Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

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AMUCO Team Meets NSCN (IM) Army Chief, Ambush Near Behiang, COVID Vaccination Vans Flagged Off, LJP MLA Joins BJP

AMUCO Meets NSCN(IM) army chief

The news of AMUCO team meeting with Anthony Ningkham Shimray, Army Chief of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland – NSCN (IM) goes viral in social media groups in Manipur.

Report said the AMUCO team including at least six women members on November 12 called on NSCN-IM Army Chief Anthony Ningkham Shimray at its headquarters at Hebron in yet another initiative in building a good relationship between the Nagas and Meiteis.

Report further said the meeting discussed various issues faced by the people of the northeast region.

The report quoted Anthony Shimray as saying that “The meeting is about establishing a closer relationship between the two indigenous people. With AMUCO, which is under the umbrella of Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), came together with Meira Paibis is not about new development but a renewing of good relationship to convert into practical step as we, the Nagas and Meiteis, journey together for a better future.”

It is said, he further added that our relationship with COCOMI no doubt is strong enough to sail on stormy weather but with the involvement of Meitei women, a milestone is being laid through their participation.

With COCOMI, a strong relationship is already built and we look forward to work together with them, Shimray added on a positive note. This is not the first time that valley-based civil society leaders met the NSCN-IM collective leadership. Last year, leaders of civil society organisations met NSCN-IM General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and discussed various pertaining issues, reports added.

Seven killed in Manipur ambush

The Commanding Officer of 46 Assam Rifles (Khuga Battalion) Col. Viplav Tripathi, his family and four Quick Reaction Team (QRT) personnel were killed in an ambush by militants in Churachandpur district of Manipur on Saturday morning.

The officer’s convoy including a Quick Reaction Team was attacked with Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) at Sehkan village, Singhat subdivision, in CCpur district.

“In the following firefight with suspected militants of the People’s revolutionary party of Kanglepak (PREPAK)/People’s Liberation Army (PLA) cadre, the CO, his wife and 6-year-old son and four QRT personnel had lost their lives on the spot. The other injured personnel are receiving treatment at the Behianga health care centre,” an Assam Rifles officer said. A search operation is on in the area.

80 Vehicles for Covid Vaccination Flagged Off

As many as 80 vehicles for Covid Vaccination Express of 13 districts were flagged off by Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren from Khuman Lampak, Imphal East on November 11.

The vehicles with the attached staff will undertake village-to-village and door-to-door vaccination in the districts of Thoubal, Kakching, Bishnupur, Churachandpur, Pherzawl, Tengnoupal, Chandel, Kangpokpi, Noney, Tamenglong, Jiribam, Kamjong and Ukhrul. Earlier, 40 vehicles were flagged off for the districts of Imphal West, Imphal East and Senapati.

During the programme, Chief Minister Biren urged the people to join their hands together towards achieving 100 percent vaccination rate in the state before Christmas so that they could celebrate Christmas and New Year with zeal and enthusiasm, reports said.

He further mentioned that the vaccination rates in the hill districts are much lower as compared to the valley districts and national average. Urging the people not to believe in fake and false rumours concerning the COVID-19 vaccines, he called upon the church leaders, village chiefs and civil groups of hill districts to convince the people to get vaccinated so as to protect them from the dreaded disease.

On the occasion, the Chief Minister thanked CARE India team for providing such humanitarian services of providing vaccination at peoples’ door- steps across the state at the juncture.

It may be mentioned that 120 vehicles and staff have been provided by CARE India for Covid Vaccination Express under their CSR initiative. The NGO will directly fund the hiring charges, staff expenses, operational expenses for the Covid Vaccination Express vehicles and staff.

The Covid Vaccination Express vehicles are equipped with necessary equipment, vaccines and medical personnel who will travel to every nook and corner of the districts to vaccinate people at their doorsteps.

It may be mentioned that the Chief Minister flagged off the Covid Vaccination Express for Imphal East, Imphal West and Senapati districts last month.

10 Injured in Scuffle at Lilong

More than 10 people received injuries after locals objected to staff of SDO Lilong from attempting to measure area for construction of a police outpost at Lilong Chingkham Ching under Lilong Police Station in Thoubal district, resulting in a major scuffle between police and locals, with police firing indiscriminate rounds of tear gas shells and rubber bullets.

Reports said an enraged mob destroyed the headlights of the car belonging to MLA Y Antas Khan of Lilong Assembly Constituency who came to take stock of the situation.

The staff of SDO Lilong attempted to survey the land by deploying security forces at Lilong Chingkham Ching around 8 am.

It may be mentioned that Lilong Chingkham Ching has been under a dispute between two communities.

A large number of protestors from Lilong area stormed the site, showing their objections against the survey work. To bring the situation under control, Police fired indiscriminate rounds of tear gas shells and rubber bullets. As the situation became worse, additional forces led by IGP Jayenta and Thoubal SP Jogeshchandra Haobijam were sent in for back up, and the situation was finally brought under control at around 10 am. The survey work was also completed afterwards, reports said.

Meanwhile, spokesperson of Lilong Chingkham Maya Development Organisation Nurul Amin told the media that the locals will never accept the way how the land measurement was carried out all of a sudden without notice by using police forces.

It was truly unfortunate that the land measurement was carried out in a clandestine manner when the Court had earlier issued a directive to provide details of the prevailing issue within four weeks, he said. The government must bear responsibility for the injuries given to the civilians by firing of tear gas shells and rubber bullets, he added.

The people cannot help but feel suspicious of how the measurement work was carried out by using heavy security forces, he added. It appears as if such activities were deliberately taken up to cause conflict and breed hatred among communities that had been settling together peacefully, he further said.

Meanwhile, the All Tribal Rights Protection Forum Manipur (ATRPFM) expressed that it is saddened to learn of the unwanted incident. In a release, ATRPFM appealed all to come to terms as per the law, and urged the Home department to look into the matter and prevent such incidents from happening again.

Karam Shyam Joins BJP

Soon after MLA RK Imo and Yamthong Haokip joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on November 8, the lone member of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) in Manipur Assembly from Langthabal Assembly Constituency MLA Karam Shyam has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on November 11.

Confirming the development, state BJP president A Sharda Devi posted a video footage of Karam Shyam joining the BJP and captioned: “Langthabal constituency’s MLA Shri Karam Shyam joined @BJP4Manipur in presence of National Spokesperson and State Prabhari Shri @sambitswaraj ji at Thambal Shanglen, Imphal”.

Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren also extended heartiest welcome to Karam Shyam into the party fold tweeting “Heartiest welcome to Shri Karam Shyam Ji, Hon’ble MLA Langthabal AC, as he joined the@BJP4India today! The dynamic leadership of Hon’ble PM@narendramodi Ji and the party’s principles continue to gain the faith of prominent leaders from different parties.”

Announcing his joining the BJP, the MLA had said that the initiatives of Prime Minister Narendra Modi were remarkable and that he wanted to serve the people under the leadership of Modi. “And it is for this very reason that I have decided to join BJP and fight in the coming Manipur Legislative Assembly election for Langthabal assembly constituency”, reports added.

LOUSAL seeks compensation

Loumee Shinmee Apunba Lup (LOUSAL), Manipur on November 11 urged Manipur government to pay compensation to paddy farmers whose paddies yet to thresh were burnt by miscreants.

LOUSAL General Secretary Laishram Kiranjit speaking in a press meet held at Manipur Press Club said that miscreants on early November 10 around 4.30 am burnt paddies which are yet to thresh over 4.34 acres of paddy fields to ashes. The incident happened near National Sports University at Senjam Chirang and Senjam Khunou, Imphal West.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, added with shortage of urea and shortage of rainfall, the farmers have been already facing untold miseries. In such a difficult situation, destroying the paddy is a heinous crime, he added.

Manipur HC Notice to Govt Over Myanmar Nationals

The High Court of Manipur on November 11 issued notice to Manipur Government in connection with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed concerning the detention of 29 Myanmar Nationals at a Detention Centre in Churachandpur district, Manipur.

The PIL was filed by executive director of Human Rights Alert (HRA) Babloo Loitongbam, through Counsel Rakesh Meihoubam who is also director of Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) on behalf of the 29 Myanmar Nationals.

On March 31, 2021, the Manipur Police personnel arrested 29 Myanmar nationals, including six minors, who were staying without valid documents, from Ngathal and Kawnpui villages of Churachandpur. After registering a criminal case under section 14 of the Foreigners Act, they were produced before the jurisdictional magistrate.

Consequently, they were remanded into police custody till April 7, 2021. In the meantime, the government of Manipur notified the Saadbhavana Mandop, New Lamka, Churachandpur district as a Detention Centre and detained the said Myanmar nationals there.

The petition stated that at the said Detention Centre, no food is being provided to the inmates by the jail authority. However, some philanthropic organisations catered necessary food to the inmates voluntarily. No doctors or nurses were also posted there to give medical assistance to the inmates.

Two detainees had expired due to COVID-19, while another 13 more inmates of the Detention Centre were also found to be COVID-19 positive and they were shifted to a designated Covid Care Centre at Churachandpur Government College for treatment. They were later shifted back to the Detention Centre on June 16, 2021.

On July 2, 2021, Babloo Loitongbam approached the Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) for looking into the matter, and to ensure adequate nutritious food and regular medical attention to the inmates of the Detention Centre, and to provide compensation to the next of kin of the two inmates, who expired due to COVID-19 while being detained in the Detention Centre. “However, the Commission failed to issue a concrete finding and recommendation till date,” the petition stated.

Being aggrieved by the alleged inaction of the commission, the petitioner approached the High Court of Manipur by way of filing the PIL.

When the matter was heard on November 11 by the Chief Justice, Sanjay Kumar and Justice MV Muralidaran, the court observed that the state is responsible to provide the basic amenities to the inmates, who are in the detention centre. The court issued notice to the respondent with a direction to file its reply affidavit on or before December 13.

15 Acres of Poppy Field Destroyed

A joint team of Churachandpur police led by SDPO – Churachandpur Mr Bijoykumar Singh, MPS and Executive Magistrate, Churachandpur along with District Police, 1st IRB, 36 AR, NAB, NCB and Churachandpur Divisional Forest on November 10 destroyed illegal poppy cultivation in the hillock of T.Joujang village, Tuibong Subdivision, Churachandpur.

Reports said the team destroyed the illegal poppy cultivation covering an area of about 15 acres which would have yielded about 150 Kg approximately and in thiss regard a suo moto case has been registered at Henglep PS under FIR No.3(11)2021 HLP-PS u/s 18(b)(i) ND&PS Act.

Reports further said that poppy, which is locally called Kanni or Kani, is masively planted in the hills of Henglep, Saikot and Singat Sub division of Churachandpur district.

Govt Announces Reopening of Schools, Colleges

The Manipur government on November 9 resolved to reopen educational institutions from November 10 onwards following strict SOPs. However, physical classes will be conducted for students starting from class 9 standard and above.

This was stated by education minister, Sorokhaibam Rajen during press conference held at his office chamber, Old Secretariat.

The Education Minister Rajen said the decision to resume classes was taken after observing the decreasing trend of COVID-19 positive cases in the state in the past few months and conditional relaxation of public activities granted in the state.

An Office Memorandum issued by commissioner of education (S) and higher and technology education, M Harekrishna stated that the attendance of students must not be enforced and shall be purely based on parental consent.

It also stated that teaching hours should be limited to three to four hours for both online and physical classes and no cultural or sports events will be permitted.

The specific arrangement of institutions with regard to the compliance of SOP has to be settled at the level of the Head of the School/College/Institute.

Vaccination of staff and students is encouraged. All the non-vaccinated teaching and non-teaching staff including those who got only first dose of Vaccination shall conduct RTPCR COVID 19 after every 20 days and submit the report to the Head of the Institutions.

The deputy commissioners (DC) of all the districts will constitute a District Level Task Force Committee with the concerned DC as chairman to monitor the resumption and safe operations of all educational institutions in the district and the Zonal Education Officer in the district, principals of colleges, head of Institutes as member secretary along with district chief medical officer and community leaders as members.

The District Level Task Force Committee will be responsible for assessment of COVID 19 situation, ensuring enforcement of the SOP and feasibility, stated the order.

The Schools/College/other Educational Institutions shall have to provide isolation facilities and tie up with the nearest Health Centre/Joint Director of Health service, in case of emergency and related health check-up.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on November 9 stated that physical classes for Class IX and above will be resumed within the week. He made the statement while he was launching “CM’s Civil Services Coaching Scheme 2021-22” at State Academy of Training, Takyel in Imphal West.

Civil Services Coaching Scheme Launched

Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on November 9 launched the Face-to-Face ‘CM Civil Services Coaching Scheme 2021-22’ at State Academy of Training, Takyel in Imphal West.

Since 1972, after Manipur attained statehood, the educational system has been the same in the state and the present BJP-led government wants to change and reform the system into human resource development, Biren said. Therefore, the coaching scheme for those students facing financial issue has been launched in the state, Biren added.

Stating that it was his long due dream to open such coaching scheme for higher studies or for those aspiring for Indian Administrative Services in the state, Biren encouraged students to dream big but with discipline. Without discipline no one can achieve what they want, he asserted.

Biren also informed that Olympian Park will be inaugurated soon in the state adding that statues of 16 Olympians will be kept. We are indeed very lucky and grateful that we have so many Olympians in a small state like Manipur, he added

During the programme Education Minister Rajen said the State Academy for Training is a temporary coaching centre and it will be shifted to permanent place at Iroishemba side to Don Bosco School.

The coaching centre is launched to provide facilities to students who want to give Indian Administrative Services and the chief minister has provided Rs 2.89 crore for coaching from planning department, the Minister said.

17 from Orphan Home Test COVID-19 Positive

At least 17 persons, including 16 children, from an orphan home in Churachandpur district, have tested positive for COVID-19 after they reportedly attended classes in their respective schools before the State Government re-opens the schools.

As per late November 10 report from the IDSP/CMO of Churachandpur, 17 people from an orphanage had tested positive for COVID-19 after they attended classes in their respective schools.

“The irony is that despite this, a majority of private schools were still open with some taking classes while some were organising annual sports without any feeling or regard for the pandemic,” the IDSP/CMO stated.

Reports said many private schools in the district have violated the government order not to open schools, especially below Class VIII and had been conducting classes from Class V to X for the past many weeks before the State Government announce to reopen schools, colleges and other educational institutions for classes IX and above observing SOPs.

MCPCR Celebrates 10th Foundation Day

The Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MCPCR) celebrated its 10th foundation day on November 12 at its office located at Directorate of Social Welfare Building, 2nd MR Gate.

Speaking in a press meet held at the MCPCR office chamber, MCPCR Chairperson Phurailatpam Manibabu said that the Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MCPCR) is a statutory body empowered by the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act (CPCR Act), 2005.

The Commission has been empowered to monitor the entitlement of rights and safeguard for children provided in the Constitution and laws of the country; to enquire into complaints and take suo moto notice of matter relating to deprivation and violation of child rights; non implementation of laws providing for protection and development of children and non-compliance of policy decisions; guidelines or instructions aimed at mitigating hardships to and ensuring welfare of the children and to provide relief to such children, he said.

He said, COVID-19 pandemic has affected every section of society. Schools have been closed for many months for the sake of children’s health and hygiene, he added.

Meanwhile, the Commission received complaints of children using social media on smartphones instead of focussing on their online studies, though the state government suddenly announced for resuming schools for class IX and above after many months, he said.

It is surprising that the announcement to reopen schools was made without making any preparations or giving time for cleaning up the school campuses. The chairperson said that keeping cleanliness and arranging benches to maintain social distancing is necessary even if the positive cases are going down in the state.

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