Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

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Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren along with BJP State President Aribam Sharda receiving the JD(U) turned BJP MLAs

5 of 6 JD(U) MLAs Merge With BJP; JNIMS To Have 150 MBBS Seats; School Teachers Protest; Rally Against Price Hike; ATSUM Seeks ‘Special Session’

As expected by many political observers and analysts in Manipur, of the six Janata Dal-United, JD (U) MLAs, five JDU MLAs left the party and joined with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly on September 2, 2022 has accepted the merger of five JD (U) MLAs to the BJP legislature party under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India.

This political development came in the wake of the JDU MLAs and the party’s state unit president going for the party’s national executive meeting beginning from September 3 after the JD (U) severed its ties with BJP. Against this backdrop, Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren also rushed to New Delhi on September 1 evening after being summoned by the BJP’s national leaders.

According to Bulletin Part-II No. 17 dated 2nd September 2022 issued by the Manipur Legislative Assembly Secretariat, the Speaker accepted the merger of the five MLAs namely Khumukcham Joykisan of Thangmeiband Assembly Constituency (AC), Ngursanglur Sanate of Tipaimukh AC, Achab Uddin of Jiribam AC, Thangjam Arunkumar of Wangkhei AC, and L. M. Khaute of Churachandpur AC to the BJP Legislature Party.  Notably, it was reported that they left Imphal on September 2 for the national executive committee meeting.

Now, Abdul Nasir of Lilong AC only remains as JD (U) MLA. However, reliable sources said Nasir is currently stationed abroad and likely to merge with the BJP after his return.

Directives To Fix Irregularities In ILP System

The Manipur government on August 29 handed out directions concerning the issuance of Inner Line Permits (ILP) to labourers, upon detecting that there are irregularities in the process of issuing ILP.

An office memorandum issued by deputy secretary (Home) Roji Rajkumari stated that the state Home department has noticed that the Inner Line Permits (ILP) to labourers are being issued to individual labourers without proper sponsorship, which is in oblation of Rule 12 of Inner live Permit Guidelines.

In order to streamline the ILP system in this regard, directions are made to ensure that no individual ‘Labour ILP’ should be issued without proper sponsorship, contact details, permanent address of sponsors, place of stay etc. of permit seekers/holders, the memorandum stated.

Further, the memorandum stated that individual temporary permits issued to labourers who are otherwise to be employed as labourers should be converted to ‘Labour Permits’ through proper sponsorship as per ILP guidelines.

Moreover, it also ordered that no ‘Individual Labour ILP’ (under the age of 14 years of age) shall be issued in violation of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act. 1986, the memorandum added.

Sit-in-Protests by School Teachers

The All Integrated Teachers’ Association, Manipur (AITAM) on September 2 launched its 2-day sit-in protest as a further course of agitation, demanding not to change their salary head of account. The protests by the teachers who were earlier SSA and RMSA teachers under AITAM were staged in front of the respective zonal offices.

Reports sadi as many as 3,480 teachers recruited under SSA and RMSA were integrated to the state Education department (school) on July 23, 2020. Since then the teachers have been getting their monthly salary from the same salary head of account, similar to the teachers employed under the state Education department.

However, the director of the department issued an order mentioning that the 3,480 teachers will be getting their salary as before under the Central sponsored scheme from a separate salary head of account. Earlier, the teachers were given their salary through a shared funding by the Central and state government in which the maximum amount was borne by the Central government. At that time, the teachers faced huge struggles for not getting their monthly salary in a timely manner, reports added.

The teachers under AITAM demand revocation of the recent order issued by the Director of Education (Schools), Government of Manipur.

Rally Against Price Hike

As many as 94 delegates from Manipur left Imphal for Delhi on September 1 for participating in the Congress Party’s rally ‘Mehangai Par Halla Bol’scheduled to be held on September 4 in Delhi against the price hike of essential commodities.

Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) President Keisham Meghachandra flagging off delegates from Manipur for participating in the party’s ‘Mehangai Par Halla Bol‘ rally on September 1 at Congress Bhavan announced that some other delegates would also leave for Delhi in the coming days.

The MPCC President further highlighted that the protest march ‘Mehangai Par Halla Bol‘ will be taken out to break the “deafening silence” of the BJP-led government against the skyrocketing of prices of various commodities, including food items and petroleum products.

Speaking to the media after flagging off the delagtes MPCC President Meghachandra said that the party is expecting reforms to strengthen it after the AICC presidential election in October, reports added.

Govt to Open School For Drone Training and Assembly

Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on September 1 said that the government will open a school to train youths on the operating and assembling of drones in the state for imparting skills in the said field, considering the versatility of drones in the modern world.

The Chief Minister was speaking at the valedictory function of a three-day drone awareness training programme at IIIT complex at Mantripukhri. He informed that he has consulted with the IIIT to open the said training school only inside its campus.

He further noted that drones are now being employed in defence, domestic as well as commercial purposes. He further highlighted the significance of drones and information technology in the modern world, reports said.

ATSUM For Special Session on ADC Bill 2021

The All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) drew Manipur Governor’s attention to convene a ‘Special Session’ of the Manipur Legislative Assembly to table and discuss the Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill, 2021.

The ATSUM apprised the governor for immediate withdrawal of the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council (Sixth Amendment) Bill 2022, which has now become an Act, as it is ‘not a Money Bill’.

Reaffirming the pledge taken in its second General Assembly on July 15, 2022, at Haipi village in Kangpokpi District, the ATSUM and its federating units apprised Manipur Governor La Ganesan through a memorandum on these two pertinent matters.

With “non reference of Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council (Sixth Amendment) Bill, 2022 to the Hill Areas Committee by deceitfully presenting it as a Money Bill, contrary to the provisions of Constitution of India, and, for convening a Special Session of the House to table and discuss the Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill 2021” as the subject, the memorandum was signed by ATSUM president Paotinthang Lupheng and General Secretary SR. Andria.

It stated that the memorandum was submitted to prevent the violation of the special provisions provided under the Constitution of India for the protection of the Hill Areas of the State of Manipur.

Myanmar National Convicted

A Myanmar national has been convicted by a special court in Manipur under NDPS Act for illegal possession of drugs.

Special Court of NDPS, Manipur judge, Kh Ajit on August 30 announced the conviction order under section 22(b) NDPS Act for the offence of unauthorised possession of 20 gm of contraband Methamphetamine tablets which is an intermediate quantity.

The Myanmar National has been identified as Ko Hete, 35, son of U Soe of Moiwa Debainging, Myanmar. The convict was arrested by the Custom Preventive Force (CPF), Moreh on July 28, 2017 near the Primary Health Centre of Phaichang Veng Road, Moreh Ward No 3 under section 22(c), 23 (c) and 60 of the NDPS Act, 1985. The CPF seized 7000 numbers of WY tablets weighing 700 gm from his possession.

After receiving the prima facie evidence, cognizance was taken and charge was framed against him by Predecessor for offence punishable under section 22 (c) of NDPS Act, 1958, reports added.

BJYM Arrests Drug Peddlers in Imphal

Volunteers of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) and YADA assisted by a team of Lamphel police “with the knowledge” of superintendent of police, Imphal West district seized heroin powder from three different areas of Thangmeiband area by conducting raids, while police arrested five drug peddlers on August 31.

BJYM state president M Barish Sharma told the media on September 1 at its state party head office located at Nityaipat Chuthek, Imphal that the raid was conducted by the volunteers of BJYM with support from state police in support of War on Drugs 2.0. The volunteers of BJYM have been monitoring various suspected areas of Thangmeiband as they have information of smuggling of drugs. They conducted raids along with the police team at three different places of Thangmeiband, reports said.

During the raid, they seized a total of 309 grams of suspected heroin powder, including the weight of plastic vials, some WY tablets, zolam tablets and others items.

The said drugs were reportedly seized from the residence of Salam Enrick Singh, 22, son of S Gyanendra Singh of Thangmeiband Hijam Keikai; Yumnam Khelemba Singh, 29, son of Y Ibotombi SIngh of Thangmeiband Lourungpural Leikai; Longjam Lingjel, 28, son of L Iboyaima Singh of Thangmeiband Meisnam Leikai; Thangjam Dhanajit Singh, 23, son of Th Ramo Singh of Thangmeiband Hijam Leikai and Yumnam Sunny Singh, 31, son of Yumnam Brojendro Singh of Thangmeiband Lourungpurel Leikai, reports added.

MHRC vacant posts

Advocate General of the High Court of Manipur has informed that an advertisement will be issued within 10 days for filling up essential posts in the Manipur Human Rights Commission, as the sole member appointed earlier is demitting office on August 31 upon completing his term.

The advocate general further stated that the process of appointment to the commission would be completed within 2 weeks thereafter.

Advocate general submitted the statements before the division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kumar and justice MV Muralidaran of the High Court of Manipur in connection with the public interest litigation filed by Urikhimbam Nobokishore for directing the state government and concern authorities for appointment of the chairperson and 1 (one) member (Judicial) as mandated under the protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 and also for appointment of the necessary officers and the staffs of the MHRC under Manipur Human Rights Commission Service Rules, 2021.

JNIMS Permitted To Admit 150 MBBS Students

The Medical Assessment and Rating Board (Undergraduate Section) of the National Medical Commission (NMC) has approved an increase of 50 MBBS seats (from 100 to 150 MBBS Seats) for the academic year 2022-23 in the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS).

It may be mentioned that the Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB) of National Medical Commission (NMC) had approved the increase of 50 MBBS seats at JNIMS in August.

In a letter addressed to JNIMS authority, the commission stated that “the admission of students will be for such a time the first batch of students admitted against the above course appears for the final examination in the subject.”

It further stated that the college authorities may take up the matter for recognition of the qualification under section 35(2) of the IMC Act at the time of first batch admitted against the sanctioned intake of 150 MBBS Seats of final examination with the National Medical Commission.

CM Inspects Sangai Ethnic Park Construction Work

Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren September 1 inspected the ongoing construction work of the Sangai Ethnic Park being constructed at Moirang Khunou, accompanied by state legislators and officials.

After visiting the construction site, Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren tweeted: “Visited the ongoing construction site of Sangai Ethnic Park along with Hon’ble MLAs and officials. We are working 24*7 to ensure that the project gets completed before the Sangai Festival in November.Above all, I’m thankful to the people for their immense cooperation.”

Online Building Permission System in Manipur

Online Building Permission System (OBPS) for construction of buildings would be implemented soon in Manipur. MAHUD Minister Yumnam Khemchand said that the OBPS will be made available to make the public aware of building bye-laws.

Reports said the MAHUD Minister was speaking at a two-day hand holding workshop for architects on “OBPS” under E-Municipality as a service, E-MAAS of AMRUTI at City Convention Centre, Imphal on September 1, which was organised by the Manipur Town Planning department.

MAHUD Minister Khemchand said that everywhere in the state, be it valley or hill, the structure of buildings is decided by the owners which is why there is imbalance in structure that may cause disturbances to the surrounding.

LOUSAL Demands Ceiling on Paddy Land Acquisition

Loumee Shinmee Apun Lup (LOUSAL), Manipur has urged the state government to specify the maximum ceiling limit of paddy land that can be utilised for public purpose in construction of private hospital, multi storey residential complex and commercial shopping mall.

Speaking to the media at the press conference at HERICOUN office located at Konung Mamang, LOUSAL president Mutum Churamani Meitei drew the attention of the state government for a critical gap in the operation of Manipur Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act, 2014.

Churamani said that on May 2, 2018 a notification from the government allowed bringing petrol pump and LPG Godowns within the ambit of public purpose of 0.32 acre is specified, however, subsequent notification of January 8, 2019 included multi storey residential complex and commercial shopping mall. Moreover, the notification of November 23, 2019 included a private hospital within the definition of public purpose. Extending and including various complexes in the name of public purpose within the ambit of paddy land does not provide any maximum ceiling in the notification, Churamani said.

LOUSAL strongly feels that the omission of maximum ceiling limit opens up the possibility of the private interest slowly overriding the public interest of conserving paddy land, Churamani said.

“The state government established the act and the government itself is violating the act”, said Churamani and added that LOUSAL wants to know if there is any upper limit to the amount of paddy land and wetland that private parties establishing private hospital, multi storey residential complex and commercial shopping mall can utilise.

28,500 HIV Positive Cases in Manipur

Manipur today has the third highest number of HIV cases in India, with a total of 28,500 positive cases. This was disclosed by Manipur State Aids Control Society (MACS) assistant director Phanjoubam Lanngamba at a media worshop in Churachandpur on August 31.

The workshop on newly adopted HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act 2017, which was held at Synod Hall, IB Road in Churachandpur district, was organised by Khelen Thokchom Trust (KTT), Manipur with support from Manipur State AIDS control Society and journalists from the district.

Churachandpur has 4,239 total HIV positive cases of which, 105 total HIV positive cases were detected during the period April-July 2022, and 2,072 are undertaking ART treatment, Churachandpur District AIDS control Officer (DAO) Romeo Senate said at the workshop. The DAO commended KTT, Manipur for organising such a programme on HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act 2017.

Phanjoubam Lanngamba spoke on the topic ‘Media Ethics on HIV & AIDS reporting’ and mentioned that MACS was established on March 28, 1988 to monitor HIV cases in the state.  He added that with total positive cases of 28,500, the state ranks the third highest state with HIV in India, reports added.

CM  Felicitates Linthoi Chanambam

Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren felicitated Linthoi Chanambam, India’s first-ever world champion in judo, at the CM’s Secretariat in Imphal on August 31.

In appreciation of her marvellous achievement, the state government has extended a reward of Rupess 10 lakhs and a memento, said Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren.

Nongthombam Biren said he is happy to meet India’s first ever world judo champion, Linthoi Chanambam. CM Biren tweeted: “Happy to meet gold medalist, Linthoi Chanambam who won the first gold medal at the recent World Cadet Judo Championship 2022 held at Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

Besides her family, Mayang Imphal AC MLA Kongkham Robindro, Thanga AC MLA Tongbram Robindro Singh, Moirang AC MLA Thongam Shanti and her coach also attended the felicitation programme.

The 15-year-old Judoka Linthoi Chanambam has scripted history by taking home gold after she finished number one at the podium in the women’s 57 kg contest at the recently concluded World Cadet Judo championship in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The spectacular feat achieved by her is the first ever gold from India in any age-group category in world judo championship.

On August 30, Judoka Linthoi received a rousing home-welcoming by her family, friends and well-wishers upon her arrival at Imphal airport.

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