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Imphal Free Press
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By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Dec 10

The Congress party was compelled to shift the venue of its sit-in protest demonstration demanding the content of the “Framework Agreement” following disturbances caused by miscreants in Heingang constituency.

As a part of the their continued protest demanding the contents of “Framework Agreement” the Congress party scheduled was to organised the sit-in demonstration at Leipham Khunou Soibam Leikai ground.

However, the sit-in was later shifted to Heingang Mayai Leikai, at the residence of one P. Saratchandra, a member of Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee, (MPCC) following an alleged protest lodged by miscreants not to organise such protest in Heingang constituency.

Speaking during the sit-in demonstration at Heingang Mayai Leikai, former deputy chief minister, Gaikhangam, strongly condemning the intervention termed it as an unfortunate incident.

He said that the ongoing protest of the Congress party is not aimed at gaining political mileage but serves the interest of people and the state.

Particularly implying to the BJP, he advised that it would be wise for any political party to stop playing narrow minded politics and take into consideration the sensitivity of the issue.

The latest move of the rival party amounts to encouraging the NSCM-IM and its demand, he contended.

The senior congress legislator also further termed the disturbance as an act of supressing the freedom of speech in a democratic society.

He maintained that the move of the rival party would only invite another uprising of the people.

Former chief minister of Manipur, Okram Ibobi Singh said to obstruct the sit in protest which has been held in a continuing manner at each assembly constituencies by the congress party, is undemocratic.

In a democratic society everyone has their right to express their views and opinion, he said.

Ibobi also ridiculed the limited knowledge of the newly elected ministers in the present government on the initiatives taken by the Congress government against the interest of Manipur’s integrity. 

Member, MPCC, P. Saratchandra said while making preparations to organise the sit in protest at the ground at Kairang Muslim under Hiengang assembly constituency, some people came and asked not to organise the protest, providing the reason that the place was under chief minster’s assembly constituency and their organising such sit in protest at that spot would go against the interest of chief minister.

As the shifted the spot to Laipham Khunou today to organise the sit in protest, some people who were allegedly close the chief minister, N. Biren, came over to area and stopped them from holding the protest, he said. They warned if the organisers hold the protest despite their warnings, then Heingang block congress committee will be held responsible for any untoward outcome, he informed.  

Moreover, roadways leading to the venue where the protest was going to be held were kept blocked with logs and bamboos, due to which many people who came to attend the occasion could not reach the area and left disheartened, some with tears, he added.

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Dec 10

“Manipur government should not endorse imposition of AFSPA in the name of bringing peace and security rather they should have courage and urged central government for withdrawing of the draconian law”, said Phulindro Konsam, coordinator Apunba Lup.

Phulindro Konsam, was speaking as one of the speaker during the observance of International Human Rights Day held under the theme of ‘Lets stand up for equality, justice and human dignity’ at Gandhi Memorial Hall Imphal.

Phulindro, observed that the universal declaration on human rights and similar rights enshrined in the Indian constitution to safeguard our rights will be meaningless in the state of Manipur unless the draconian act like AFSPA continue to prevail.

He compared AFSPA with Armed forces (special powers) ordinance 1942 promulgated by the British to suppress the ‘Quit India movement’.

He contended that no justice is achieved in any cases related to violation of human rights under the guise of AFSPA.

“We cannot compromise any cases like torture, rape, murder, fake encounter with compensation. Appropriate legal actions should be taken up against culprit at any cost. And justice should be given without consuming much time because justice delay is justice deny”, he said.

The Apunba Lup convener further condemned the further extension of Disturbed Area status in some part of Manipur.

He observed that the MoU signed between the state and various companies in the North East Development summit during the Sangai Festival will only lead to exploitation of our natural sources of Manipur.

Recalling all the rights violation that has been taking place since 1980, Sunil Karam, coordinator of the Working Committee of the Apunba Lup (WCAL) shared some of his views in his key note address.

The United nation had insisted Government of India for the withdrawal of this AFSPA yet the latter remains silent till today, he said.

Joy Chingkham Coordinator of APUNBA LUP was also the presidium member of today’s observation ceremony.

The observation ceremony was organised by WCAL and all the representatives of civil society organisations attended.

The gathering unanimously affirmed that, “Despite implementation of several laws for the protection of human rights by the United Nation General Assembly in the world and similar law are mentioned in part III of Indian constitution yet there is a gross violation of human rights in Manipur due to the enforcement of Arms forces Special Act (AFSPA) 1958.”

The CSOs attended during the event have expressed their opinion against the act of India Union in their role in signing the merger agreement which led to the formation of insurgencies, and subsequent imposition of AFSPA.

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Dec 10

As part of the International Human Rights Day observation, a discussion on human rights, armed conflict and pre-merger status of Manipur was held today at State Guest House, Sanjenthong.

The event was organised by Coalition for Indigenous Rights Campaign (CIRCA).

Research associate at Centre for South East Asia Study, MU, Kangubam Sanatomba, former member of Manipur State Human Rights Commission, Yambem Laba and associate professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) A. Bimol Akoijam spoke during the function.

Convener of CIRCA, Somorendro Thokchom told reporters at the sidelines of the event today that situation of Manipur and UN Declaration of Human Rights is totally contradictory.

It is rather saddening that after Merger Agreement of the state with Indian Government in 1949, judicial killings, custodial rape cases and other numerous cases of human rights violations are in the rise at the state, he pointed out.

This programme is not an observance of the day, but discussion on human rights, whether NE states especially Manipur is actually getting the benefits of human rights inscribed in the United Nation of Declaration of Human Rights, Somorendro said.

He also said that demands and movements in the state such as ILP, ST and removal of AFSPA are given birth by the Merger Agreement to which Manipur lost its sovereignty. 

Bimol Akoijam, associate professor of JNU narrated how human rights was achieved from England in 1205 with Magna Carta.

He said that since then sovereignty has been given to the nation and not monarchy or the ruler.

Continuing his speech on in the context of Manipur, the people lost its independence and sovereignty after signing the Merger Agreement.

“It is high time that our people self realised that our rights are within us and not from external upper hand”, he said.

Sanatomba, research associate at MU said that the demand for pre-merger status of CIRCA may create major contradictions, national conflict and ethnic conflict in the state.

As a result, he suggested the CIRCA to redefine the pre-merger status demands inorder to avoid confusion.

, stressed the need of dialectics for society’s development and to generate political relationship between India and Manipur.

He stated this citing the example of the extension of ‘Disturbed Area’ status in the state which is the precondition for promulgation of AFSPA and followed by the continued militarisation in the state.

also put forward the idea whether Instrument of Accession which was signed before independence can also be an instrument of resolving the present conflict of the state.

IMPHAL | Dec 10

Chief minister, N. Biren said that the state government has taken up adequate security measures at all the border areas of the state to check entry of illegal migrants and thwart unlawful activities in the wake of Rohingya crisis in Myanmar and outsiders identification exercise in neighbouring Assam.

Addressing media persons on Hill Leaders’ Day held at chief minister’s secretariat today, N. Biren said that a police station would be opened at Behiang at the earliest.

The CM informed that he would personally visit the interior village located along Indo-Myanmar border in Churanchandpur district to lay the foundation stone of the police station soon after the finalisation of land for the said purpose.

He also said that the state government is planning to deploy IRB personnel in the villages of Kwatha as well.

Apart from opening an additional police post, around 60 armed police personnel had been sent to Jiribam to meet the required security manpower. Jiri police had been strengthened and directed to remain alert as illegal migrants trespass to state’s territory by crossing the temporary bamboo bridges built over Jiri river, he added.

Biren further stated that the state government is ready to consider villagers’ proposal for construction of a ‘welcome gate’ and opening of a police check post at Jessami in Ukhrul district.

He said that new chairman and members of Manipur Human Rights Commission would be appointed soon in order to strengthen the commission.

Regarding the indefinite shutdown announced by the JAC of All Manipur DPC Completed Re-recruitment Candidates of Police Constables Male 2013, the CM appealed to the candidates to revoke their decision.

He clarified that he had never assured to the JAC to declare the recruitment results within a stipulated deadline though he informed them that the Court had ordered the government to constitute an enquiry committee and submit a report within two months. He continued that he clearly told the JAC that the government could not do anything before the submission of the enquiry report as the matter is sub judice. The sudden announcement of indefinite shutdown by the JAC is very unfortunate and the government would not remain silent if the JAC goes ahead with the shutdown, he added.

Responding to a query regarding the inconvenience faced by the people due to checking and frisking for long hours at Khudengthabi on NH-102, the CM said that all these problems would be eased out once a vehicle scanning machine is installed there. The machine had already been procured and it would be installed soon after finalisation of land, he added.

Regarding implementation of ILPS, N. Biren said that a consultative committee comprising of representatives of all the communities of the state and a drafting committee would be constituted soon.

He said that a notice to invite imminent persons to join the two committees would be issued on the media within a few days.

The CM attended to 121 complaints and interacted with around 500 people during Hill Leaders’ Day from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Officials of different government departments were deputed at CM’s secretariat for the day to help attend to the grievances of the public.

Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) screened documentaries highlighting the achievements of the new government.

IMPHAL | Dec 10

Social Welfare and Cooperation minister, Nemcha Kipgen today expressed that the basic beliefs of all religions are of love, peace and harmony and there is no religion which promotes or advocates any act that is contradictory to love, peace and harmony.

The minister was speaking as chief guest at the First Tagaramphung Advent Christmas 2017, under the theme of ‘Love, Peace and Harmony’, held today at Tagaramphung (Yaikongpao), village ground, Kangpokpi district.

She also stated that believing in God or religion must be reflected in daily conducts that exhibits the love, peace and harmony.

‘In our society, Manipur in particular and the country in general, there is a strong need to reiterate the pivotal role of love, peace and harmony in our dealings with one another in such a manner that they are essential in the formation, upbringing and establishment of our society and intolerance has no room among us’, said Nemcha.

She further said, ‘We need to reiterate this through our own leadership and individual commitments for the improvement and development of our society and country as much as it is essential for the family and the individual’.

The minister also stressed on the need to contemplate the good virtues of any religions at the levels of various leaderships of different communities and confirm that the vital roles they play is never overshadowed by the selfishness of few people.

As part of the celebration, various churches of the district participated in the choral competition. T. Khullen Baptist Church was the winner of the choral competition, while first runner-up was bagged by Tagaramphung Baptist Church and second runner-up by Thadou Baptist Association (TBA), Kangpokpi.

The minister also wished the celebration of the Tagaramphung Advent Christmas to go a long way towards re-establishing the harmonious social relations and bring a new era of peace in the society.

SP of Kangpokpi district, M. Pradip Singh, speaker of Advent Christmas Programme, Reverend Vumthang Sithlou and representatives from various villages, churches and church institutions were part of today’s celebration.

IMPHAL | Dec 10

The proscribed umbrella organisation CorCom in a message on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day said it shares the hardships of the people who are suffering from living under India’s colonial rule and whose rights have been snatched.

A release signed by media coordinator Ksh. Yoiheiba said the organisation also stands for all the people in the world who are fighting for their human rights. The colonial master India must cease violating the rights of the people in the State and must respect human rights, it said. 

Though the world has crossed a new millennium and is going through many changes, the social administrative system is stilled filled with many loopholes and due to the colonial rule, many people, and communities are deprived or their basic human rights, the release continued. Ways of dividing people and lives, obliteration of communities through oppression, massacre, genocide and religious war, breeding hate towards other community, race have increased rate of violation of humans rights in a massive scale, it further said.   

It added that state terrorism caused by the colonisers has made the region into a battle zone and affected many budding youths turning them into drug addicts, exposing them to HIV- AIDS, the release said adding this has severely affected the natural order of things and ways living a peaceful life.

As the director general, UNESCO, Federico Mayor have stated, the only means to ensure all the human rights of the people and letting them perform their duties is to completely root out all the differences and conflicts amongst the communities of a country, thereby ushering in a long-lasting, life of peace, the release said.  

Human rights are the most basic necessities of living and the progress of the world and its people who had thriving since many decades are all founded upon it, it continued. The most important of them all is the right to freedom, it said. Human kind seeks a life of dignity and security, based on the mentioned right and therefore it has been sought by all, the release continued. On December 10, 1948, it was declared by the United Nations General Assembly that every human being has the right to life, right to live in an independent society and economy.   

An International Bill on Human Rights was created and followed by taking up the protocols of International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the release further said.

However, in Manipur the human rights, right to self determination under an independent economy has been denied and the people have been kept oppressed, it alleged.

The rights granted by the constitution of India exist merely in paper only, it said. The Indian army has been committing genocide by giving them the “Licence to kill,” it said. India soldier have been given what they want by implementing “AFSPA-1958” which directly defy International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966, it continued. 

Ever since the right to self determination was snatched away by the colonial rule, it seems the very right no longer exist at all. The struggles taken, which are of utmost importance to reclaim those rights are made to look like something wrongful, it added.

The war of Independence fought for the sake of our rights, which had been stolen by India, is accepted by the world and granted by the UN, it said. If we set aside all our differences and become united under one single force to take equal measures, then our goals will be achieved, the release concluded.

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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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