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Villagers fearful of losing of livelihood

From Our Correspondent


Heavy rain along with mud, stones and woods decimated paddy fields in Sorbung and Ngatan villages which are under Tadubi block of Senapati district, under Karong Assembly constituency. 

Sorbung is 30 km away from the Senapati district headquarters. There are 194 households with the population of 967 as per the 2011 census.

Around 100 hectors of paddy field were damaged. Standing crops were submerged in mud and pebbles while tress were uprooted causing much hardship to the villagers.

The heavy torrent rains and flood that occurred during the past few days completely cut off the middle-east Senapati from the rest of the world. Furthermore the villagers who depend on agriculture as their main source of livelihood have been reeling under severe condition since their paddy field has been damaged by flood and landslide.

Maikho, village chairman Sorbung said that it is the first time and they have not come across such type of rainfall and flood since very long time.

The owners of the field were so worried that they neither want to see nor go to the paddy field to check the damages. Those affected by the deadly flash flood could lose their livelihood as they depend heavily on rice cultivation for sustenance. 

 Most of the people depend on agriculture for their livelihood and also for their children’s education by selling rice. Further they said that no one is there to take care of the villagers and appealed to the state authorities to look into the matter urgently.

Ngatan village has 157 households with a population of 800 people as per 2011 census and 70 km away from Senapati district headquarter. Kaping, chairman of Ngatan village said that around 80 percent of the field and 70 hectors of paddy field of 50 families were damaged.

Here also standing crops were submerged in mud and pebbles while tress and posts were uprooted causing much hardship to the villagers.

It will take years to get the affected paddy fields back to where they were before the flood hit the village, said one local. The devastation has left many villagers heart-broken and some feared that poverty awaits them in the coming years, he added.

A team comprising of media-persons visited the affected sites. The destruction caused by the flash flood has been unprecedented.

Published in News

IMPHAL | Sept 7

A division bench of the High Court of Manipur comprising of chief justice N. Kotiswar Singh and justice Kh. Nobin Singh have awarded an amount of Rs. 5 lakhs each to petitioners against fake encounter.

A released of HRLN said the first incident of fake encounter occurred on January 19, 2009, in which some personnel of Manipur Police Commando arrested Khumukcham Thoiba alias Tomba Singh from his house located at Mahou Tera Wangoo Lamkhai, Chandel district.

Thoiba was killed on the same day in a fake encounter at Keirak Leirak Achouba, Thoubal district. In this regard, the wife of the deceased, Leivon Rosmi Kom filed a Writ Petition before the high court on May 30, 2009. Consequently, the district judge, Manipur West conducted an extensive enquiry and submitted his report by ascertaining that the petitioner’s husband was arrested from his house and thereafter he was killed in a fake encounter by a combined team of Manipur Police Commando and personnel of 21 Assam Rifles.

The matter was finally heard today and thereafter, the high court of Manipur has directed the State of Manipur and the Union of India to pay Rs. 5, 00, 000 as compensation to the petitioner within four months, said the release.

The second incident occurred in the intervening night of March 14 and March 15, 2004, in which some personnel of 19 Rajput Rifles (Bikaner) had apprehended Khumanthem Ajitkumar alias Naoba Singh from his house located at Karong Mamang Leikai, Imphal West district.

Subsequently, Ajitkumar was killed in a fake encounter along Khurkhul-Sekmai Road. The father of the deceased, Khumanthem Nagor Singh lodged a report to the Patsoi police station, however, could not bring justice.

Ultimately, he filed a Writ Petition before the high court on April 5, 2008, seeking appropriate remedy. Accordingly, the former district judge, Manipur East, M. Manojkumar Singh had submitted his inquiry report on June 28, 2012, ascertaining that Ajitkumar was picked up from his house by the personnel of 19 Rajput Rifles and killed. The high court of Manipur has finally heard the case today and directed the Union of India to pay Rs. 5,00,000 as compensation under public law domain within four months to the petitioner, said the release.

It said, advocate Meihoubam Rakesh appeared on behalf of the above mentioned two petitioners while senior advocate and assistant solicitor general, Salam Rupachandra Singh appeared on behalf of the Union of India and senior government advocate, R.S. Reisang appeared on behalf of the State of Manipur.

Published in News

IMPHAL | Sept 7

Thounaojam Shyamkumar, forest and environment minister today ordered immediate transfer of beat officer and subordinate staffs of Kanglatongbi forest beat office for dereliction of duties. 

The minister today made a surprise visit to the Kanglatongbi forest beat office under Kangpokpi district and found forest officials letting off trucks carrying forest products without issuing the transit pass.

Speaking to media at the beat office, Th. Shyamkumar said he will conduct regular inspection to check whether the department officials in each and every district are properly collecting the forest royalty.

He assured punishment to officials found flouting department rules. 

Shyamkumar further said forest department plays a major role towards controlling global warming, which is one of the topmost issue faced throughout the world. He termed it unfortunate that some department officials were found flouting rules instead of performing their duties.

During his surprise inspection visit from Kangpokpi to Bishnupur districts, Th. Shyamkumar intercepted a truck, illegally carrying forest product without carrying the transit pass at Sekmai-Khurkhul Road.

The truck was seized and later handed over to the authorities concerned. At Kangchup Chingkong Bazar, a truck carrying soil from the forest area was intercepted. Shyamkumar directed the truck driver to seek permit from the environment department.

Heading towards K. Geljang village, Kangpokpi district, minister found few trucks which were being filled up with soils dug up from the forest area. The soil was to be used for building construction in the village.

He directed the villagers to seek permit from the environment department.

Th. Shyamkumar later inspected the trees at the Maibam Lotpa Ching in Bishnupur district. Speaking to the media at the location, Shyamkumar said starting from the month of September; he will check all the trees planted by the forest department, NGOs and other organisations during the Vanamohatsava this year in all the districts.

The minister expressed satisfaction over the proper maintenance of tree growth at the Maibam Lotpa Ching by the department’s officials.

Published in News
Friday, 08 September 2017 00:00

Girls rescued from Rangoon traffickers

From Our Correspondent


Three girls from Churachandpur were rescued from the hands of traffickers by Special Investigation Team (SIT), Churachandpur today.

The rescued girls are of the ages of 15, 16 and 17. They were brought from Rangoon by SIT which was formed to deal with human trafficking case by tying up with Tengnoupal Police and CWC, Churachandpur. While rescuing the girls, two women who are into human trafficking business were also arrested from Churachandpur.

According to a press communique by additional SP of Churachandpur, SIT was formed by SP of Churachandpur, Rakesh Balwal, comprising of five officers on September 3, to investigate on human trafficking based on Immoral Trafficking (P) Act, 1956.

The communique stated that the SIT has visited family members of the victims affected by human trafficking. The team has been examining the victims minutely in the process of which statements from more than 16 prosecution’s witnesses have been recorded so far with five more complaints being received from the parents of other victims whose whereabouts are still not known.

With the assistance of the Tengnoupal district police and CWC (Child Welfare Committee) Churachandpur, three victims are rescued from Myanmar during the last 48 hours while two accused persons were arrested and remanded into police custody for eight days starting from today. The accused persons were identified as Irene Ngaihoih (35), daughter of Tuolkhom of LB Tang and Nengneingai (25), wife of H. Ginminthang Simte of Thingkangphai village.

Earlier, four persons were arrested from Churachandpur, they were Esther (32), wife of Lalmuanldma of Thingkangphai, Lalngaihawmi (32), wife of Lalbeiseia of Thingkangphai village, , Lunkhosat Haokip (31), son of Somkhopao Haokip of Lhalpi village, Chandel, at present Kanan Veng, Tuibong and Chingsuanching (37), wife of Kamsuankhai Murrluah of Khominthang, New Lamka.

Published in News
Friday, 08 September 2017 00:00

Health Reporting: Is it still news worthy?

By Jimmy Leivon

GANGTOK | Sept 7

“No Health reporting is not news worthy”, said said a leading media personality from Northeast today. Karma Paljor, consulting editor of CNN New 18 was speaking at the media sensitisation workshop organised by Public Health Foundation of India (PFHI) here today at Hotel Heritage.

The workshop titled “Building Effective Communication Pathway for Public Health in the North-East” was held at the backdrop of the 2nd North East Health Care Summit 2017, is being organised by PHFI in partnership with the ministry of (MDoNER), government of Sikkim and the Sir Thutob Namgyal Memorial Hospital (STNM) from September 8 and 9.

This also marks the centenary celebrations of the S.T.N.M. hospital.

The Summit aims to bring key stakeholders including media and public health experts, to understand the media reporting challenges in highlighting public health in the Northeast and share key research areas.

In TV it is least debated subject and often stories are sidelined, Paljor said contextualising both the commercial as well as challenges health reportage. Health reporter is relegated especially in electronic media to fixed appointment for the higher up, he said.

TV has killed reporting, he said rueing the deficit of good reporting.

For both print and electronic media, most health issues are neglected unless it is politically sensitive; he noted citing the example of recent Gorakhpur incident. However, he said the problem arises because the media mostly do event report only.

Are we asking the right questions? Paljor said adding that one way to catch the interest is to ask how, when and why, instead of mere event reporting. The media should also have a ‘built-in bullshit meters’ in order to fight the fake news syndrome and other challenges, he said.

This is important in the context of health, as too many news about it are spread in social media, he said.

We have to contest and present more holistic views to readers as the issue will impact each one of us, if not today in the near future, he stressed further citing social-religio factors that do round in the social media.

Paljor however said social media must become a vital part of any media organisations and emphasising on packaging the report to suit diverse audience. 

Don’t get stuck with the data, humanise the story, was the advice of Subhojit Sengupta Associate Editor, Network18. Bring in the human element to connect with the audience, added. 

In the context of health reportage, he said that the reporting must go behind hospital report. For example, reports on Anganwadi works, the last chain in health service delivery in India could offer many perspectives, Sengupta said.

Break down the jargons, he further said to both media personnel and researchers gathered stressing that in the end, any news or report should be disseminated easily to the public.

Member of Parliament, Sikkim, PD Rai further augmented Paljor view and said that even in the parliament, health issue seldom get attention form the legislators, unless it is politically sensitive.

Amit Patro, editor Sikkim Express, exhorted the media person to report beyond hospital and highlight public health issue in a more holistic and sensitive way. Digital presence through various medium is vital for survival as well as wider audiences, especially the print media, all the panellists in the workshop concurred.

The world has moved from print to TV to digital platform, the news media must also grow both vertically and horizontally by integrating all the news, they agreed.

It will not only create awareness but led to further interest in different health issues.

In finding way linkage between information seeker, listener and communicator, the newspapers and media can act as a catalyst, concluded Dr. Bamin Tada, Director Regional Reaoeach Centre MoHFW for Northeast States.

Journalists from almost all the Northeastern States also took part in the workshop.

Published in News
Friday, 08 September 2017 00:00

Decommission Ithai barrage: CVOs of Northeast

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Sept 7

An inspection-cum-public meeting was organised today by North East Dialogue Forum (NEDF) in Bishnupur district covering Nongmaikhong of Thanga constituency and Ithai barrage of Loktak power project.

The inspection is a follow up to the resolution taken yesterday by the forum and other CVOs at Classic Grande hotel to revoke various memorandum of understanding (MoUs) signed for construction of mega dams in the North Eastern states.

The villagers and eminent leaders of Nongmaikhong said in a public meeting held at the house of its pradhan S. Manglemba that the village has gone through a lot and suffered many losses after the construction of Ithai barrage in 1980.

One of the villagers recalled that they used to be self-sufficient and lived a normal village life having their own agricultural land and fishery farms and survived easily from it. He charged that the loss of villagers was not considered in building this Ithai dam. In the name of giving free electricity, the villagers were tempted to give up their possessions to the demands of the government, he added.

  1. Kundalei, one of the women gathered, complained that the government did not give compensation instead imposed tax for using the water body created by the barrage for electricity. “We don’t want compensation or anything, but we want this barrage and Loktak project to be decommissioned and want our land back,” she said.

Nongmaikhong area has a population of approximately 1200 and is one of the most prone areas of flood and the villagers blamed that it is because of the hydro project near the village.

Budhi Singh, a social worker, said that it is too late to decry for the decommissioning of the barrage, as it is almost 40 years but urged the gathering to cooperate fully in the decommissioning process. He asked if there is any MoU on compensation between the NHPC and the government.

The public meeting and the investigation trip was participated by representatives from all the North Eastern states including Assam, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura.

Published in News
Friday, 08 September 2017 00:00

Rs. 20 lakhs of alcohol disposed

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Sept 7

Excise department today disposed more than Rs. 20 lakh worth of liquor including indigenous country liquors at the campus of the said department at Lamphel at around 1 pm. 

Speaking to media persons, DDO Imphal circle, I. Jatishwor said this year for the month of April to August Rs. 3.66 crore was collect by the revenue department from the three circles of excise department namely Bishnupur, Thoubal and Imphal.

The seized liquors were disposed off at the respective circles, he added. 1074 cases have been taken up in connection with alcohol for both Indian made foreign liquor and indigenously distilled country liquor.

He said more than 4000 litres including more than 1000 litres of distilled indigenous country liquor have been disposed off. Later it was dumped by using JCB machine.

He further said for the safety and security measure for the coming Panchayat election, 20 special enforcement staff have been formed yesterday. Each team is led by two police inspectors and drives have been conducted at various places which are under panchayat elections, he added.

Jatishwor appealed to the police department to co-operate and people to support during the drives.

Published in News
Friday, 08 September 2017 00:00

Police continue search at Ningthem’s house

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Sept 7

For the fourth consecutive day, the state police continued the search at the house of Yambem Ningthem at his Mantripukhri residence. The police after obtaining a house search warrant had started conducting the raids since September 4 which commenced at 6 am.

Sources state that the MDS chief had kept several important files at his residence including some details of his bank account transactions.

The police as per sources have been able to recover some important documents pertaining to the MDS and it projects. This was a fallout of the State Vigilance commission conducting an inquiry into the MDS and had suggested that the many documents needed to be recovered from the residence of Yambem Ningthem.

Published in News
Friday, 08 September 2017 00:00

Speaker’s escort injured in road mishap

MOREH | Sept 7

One escort gypsy of Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly, Y. Khemchand met an accident in which one escort was injured.

The accident happened while the Speaker was heading for Kwatha village today. Later, Y. Khemchand visited Kwatha village and interacted with the public. He distributed fermented bamboo shoots packaging machines and solar panels to the locals.

Published in News
Friday, 08 September 2017 00:00

Push for arrest of rapist

IMPHAL | Sept 7

Liangmai Naga Kati Mai Ruangdi (LNKR) and Liangmai Pui Naga Ruangdi (LPNR) urged the government to arrest Kh. Kasinba, son of Kh. Adiatba from Karungmuan, Nungtek, Tamenglong district for allegedly raping and brutalising a 14-year-old girl.

Speaking to media persons today at Manipur Press Club, Imphal LPNR president, Priscilla Thiumai said that on August 1 at around 5pm while the victim was washing clothes in a river bank she was brutalised by Kasinba until she went unconscious and later raped her.

She was admitted to ICU of Raj Medicity and a complaint was lodged with Senapati police station, she added.

On the next day police arrested the accused but set him free after the accused was kept in custody for one day, said Priscilla.

Till today the police did not take action against the accused, continued the president.

She said that the victim was discharged from the hospital on August 21 but she is in trauma and currently is taking full bed rest.

LNKR publicity secretary, Diphiu urged the government and the authority concerned to take action against Kasinba.

He warned that 24 hours shutdown of NH-2 will take place if the government fails to arrest the accused and strong agitation will take place.

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About IFP

Imphal Free Press is a widely circulated English daily published in Manipur, North-East India. Started in 1996, it has relocated its head office from Sega Road, Imphal to Palace Gate, Imphal.

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