Incriminating documents recovered
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Sept 6
For three days in a row beginning September 4, the house of Yambem Ningthem, former project director of Manipur Development Society has been raided by police. His mansion located at Mantripukhri was first raided by police following charges of graft in the MDS along with former chief minister Okram Iboi Singh and former chief secretaries.
The police team led by sub divisional police officer of Imphal West AG Sharma led the raid team and from day one has been able to recover various documents and other detailed statements of the MDS office which was kept hidden at his home.
According to reliable sources, some documents written by the former chief minister in regards to MDS projects while he was the chairman of the society was seized today. It is not known what the letters written by Ibobi to Yambem Ningthem contains but sources indicate that the documents may be incriminating ones.
It was learnt that the VIPs included in the Vigilance Commission inquiry has not applied for anticipatory bail application after the bail plea of MDS administrative officer Ranjit Singh was rejected by the court.
The amount misappropriated from the MDS as per the inquiry reports of the Vigilance Commission amounts to Rs 185.79 crores.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Sept 6
The High Court of Manipur has granted the anticipatory bail filed by former chief minister Okram Ibobi by taking a PR bond of Rs. 50,000 till September 20 which is the next date of his anticipatory bail hearing.
The interim order was passed today by the single bench of High Court, acting chief jutice, N. Kotiswar after anticipatory bail was filed by the counsel of the former chief minister.
Advocate H. Kenajit, N. Savitri and A. Rommel represented the counsels of the former chief minister while public prosecutor of the High Court of Manipur represented the state of Manipur.
The court also directed the former chief minister not to leave the country without the permission of the court and also directed the state of Manipur to submit the case diary and other related documents before the court on or before September 20.
A case was lodged against the former chief minister on September, 1 including three former chief secretary D.S. Poonia, P.S. Lawnkunga, O. Nabakishore, former MDS project director, Y. Ningthem and MDS administration officer, S. Ranjit.
The FIR was lodged against them by planning joint secretary, Th. Muhindro alleging huge financial irregularities of Rs. 185.79 crores of Manipur Development Society.
Earlier on Monday, the house of Ningthem was raided by a police team lead by SDPO Imphal, A. Ghanashyam and the search continued till the next day, after taking order of house search warrant from the district and session judge, Imphal West.
On the same day an anticipatory bail application was filed by S. Ranjit but the same court rejected the bail application.
IMPHAL | Sept 6
In a major breakthrough, Press Councils of India and Myanmar today signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of media, during the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s first official visit to Nay Pyi Taw today.
This was informed by C.K Nayak, member Press Council of India from Nay Pyi Taw, this evening over telephone to N. Tombi Raj, advisor, All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU).
The first such MOU between the two neighbours assumes significance for the Northeastern region of the country. Myanmar is one of India’s strategic neighbours and shares a 1,640-km-long border with a number of Northeast states including militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur.
The MOU was signed by justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad, chairman, Press Council of India and first vice-chairman of Myanmar Press Council, U Aung Hla Tun in the presence of Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, President of Myanmar U Htin Kyaw and State counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at the presidential palace in Nay Pyi Taw.
As per the MOU, the two countries will promote peace journalism and exchange information, experience and knowledge pertaining to a non-violent, peaceful journalism, coverage towards restraint in matters that are likely to escalate conflict and act as a catalyst in deescalating conflict and providing peaceful world order.
The Prime Minister in the joint statement later hoped that this MOU will go a long way for more and frequent interaction between the two press councils.
Newmai News Network
IMPHAL | Sept 6
The first ever tripartite talks at the ‘political level’ with Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and United People’s Front (UPF) is likely to be held either by the end of this month or early October, according to sources.
Only one meeting has been held after Dineshwar Sharma was appointed as interlocutor of the ongoing tripartite dialogues between KNO and UPF was appointed. “No political discussion” took place in the August 9 meeting.
According to ‘negotiator’ of KNO Dr. Seilen Haokip, Dineshwar Sharma had told him verbally that the tripartite talks are likely to be held either by the end of September or in the first week of October. Suspension of Operation (SoO) terms with KNO and UPF were extended for another one year which became effective from August 31.
Meanwhile, Dr Seilen Haokip has expressed the desire to make the joint monitoring group (JMG) to be active and vibrant once again. He expressed regret that the JMG has become “inactive”. Dr Seilen Haokip also said that matters related to the ‘ground rules’ of the Suspension of Operation (SoO) should be confined only within the ambit of the JMG.
The KNO leader’s expression was reflective of the August 9 meeting between the government and the SoO groups in New Delhi where ‘matters related to ‘ground rules’ dominated the better part of the discussion.
Interestingly, the next tripartite talks at the political level will be held at the back drops of various tribe based organisations expressing their seriousness on the talks.
It may be recalled on August 31, Hmar Inpui (the apex body of the Hmar tribe), the Thadou Inpi (the apex body of the Thadou tribe) and the Zomi Council (the apex body of Gangte, Kom, Mate, Paite, Simte, Tedim-Chin, Thangkhal, Vaiphei and Zou tribes) had urged Dineshwar Sharma, interlocutor of the ongoing tripartite dialogues between the United People’s Front (UPF), Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and the government, to expedite the dialogues for “an early political solution”.
They also had urged the interlocutor to engage UPF leadership with “utmost sincerity to arrive at a pragmatic political autonomy for the tribal of Manipur within a given time-frame”.
On August 7, Kuki civil organizations had urged the “Kuki armed nationalists” to “unequivocally present the Kuki people’s demand for statehood”, according to Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM).
8th Sirarakhong Hathei Phanit kicks off
IMPHAL | Sept 6
Commerce and industries minister, Thongam Biswajit inaugurated the 8th Sirarakhong Hathei (Chilli) Phanit today at the Sirarakhong Village and ensured all forms of assistance from the government to the chilli growers.
Addressing the inaugural function, Biswajit encouraged the chilli growers to work harder. He assured that he will discuss with the chief minister ways to promote the festival so as to increase production of the chilli and provide a market.
He pointed out that the chilli variety grown in the village is not found anywhere else which is indigenous to Sirarakhong Village and the same variety, when planted at other places, loses its uniqueness and production as well as taste, flavour and size.
Biswajit also spoke on the feasibility of producing hybrids of the chilli. He continued that it is unfortunate that no initiative has been taken to open a common facility centre. In this regard, he said the CM will be appraised and also look into what the KVKs, ICAR have been doing so far.
Biswajit also spoke elaborately on the Zero Defect, Zero Effect scheme and also urged the Shirarakhong chilli growers to apply for registration of their products under ZED which will only increase the marketability of their products in the global market.
He continued that we can easily find markets for chillis, but we have to attract investors and entrepreneurs to improve production. He said that he will submit a proposal for setting up of a CFC project, adding there is need for entrepreneurs and investors.
Further, the minister maintained that without a stable economy there will be no peace. The government is there to provide jobs to the youth, however, government job alone is not employment, and we need to open more self-employment avenues.
Biswajit also said that the government is committed to achieve 1.5 lakh employment generations in a year in the State under the various government departments. This will ensure 7 lakh employment generations in five years.
Explaining welfare schemes including the KISAN SAMPADA, the minister said that there is a need to spread awareness of the schemes to the people.
There are many schemes of the government, but we are not informative and lack of awareness of the many schemes of the government, he continued. We are unable to explore our resources and talents, he said. He continued that it is unfortunate that we have failed to properly exploit the nature provided resources available to open more employment avenues for the youth.
The inaugural function was also attended by Keirao MLA, L. Rameshwor Singh among others.
The festival organised with an objective to promote the indigenous variety of Shirarakhong chili will continue till September 8. The first day of the festival was also attended by people from various parts of the State.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Sept 6
The first ever media and parliamentary reporting seminar was held today at the conference hall of Manipur Legislative Assembly, Chingmeirong organised by the State legislative secretariat.
Speaker of State Legislative Assembly, Y. Khemchand Singh attended the inaugural function as chief guest. He said that bureau of training for parliamentary reporting will be introduced soon for the media fraternity so that they will be well equipped with parliamentary reporting etiquettes.
He also said that the establishment of bureau will enhance the parliamentary reporting ethics of journalists in the future. After consulting with his secretary and other legislators he will try his best to maintain the best quality of the assembly, added the speaker.
MLA and former speaker, T.N. Haokip said that media has the capability to determine the rise and fall of a leader but the responsibility should be taken wisely. He also said that media and legislators are interdependent, so they need to go hand in hand.
Guests of honour of the function, former chief minister of the state, Radhabinod Koijam and former MLA, O. Joy Singh appraised Khemchand for his initiative in organising the first ever parliamentary reporting seminar for media persons in the state.
Giving her keynote address, Mutum Ramani stated media as the fourth pillar of democracy. She also listed out the dos’ and don’ts of the parliamentary reporting. She further alerted that reporting sector is a specialised and sensitive sector.
In the technical session, associate professor of LMS Law College, Pramod Singh spoke on ‘Constitutional Provisions on the privilege and parliamentary reporting’. While Radhabinod spoke on ‘Parliamentary procedures’ and O. Joy Singh lectured on ‘Reporting of the proceedings of the House and breach of privilege and contempt of the House’.
The programme was attended by almost all media houses of the state including both print and electronic media except for hill areas.
IMPHAL | Sept 6
In a first of its kind in the whole of India, an initiative to provide free hepatitis C treatment exclusively among the prison inmates was taken up jointly by Community Network for Empowerment (CoNE) and Nirvana Foundation (NF) in consultation with jail authorities at Manipur Central Jail Sajiwa today.
Speaking at the occasion, Sajiwa Jail SP Phanitphang said, “It is indeed a blessing for the jail inmates that a free treatment programme has been taken up by CoNE and NF for the first time probably in the entire country exclusively for the under trial (UT) prison inmates who are of drug users community. They are very fortunate to have got this opportunity since they have been suffering for a long time.”
He pointed out that that there have been no such initiatives taken up either by the government or any organisation as such for the treatment of Hep-C patients of Sajiwa Jail during his 34 years of service.
Treating physician Dr. Diamond also said that since the free treatment programme taken up by CoNE is a pilot study, there is the need for advocacy towards the state government to initiate free treatment. Awareness of Hep-C among the jail inmates and even the paramedic staff is necessary, he added.
Nirvana Foundation secretary, Sobhana Sorokhaibam informed that since Hep-C ailment among the inmates has become an alarming situation in prison settings as per the finding of the camps held on July 14 which was approximately 50 percent, the government should take up keen initiatives in this regard and provide free treatment to at least these sections of the society.
CoNE president RK. Nalinikanta who also spoke on the occasion said that CoNE have been taking up the free treatment initiative inside the jail premises to contribute towards achieving the global strategy of ‘Eliminating’ viral hepatitis by 2030. He further added that the free HCV treatment among the prison inmates is a part of the WHO core intervention components for elimination of viral hepatitis.
In Punjab, the government is providing free HCV treatment to all the people living with HCV procuring the medicine at just Rs 7000 per patients for 12 weeks therapy against the market price of around Rs 25000-30000 for 12 weeks therapy per patient, he said.
Nalinikanta questioned as to why free HCV treatment has still not become a reality in Manipur despite the state being one of the highest HCV prevalent states in India. He also said that the same initiative taken up by CoNE in the prison will continue for another two phases at the earliest.
During the camp, a total of 27 jail inmates participated. Among them, a total of 16 inmates were found to be antibody positive out of which 13 were confirmed RNA positive. Out of the 13 inmates confirmed positive, 12 of them were initiated free treatment today under the medical supervision of district TB Cell Imphal East senior medical officer Dr H Diamond Sharma.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Sept 6
The Manipur Home Guard Employee Welfare Association has pledged to take up intense agitation from October 2 if the government fails to increase their monthly allowance following the Supreme Court verdict within this month.
Speaking to media persons today at Manipur Press Club, Imphal the association’s president, Y. Mangi said that a memorandum has been submitted to the chief minister on August 30 demanding to pay the duty allowance of home guard personnel at a minimum of the pay to which the police constable of the state are entitled.
Increasing of their monthly allowance by Rs. 3000 cannot be accepted as it is very less to support a family by just a monthly income of Rs.5000+3000, he added.
The president expressed hope that the government will give positive response within this month considering the hardship faced by the home guard personnel in running their families.
Nagaland police, retired superintendent of police (SP), Potsangbam Sonamani, who was also present in the press meet, said that the current monthly allowance of a Nagaland home guard personnel is Rs. 15,650.
It is very unfortunate that the home guard personnel of the state which is the neighbour state of Nagaland is currently getting a monthly allowance of only Rs. 5,000, he added.
Moreover the neighbour state Nagaland has established Nagaland Civil Defence and home guard has framed separate service rule in 2016 and its own cadre with effect from 1988, said the retired SP.
Sonamani said that the home guard personnel of the state are going through immense hardship in managing their livelihood with a meagre monthly allowance that they are currently getting.
Stating that the nature of duties performed by home guard is equivalent to the duty being performed by the regular police, Sonamani said that the need for enhancement of their duty allowance stands highly justified.
He appealed to the chief minister, the governor and the officials of home department to look into the matter of the home guards and take up positive action to their demands.
IMPHAL | Sep 6
The Editors’ Guild Manipur joins various media organisations and well-wishers in condemning the killing of senior journalist and editor, Gauri Lankesh and demands Karnataka government to take full responsibility for her murder.
A release said the EGM in a meeting held today, expressed shock at the gruesome killing of an editor known for her fearless views in her newspaper as well as various forums. “EGM considers her killing as a direct attack on the freedom of expression, and extends moral support to all journalists’ organisations protesting her killing”, it said.
Such attack on journalists is not new in remote corner of the country like Manipur and we can understand the pains of the near and dear ones of martyred journalist, it said, adding we also stand by her media colleagues and fraternity in Karnataka as they grieve at the loss of a brave journalist.
IMPHAL | Sept 6
Rotary Club of Imphal conferred ‘Nation Builder Awards’ to government school teachers with an aim to ensure total literacy and quality education in India through T-E-A-C-H programme under Rotary India Literacy Mission.
A release said, the five winners of Nation Builder Awards 2017 were H. Minakumar Singh of Bhairodan Maxwell Hindu Primary School, Imphal, H. Victoria of Budhimanjuri Junior High School, Sagolband, A. Sorojini Devi of Khunthoknganbi Upper Primary School, Thangmeiband, P. Dhanapati Devi of Laijing Ningthou Junior High School and L. Bimola Devi of Lilashing Khongnangkhong Primary School.
The awards will be distributed to the winners during the observation of International Literacy Day on September 8 at Rotary Multiservice Centre, Mantripukhri, it added.