By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Sept 2
President of All Manipur United Clubs Organisation, Ph. Deban Sharma said though the BJP led state government claims to give priority to development of hill areas, the two main National Highways are not properly maintained.
Speaking to media at the Manipur Press Club this afternoon, Deban said repairing of road way for national highway was given responsibility to BRTF, on the behest of a long ‘game plan’ by the company. But as state Rongmei Naga Youth Organisation and AMUCO exposed the game plan of BRTF, the company left on October 26 last year, he added.
He said repairing and maintenance of road was given to two companies after it was taken over from BRTF. The progress of the work taken up by the two companies is much faster than the BRTF, but there is no plan of constructing drainage and culverts, he added.
“Without drainage and culvert the black topping of the highway roads are easily washed away by rain water during rainy season. Different civil bodies have complained regarding the issue to the transport ministry but they seem to be least bothered”, Deban lamented.
What is the hidden agenda behind the repairing work of National Highway which does not include construction of drainage systems and culverts, he asked.
Further the AMUCO president demanded that detail work report of the Highway repair and maintenance must be made public.
President of state Rongmei Naga Youth Organisation, Singamlung Gangmei said road of Rangkhung village near Noney (Imphal-Tamenglong road) is becoming ‘swimming pool’ and many commuters are facing severe problems.
He said repairing of roads has been handed over to National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) and HVS, NIDHI, BIPL are working under the corporation. But the companies do not have any plan for construction of drainage system and culverts.
State Rongmei Naga Youth Organisation and AMUCO have submitted a memorandum to chief minister regarding the issue on May 20 but no response has been made from the government’s side, Singamlung added.
State Rongmei Naga Youth Organisation has also submitted a memorandum to the general manager of NHIDCL. According to the reply of NHIDCL on June 30, it is said that construction of drainage and culverts will be started at the earliest.
Singamlung further said the assurance was made on June 30 but still the work is left to be seen. He demanded that an agent must be authorised to start construction work of drainage and culvert within seven days by the authority concerned. If not, agitation will be launched, he warned.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Sept 2
From next year onwards there will be governor’s trophy where there will be boat racing competition, said the state’s governor Najma Heptullah who came to witness the annual Heikru Hidongba at Bijoy Govinda Thangapat, Sagolband here today.
Many people thronged the Thangapat moat at Sagolband to witness the annual sacred Heikru Hidongba boat race. This is the 239th Heikru Hidongba organised by Bijoy Govinda Sevayet Committee.
Briefing media persons at the sidelines of the programme, the governor announced that next year boat racing competition will become bigger by naming it as ‘Governor’s Trophy’. Heptullah who came to witness the programme expressed her happiness to be present at such a grand event of the Manipuri tradition and congratulated both the participant teams of the boat racing.
Southern side team led by Ph. Padmakumar of Takhellambam Leikai beat the Northern side team led by Salam Johnny of Salam Leikai in the boat race held today. About fourteen players participated in each team.
The winning team was awarded a cash prize of Rs. 5000 by Achom Kholendro and the runner’s up team was awarded by R.K. Roychand with Rs. 4000.
Titular king, Leishemba Sanajaoba and acting chief justice of Manipur High Court, Justice N. Koteshwor attended the programme as special invitees.
The festival of Heikru Hodongba is performed at the moat of the Bijoy Govinda every year on the 11th day of the Manipuri calendar month of Langban with religious festivities.
From A Correspondent
THOUBAL | Sept 2
Moirangthem Tomba (38), son of Thambal from near Heirok part III Higher Secondary School was rewarded yesterday by the whatsapp group, Heirok Forum for rescuing a seven year old, girl child who was abducted by a kidnapper on August 19.
In a public meeting held yesterday at Heirok Bazaar by the JAC that was formed against the kidnapping case, Tomba was given a cash reward with modest gifts from the members of the whatsapp group, Heirok Forum. The title, “Heirok ki Akanba” (Hero of Heirok) was also given along with simple gifts to Tomba by the JAC.
On the occasion, SDPO, Yairipok, M. Amrjit (MPS), councillors of Heirok nagar panchyat attended in the ceremony. Various speakers expressed the view that the incident resulted out of abusing intoxicants like alcohol and therefore it should be banned. It was stressed that the parents should give more attentions in bringing up their children.
President of Heirok Forum, M. Tomba said that the whatsapp group was created with an aim to bring a better change in the Hierok area. The whatsapp group took a big role in sharing the photo of the accused to the people, and it helped the police to make speedy arrest of the accused.
The forum not only seeks to give latest news updates of the world to the people, but also aims to take part in tree sapling plantation programme, prize felicitations for students and other social activities. The reward that was given on the occasion was made of contributions given by the members of the group.
It was also resolved in the meeting that those who were involved in the kidnapping incident must be punished according to the law and all forms of intoxicants and drugs must be banned in Heirok. All actions taken up by the police to stop criminal activities in Herok will be supported by the people.
It may be mentioned that Moirangthem Lukhoi (28) who was arrested for allegedly trying to kidnap a girl child is currently under police custody for further investigation.
From Our Correspondent
CHURACHANDPUR | Sept 2
Churachandpur Police rescued three women from the hands of traffickers at Bijang, Churachandpur district, who were about to be transported to Rangoon. The ages of the girls are 17, 19 and 27.
SP of Churachandpur, Rakesh Balwal said in a press meet at his office chamber that based on the reliable information, the women police team led by its officer in-charge, SI Lamnu Gangte and Anti Human Traffic Unit led by SI Mung Tonsing waited to rescue the women at 2:30 am today at Bijang.
The team succeeded to nab the traffickers who came in Eeco van bearing registration number MN 02 B 5411. The driver was identified as Lunkhosat Haokip (31), son of Sonkhopau Haokip of Kanan Veng Tuibong and the main accused is Esther Lalpianmoi (32), wife of Lalmuankima of Thingkangphai, Churachandpur, who was accompanied by Lalngaihomi (32), wife of Lalbeiseia of Tuinutlang, Thingkangphai, Churachandpur. The three girl victims were inside the van.
According to police sources, the traffickers had planned to reach Moreh by 7 am in the next morning and hand over the girls to other big shots in Rangoon and then later transfer to South-East Asian countries depending on their capabilities.
The girl victims were brought from Churachandpur by promising them to give jobs at Rangoon by the traffickers.
After interrogation the accused revealed that the families of the victims were paid with Rs. 10,000 in Churachandpur and Rs. 90,000 more will be paid for each girls at Moreh before heading to Rangoon.
Rakesh Balwal said that in most of the cases the victims are from poor backgrounds and below the age group of 30. They are promised to give jobs in foreign countries but later forced to become sex workers.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Sept 2
The Raphei Wungnao Long (Raphei chief union) on yesterday felicitated Chingai MLA and parliamentary secretary planning and transport, Khashim Vashum and K. Dickson chairman Autonomous district council, Ukhrul, at Ngahui village Awang Kasom in a grand ceremony.
The felicitated programme cum award distribution ceremony was attended by over 400 villagers from different part of Chingai block including 45 chairmen/headmen, development council representatives of 30 villages, Shanao Long (Women Organisation), Raphei Katamnao Long, Raphei Government Teachers Association, students etc.
MLA Khashim Vashum distributed awards which included certificates and cash awards to altogether 38 meritorious students who had secured 75 percent and above in their examinations.
Cultural performances by Ngahui baptist church, CMS students, presentation of memento to the dignitaries, greetings, prayer marked the felicitation programme.
Addressing the gathering Khashim Vashum, reiterated his commitment for the welfare of the people and will not make any distinction between parties/supporters and non-supporters.
Announcing “water for all” scheme, he assured that the lion’s share of 60 villages shall be implemented shortly in the Raphei area.
He stated that two lane road from Hungpung to Jessami will commence very soon under the National Highway authority of India and ADB.
He stated that he is earnestly working on the PMAY-G and PMUY central government schemes to deliver them to the most deserved households.
ADC chairman, R. Dickson, thanked the RWL for their love and support by reposing their confidence in him.
He asked the people not to stop extending their co-operation to enable the representatives to explore new avenues which will usher in progress and development.
Prior to the felicitation programme the MLA and ADC, also interacted with students of Worrin school, Raphei Model School, wherein the students highlighted their grievances in terms of shortage of teachers and infrastructures.
The MLA also donated money for contingency fund, distributed poly tanks each to Worrin and Raphei schools.
He asked the students not to lose heart about the deplorable conditions of the schools infrastructure but strive for excellence with determination, sincerity and discipline.
The MLA also assured that their grievances would be put forward to the education department at the earliest.
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 A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Sept 2
A news and entertainment website ‘Pothashang’ was launched at the directorate of information and public relation, MSRTC complex, Moirangkhom here today. The website was launched by IPR director, Meghachandra Kongbam.
Khelen Thokchom, special correspondent, Telegraph, speaking on the occasion as the functional president said in the next three decades or so print media might get wipe-out with the onslaught of electronic media and social media.
He continued people are becoming fond of digital media and there is a fear of extinction of all types of journals in some decades. “As the information technology is getting advance writing style of news has also been changing. At the same time there is a trend of the readers shifting towards the visual medium”, he added.
Meghachandra Kongbam, delivering the chief guest’s address, said the print medium has been the traditional media. Now it has been added a new dimension with the coming of the electric media. The IPR director appreciating the effort of the ‘Pothashang’ team said the website will not only disseminate news, but it will also serve as a leisure space with its music and entertainment section to the netizen.
Coming of the digital media motivates the youngsters to read news, he added.
The superintendent of Police, CID, Sorokhaibam Goutam also attend the function as guest of honour. The webpage is published by Keisham Gunadhar Sing, Pureiromba Enterprises and edited by Nongthombam Jonish and his team.
IMPHAL | Sept 2
Patsoi Local Council, Communist Party of India has expressed condolences over the demise of Pebam Lalit, who was a valued member of the Party’s Sapam Leikai Branch.
Over the sudden loss of Lalit, the cadres and leaders of local, district and state held a two minute silence to express their grief, said a release. The loss of Lalit can be never replaced, not only to the branch but to the local council, it said. The grief of the bereaved family is shared by the cadres of branch the local council, it added.
MOREH | Sept 2
One unidentified deaf and mute person was nabbed by 12 Assam Rifles, Tengnoupal on August 30 at around 12:30 pm near Sita village and handed over to Tengnoupal Police Station in the evening.
According to the OC of Tengnoupal Police Station, the person appeared to be non-Manipuri, who is about 25 years old. He was reportedly seen roaming in the forest areas of Sita, Saibal and Kwatha villages.
He has been suspected to link with UG outfits and seemed to be collecting information of the areas. He has also been suspected to be involved in the series of IED blasts which took place between Tengnoupal and Moreh.
The nationality of the person is unknown, however he could write in Bengali script which is of no meaning. The chief judicial magistrate of Chandel has remanded the person for five days in police custody until September 4.
Any information leading to establishment of the identity of the deaf and mute person may be given directly to Tengnoupal Police Station or to the phone numbers, 9862544655 and 9856804315.
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.