuki and 3rd time R&R for Louphong under compulsion being multiple cracks occurred as dam water impacts and immediate downstream villages.
As far as initiatives of state Govt. regarding Mapithel dam R&R is concerned, a clear testimony of unsystematic, inefficient, unjust, manipulative, random access and immaturity can be witnessed by general public. It is really unfortunate to experience that dealing the complex part of the project works in such a kind of lump-sum manner, where actually most of the controversies on social displacement, relocation and rehabilitation on alternative survival of the affecting people are circled like it happened in other such projects.
R&R anomaly still lingers in Mapithel dam project even after numerous attempt made by the project authority in such a long years. Most of the affected villagers turned down the arbitrary R&R program arranged by the project proponent/IFCD, Govt. of Manipur. The villagers of Chadong and other adversely affected villages objected the revised RR program of 2011 prepared by the state Govt. on the ground that whole process of RR program and subsequent implementation are against the High Court’s Stay order and deviated from the right channel which were carried out in complete lack of transparency & accountability. The villagers termed the latest R&R plan even as Imposed and Immature plan that undermined the rights and aspiration of the affected villagers.
However, it is optimistic to acknowledge formation of High Powered Committee (HPC) with the initiative of Hon’ble Minister, IFC, Govt. of Manipur on 2nd may 2017 with an aim to resolve the long contention of Mapithel dam RR issues. It is a firm believes of the general public that the HPC will take up positive steps towards finding a mechanism for permanent solution to the aged-old Mapithel dam R&R controversy which was wrought and fragmented by the previous Govt. in an insincere manner. Moreover, it is believed that the cardinal ingredients of R and R (2 Rs) are not screwed into single “R”, but the pertinent livelihood being disrupted be given serious concern to sustaining their future lives.
National Rehabilitation Policy
The Govt. of India did not give due consideration on such kind of rehabilitation or relief measures for the project affected people due to different reasons before she attains her independence. The matter of R&R is the concern and responsibility of the state Govt. as per conditions enshrined in the R&R Bill of 2007. Maharashtra was the first state in the country to pass a law on R&R in 1976. A rehabilitation law was passed by Madhya Pradesh Government in 1985, which applies only to irrigation projects. Karnataka state passed the rehabilitation act in 1987 but received the president's assent only in 1994. Other states such as Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Orissa have their state rehabilitation orders.
Much later than the states Govt. enacted law, National Bills on R&R policy came to introduce on realization the quantum of negative impacts on India’s own citizen in the welfare programs for centuries. The Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2007 was framed up which was first formulated in 2003. Another act called Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation & Resettlement Act, 2013 which was officially enforced since January 2014. The latest one is the “Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement” (amendment) ordinance, 2015.
R & R policy in Manipur
Many states of India as abovementioned, R&R programs were implemented based on their own state’s Rehabilitation & Resettlement policies in 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s and Indian National R&R policy was enacted way back in 2003. However, it is very sad to witness that, there is no such R&R policy in Manipur state till date. It was on acknowledgement of lack of R&R policy of Manipur state, the UNSR on 26 March 2015 urged details of resettlement and Rehabilitation plan for Mapithel dam and measures taken for full enjoyment of right to adequate standard of living, including housing and food, and rights of indigenous people, social and environment impacts assessment of Mapithel dam but found no answer till today.
Considering the above circumstances, an attempt to finalize the RR matter for Mapithel dam project without definite R&R plan policy will be quite irrational as well as ridiculous as one compares to other states of India which follow their own states policies. It is assumed that Mapithel dam R&R issue cannot be left unresolved and not without comprehensive and fair conclusion in a systematic way.
Further, if the project authorities, Govt. of Manipur really means to resolve the RR issues of Mapithel dam, should it be best framing up a comprehensive Rehabilitation & Resettlement (R&R) policy first and take steps to finalize the impending issue under its purview, other than inconclusive piecemeal manner like it has been dealing in the history of last three decades of Mapithel dam construction. Finally, adoption of a holistic and viable state R&R policy program can be an anchor and good exemplary for all upcoming mega projects in the state so that undue victimization to its own citizen in the name of welfare project can be averted to maximum. Framing up of R&R policy in the line of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) is highly incorrigible.
(The writer is a social activist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
By Mamta Lukram
The villagers around the Ithai and other surrounding villages, seems to possess little knowledge like we did, about the official records of the National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) ’s Ithai Barrage, for the 105MW Loktak Multipurpose Hydro Electric Project (LMHEP), except for the physical realities of the mega structure. One village elder who introduce himself as one-time staff of the barrage, now retired, was the only who could share on development discourse about the pros and cons of the barrage.
Sharing convergent view, which at times sounds perfect, he opined that we should appreciate the development projects taken up in the state, harness its benefits and uplift our living standard rather than misinterpreting it as money making magical box for few corrupt officials. Underpinning reasons for compounding Ithai barrage’s adverse impacts is the fraudulent irresponsible state authority. The state should not talk for NHPC, they should talk to NHPC for the people; make NHPC accountable, held them responsible for the loss and let them take up mitigation measures. He questioned LDA’s position.
He spoke about the NHPC’s efforts and investments for mitigation measure, the state unaccountability of which, reduces it into mere scandals, like K-Pro. The fallacious state’s intervention with heights of frauds and corruption proves futile every development projects in the state. Manipulation in water level record maintenance at the barrage is another deceptive act of the officials dumbfolding the public. The officials who maintain water level records are usually present only for few while in a day. They are totally unaware of the daily fluctuating levels.
The villagers unanimously agreed the fact that more than 80,000 hectares of land has been submerged in the periphery villages of the Loktak, by the construction of the dam. The proposed command area to irrigate 24,000 hectares through Loktak Lift Irrigation under the NHPC’c Loktak Project, drastically falling into 6000 hectares in reality was also acknowledged.
Majority dwelt divergently on the quantum overall loss, development injustice committed to the people, the socio-economic importance of the lake and its irreparably degrading ecology, the unresponsiveness of NHPC, hardships people are striving etc were their crux. They strictly talked about the NHPC’s deaf ear on the protest to open the shutters at times of flood. They stressed the dysfunctional aspect of the shutter gates, which have been under water for the last three decades and all the gates become corroded and dysfunctional. Lubrication efforts proved vain. Out of the 5 gates, only 1/2 gates are functional, they assured.
During years of frequent floods like 2017, this barrage will spell catastrophe to the whole state. They stressed on a rumour which talks about NHPC’s proposed plan for replacing the old shutters by new improved technologies by 2019, puzzling the villagers in rationalising how those modernised equipment will further intensify the resource expropriation in the state.
The Relativism of Khordak Dam, Flood and Ithai Barrage
Khordak is the major natural replenishing drainage system of the Loktak Lake. The conservation of the lake’s ecology depends largely on the healthy management of drainage system. The metaphor of installing the Khordak Dam ahead of confluence to the Manipur River deciphers the symbolic significance of Khordak joining the Manipur river’s course; the damming of which disrupt and block the natural inflow and outflow of water.
At this stance Khordak Dam is the first and the foremost acronym of the water level politics privileged by the NHPC over Loktak Wetland, by monopolising the natural flow control, to transform Lokatk Lake into a convenient reservoir for Hydro power generation only. This manipulative apparatus deployed by NHPC plundered the overall ecology of the wetland.
Khordak Dam is no less a critical structure than the Ithai barrage. This dam constitutes a basic negative ingredient in NHPC’s Ithai Dam. During flood situations, opening Ithai barrage shutter gates bear no resemblance if the Khordak dam gates are closed, Loktak can’t be safer, lives and property are not secured. Inundated water from the lake will not be drained out unless the khordak dam gates are not open, which the NHPC officials usually deliberately sidelined. This unresponsive act is disastrous for the state.
So, NHPC’s Ithai barrage and its component Khordak Dam is solely responsible for the worsening of the flood situation in Manipur simultaneously plundering the wetland ecology.
Flood and Ungamen Maril
Ungamen is another minor draining outlet from the Loktak Lake, apart from the Khordak. At the confluence of the Manipur River and the Tuitha (Khuga) River, the Ungamen conjoined the Manipur river, few hundred metres or around half a kilometre ahead of the Ithai Barrage. It’s role is critically important in maintaining the drainage system of the Lake.
At present, Ungamen is the only other natural drainage, sans installation of artificial structure. NHPC’s efforts rendered for installation of mini dam over Ungamen ended in vain due to various reasons, according to the villagers.
Excessive sedimentation in the last few decades due to environment degradation at the catchment area of the rivers and overloaded deposition due to the Ithai barrage has silted the Ungamen, completely incapacitating its draining functions. Rather Ungamen overturned like a natural barrier inundating vast vicinity of the Loktak such as Nongmaikhong, Kumbi, Wapokpi etc. Opening the Ithai barrage shutter gates may descend the water level of the Manipur River, but not the inundated Loktak.
One of the village elder remarked that after concerted appeal for dredging Ungamen stretch, the initiatives were taken up and simultaneously the situation improves. Currently inundated water from the lake is draining rapidly. NHPC undermines people’s voice, that’s their major mistake. They are too unresponsive, or should it be interpreted as high headedness. They waited for protest, that aggravate frustration, and finally people have to demand for decommissioning of the Ithai barrage.
Convergent Recommendations of the Ithai Villagers on Ithai Barrage
Villagers have some convergent recommendations, the adoption of which they believe will improve the situation, how the Ithai Barrage should be functioning if it has to sustain for the further sake of resource mobilisation and development of the people;
- Retaining walls in upstream and downstream to prevent soil erosion and land loss.
- NHPC should adopt regular flow maintenance; with everyday schedule timing of opening the shutter gates, precautioning the downstream villagers to reduce unprecedented loss.
- LDA as catalyst in worsening the adverse impacts of the Ithai Barrage. Accountability and transparency from the state’s side.
- NHPC must lend clear ear to the peoples’ voice, the disrespect of which is regarded as complete disrespect of the people’s right.
- Proper co-ordination and jurisdictional protocol between the state’s chief functionary of NHPC and the chief officials of NHPC at Delhi. Relayed information delayed immediate response rendering to heavy loss of public lives and properties during emergencies.
- Held NHPC directly responsible for all the losses or hardships, let them take up mitigation measures directly; not through LDA or other state authority. Direct co-ordination between the NHPC and affected community.
- If exploitation of the state resource is to be continued, taking into consideration, sustainable development, let the Ithai Barrage be decommissioned at the earliest.
A long stretch of about 26 km (appox) are the downstream villagers, bearing the severe burnt of the adversities through the decades, out of which Laikhong is the immediate downstream village. Eversince the Ithai barrage has been installed, downstream villagers’ pursuit of life has been dammed. The unwarranted sudden release of water has whimsically spread havoc to the downstream villages repeatedly. Flash floods due to the unwarranted release of water many personal belongings such as boats, oars, fishing equipment etc, are frequently swept away several times, spelling as curse to the poor downstream villagers multiplying the magnitude of hardships.
Vegetable farms, wetland agricultural fields, livestock even human lives are under pressure of risk of flood and drought related disasters. Lives of women and children have been prolonged exposed to the plight of vulnerability. Loss of livelihood, health issues, risk of life, fear psychosis of sweeping away at any point of time have been reeling high amongst the downstream villagers.
Neither NHPC nor the Government has done anything so far, except opening flood relief camps during flood situations. One young man from the downstream village remarked;
“Eversince the day we come to our senses, we have been striving with the adversities of the Ithai Barrage. We electrify our homes, purchasing it paying per units, for which we have to sacrifice our land, livelihood and put into risk our lives. We lose our livelihood, so ever remain backward, all because of this barrage. There are hundreds like me. We have no hope for the future. Many time we do pray making a wish, a strong earthquake hit my state, the barrage wreaks and wash away. Thousands will lose their lives in such catastrophe, however, it will relief from future resource expropriation; for our future generations”
The remark was their recommendation, their view out of real life experiences; like anecdotal accounts.
(The writer is an independent researcher. She works on Development, Environment and Gender)
IMPHAL | Sept 2
Socialist Students’ Union of Manipur (SSUM) inaugurated Hijam Irabot memorial ceremony, which will be held for a month, yesterday at Mayai Loishang.
The ceremony was attended by various organisation, student bodies and meira paibis, said a release. Floral tributes and respects were paid to the leader who struggled to usher a society of equals and sacrificed to bring progress to the state, it said. The union has prepared to celebrate 121th memorial celebrations for a month and have requested all the support it and make it a success, it added.
IMPHAL| Sept 2
Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, Thoubal district branch will be organising its Leitanthem Ram Singh Memorial Sahitya Awards function 2017, which is given every two years to young writers. It has invited applications for award considerations.
Books which are published between September 1, 2015 to August 31, 2017 by writers, whose age are below 45 years of age on October 30, 2017 can be submitted at Global Books and Stationary Store, Wangjing Bazaar, said a release.
Applicants are informed to bring a copy of their Aadhaar card for identification and proofs for the publication year of the book, it said. It is also requested to the applicants to submit their prose or poetry composition on “Khorilol,” language and cultural themes by the end of September.
The submitted works will be included on the publication “Khori – Ihul” which will be released on the award giving ceremony; it said adding details can be obtained from the number 8014015938.
IMPHAL | Sept 2
Manipur Home Guard Employees Welfare Association (MHGEWA), Imphal has requested the chief minister of Manipur to implement the order and direction of the Supreme Court of India, which was passed on March 11, 2015 for enhancement of duty allowance of home guards.
A release of the president of MHGEWA stated that nothing has been done by the state government to enhance the duty allowance and the home guards are facing their livelihood with a meagre amount of just Rs. 5,000 in a month.
Prime minister’s announcement saying ‘The rule of law should not become a casualty to the whims and fancies of the political activities’ are totally contrasting in Manipur, it added.
MHGEWA further requested to allow one of the home guard personnel to have a meeting in person with the Prime minister to place the grievances in detail.
IMPHAL | Sept 2
Manipur People’s Party (MPP) has inquired if Kamjong district is no longer under the government of Manipur or no longer a part of India. The party has demanded that BJP government must give answer to the people of Manipur.
All the political leaders of India including the president and prime minister gave condolences over the loss of the former chief minister, Rishang keishing and even declaring state holiday, but it was most unfortunate that his last rites were not allowed to be performed at Bungpa Khullen Village, said a release.
The party has inquired the government if those respects paid to the departed carried any meaning at all, it said. The release further inquired why the BJP government remained a silent witness to the whims of an armed group and asked if the government would follow such similar decisions made by insurgents in the future during similar circumstances.
Though NSCN (IM) have clarified through media that they did not put any restrictions, the party would like to know if “Kamjong district” is a part of Nagaland and further inquired what possible agendas are there between the government and those who put the restrictions. The BJP government must answer to the public, it added.