Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

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The newly opened Chivu Chandrakirti Memorial Park

Chivu Chandrakirti Memorial Park Opened; CorCom Calls Oct 15 “Black Day”; No Govt Benefits for Families with more than 4 Children; Nupi Samaj-Govt Talks Inconclusive; SC Stays Disqualification of Outer MP, Lorho; Flowers Festival at Paorei Village

Chivu Chandrakirti Memorial Park opened

Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on Friday October 14 inaugurated the Chivu Chandrakirti Memorial Park, Tonjang village and laid the foundation stone of the Manipur Southern Cultural Centre at Behiang along Indo-Myanmar border in Churachandpur district. The event was organised by the Department of Art and Culture, Manipur at the park.

CM at the Chivu stone memorial

Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren speaking as Chief Guest of the inauguration function said, “Delighted to be amongst the people of Behiang and inaugurate the Chivu Chandrakirti Memorial Park and lay the foundation stone of Manipur Southern Cultural Centre today.”

Nongthombam Biren said the government wants to develop Behiang as an international business hub like Moreh town and bring development there. There are various developmental plans for the area, he added.

Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren posted on his Facebook page, “I stood in admiration of the engraved footprints of Maharaj Chandrakirti at Behiang which is located at the Indo-Myanmar border. This stone inscription which was erected during the 1800s reminds us of our unique history. I pay my humble tributes to our heroic forefathers.”

The inscribed stone at Chivu was erected during the reign of Maharaj Chandrakirti (1850 -1886 CE) in the year 1872 CE to commemorate the Lushai Expedition. A large stone slab with a pair of engraved footprints of Maharaj Chandrakirti and General Nathan lies in front of the inscribed stone.

A stone symbolizing Lord Thangjing and his consort is also located within this complex. The total protected area is 607.50 sqm. “This site is protected under the provision of the Manipur Ancient and Historical Monuments and archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1976,” the Chief Minister Biren said.

The Manipur Southern Cultural Centre will be constructed at a project cost Rs 6 crore, and will have a museum, conference hall, cottages, amphitheatre, etc. “This cultural centre will provide a platform to showcase the unique history and culture of the people of the region,” Biren said.

Chief Minister Biren, appreciating the maintenance of forest cover in the area, said he is against mass deforestation for poppy cultivation and not against small clearances for food cultivation process. He also announced rewards for the 13 villages of the area for properly maintaining the forest cover and for declaring that there is no poppy cultivation in their area, reports added.

Manipur Media Protest Continued Threat

Mediapersons in Manipur under the banner of the All Manipur Working Journalists Union (AMWJU), Editors’ Guild, Manipur (EGM) and the Manipur Hills Journalists Union (MHJU) held a joint sit-in protest against the continued threats to freedom of the press in the state, in Imphal October 12.

Mediapersons, staging the sit-in-protest at Keishampat Leimajam Leikai Community Hall, Imphal, demanded that the media be free from all external influences in the production of news.

Reports said the protest was held following the threat to AMWJU president by members of some proscribed outfits in the state on October 10, in connection with the publication of certain stories. Fllowing the threat, all media related works in the state were put on halt with immediate effect. There has been neither news broadcast nor publications since October 10 evening.

Subsequently, an emergency meeting of all members of AMWJU, EGM and MHJU was convened on October 11 at the Manipur Press Club, Majorkhul in Imphal and resolved to organize a sit-in-protest on October 12 from 9 am till 2 pm and followed by a meeting with civil society organisations at 3 pm.

In the meeting, it was decided that any press release of conflicting groups within an organisation or news item which seems to be controversial will not be published or broadcasted from now onwards.

CorCom Observes October 15 as National Black Day with General Strike

A general strike was called by CorCom, a conglomerate of armed groups in observance of October 15 as the “National Black Day” affecting normal life in Manipur. This was the day the controversial Merger Agreement signed by Maharaja Bodhchandra of Manipur on September 21, 1949 at Shillong under duress came into force.

However, medical services, emergency services, media and religious activities were exempted from the purview of the General Strike from the midnight of October 14 till 5 pm of October 15, 2022 according to a statement of CorCom.

The statement issued by the Coordination Committee (CorCom) alleged that the Government of India unleashed all kinds of oppressive measures against the people of Manipur soon after it allegedly annexed the erstwhile independent Nation.

Subsequently, Manipuri people suffered a massive blow to its identity, economy, traditions and political life. The only way to overcome these setbacks is restoration of the lost independence of Manipur by overthrowing the alien rule, Corcom asserted.

In the last 73 years since Manipur was merged with India, Manipuri Nation has been passing through a phase of downfall in all aspects of life, the statement said.

As is common in all colonised countries, the economy of Manipur was reduced to the status of a colonial economy. The Government of India has conditioned Manipur to depend on its capital. As everything people need is bought from India, all the money sanctioned by India in the name of development goes back to India, the statement said.

As its economy is totally dependent on India, Manipur is quite vulnerable to all kinds of Indian influences. Thus all the evil and corrupt political practices of India have afflicted the people of Manipur. Economic dependence on India has created a number of issues in the State and one such foremost issue is the identity crisis, CorCom said.

In the aftermath of the alleged annexation of Manipur by India, a huge number of non-local people were sent to the State beyond its accommodative capacity and it created a serious demographic imbalance. These non-local people have now achieved the status of a minority community and they are creating an identity of their own in the name of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. Thus they are challenging the identity of indigenous people, the CorCom alleged.

Even though India has been portraying Statehood granted to Manipur as self-rule or democracy, it is not real democracy. What is seen in Manipur is a puppet Government which rules the State at the command of their masters, CorCom alleged.

No Govt Benefits For Families With More Than Four Children

The Manipur State Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on October 13, approved the establishment of the Manipur State Population Commission as an ordinance and decided that no government benefits will be provided to a family that has more than four children.

Addressing the media after the state cabinet meeting was held at the CM Secretariat, Babupara, Imphal, Information and Public Relations (IPR) Minister Sapam Ranjan informed the media that during the meeting which started at around 10 am and concluded at around 2 pm, around 50 agenda were tabled.

The IPR Minister informed that under the Manipur State Population Commission, if any father fathers more than four children from now on, no government benefits will be provided to any member of the family.

The IPR Minister further informed that the Manipur Legislative Assembly had earlier unanimously adopted as private member resolution to establish the population commission of the state. MLA Kh Joykisan had moved the issue on the assembly floor concerned over the alleged infiltration of outsiders into the state, claiming that there was a population growth of 153.3 per cent in the hill districts of Manipur from 1971 to 2001, Ranjan said.

It is said that during 2001 to 2011, the population growth increased to 250.0 per cent.

SC Stays Manipur HC Order on Dr Lorho Pfoze
MP Dr. Lorho Pfoze MPwith his team of lawyers at the SC

 

The Supreme Court on October 12 stayed the Manipur High Court’s order quashing the election of Naga People’s Front (NPF) MP, Dr Lorho S Pfoze from the Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency.

Earlier, a single bench of the Manipur High Court on September 23 sets aside Naga People’s Front -NPF’s Dr Lorho S Pfoze’s election as Outer Manipur MP following mistakes in his nomination paper and declared BJP candidate Houlim Shokhopao Mate also popularly known as Benjamin Mate of the BJP as the new MP from Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency. The order was passed by Justice MV Muralidaran while allowing Benjamin Mate’s petition declared Dr Lorho Pfoze’s election as null and void.

Challenging the order of the Manipur High Court, MP Lorho of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) moved to the apex court in the national capital. In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Lorho won with 3,63,527 votes and Benjamin stood second with 2,89,745 votes.

In an interim relief to him, a bench of Chief Justice U U Lalit, Justices Ajay Rastogi and S Ravindra Bhat stayed the operation of HC order. It directed that the MP can participate in parliament proceedings but restrained him from casting vote in the house. With the latest development, all the benefits and privileges of an MP will continue to remain with Dr Lorho except that he will not have voting rights in the Parliament.

“Thank you everyone for keeping the faith, and remembering us in your prayers all this while”, the MP expressed on his official Facebook page.

Heroin 2.654 Kg Seized

Altogether 2.654 Kgs of heroin (No 4) were seized by security forces in three separate incidents in Manipur and four individuals were arrested.

Reports said a combined team of Bishnupur commandos and troops of 16 Assam Rifles arrested one drug dealer along with 1.048 Kg of heroin at Malom Boroi Makhong along Tiddim Road on October 10. The combined team carried out frisking and checking exercise along Tiddim Road at Malom Boroi Makhong.

During the frisking and checking one car coming toward Nambol from Imphal was detained and the driver was identified as one Haobam Arun, 28, son of H Neta of Langathel Mayai Leikai. On checking the car, two polythene packets containing heroin were found concealed near the gear lever. On preliminary verification, Haobam Arun disclosed that he was a drug peddler and he brought the drug items from Machi village to sell them to prospective buyers in and around Churachandpur area. Subsequently, Haobam Arun was arrested and handed over to Nambol police station along with the seized items.

In another incident, Kakching commandos seized 1 Kg of heroin while checking a car (Eco Sport) at Pallel police check-post on October 12. The car was heading toward Imphal from Moreh. Even as the car tried to evade the police check-post, the commandos somehow detained the car and its occupants were verified. The driver was identified as Boigin Guite, 18, son of Shokhotinthang Guite of Lonpi village, staying at K Nivangphai village, Churachandpur at present while the other occupant was identified as T Lulun Simte, 28, son of T Athang Simte of Loktak Project, staying at K Nivangphai village, Churachandpur at present.

On searching their car, 75 soap cases containing heroin were detected. They were later handed over to Kakching police station along with the seized drug item.

Earlier, 606 gms of heroin were seized in the course of a search operation carried out by Kakching commandos in Pallel area on October 9.

At first, the commando team arrested one Akhup Lamkang, 60, son of Late Wangtoi Lamkang of Sibong Khudengthabi, staying at Thamlapokpi at present and seized two soap cases containing heroin from his possession. On interrogation, Akhup Lamkang disclosed that he concealed 46 soap cases in his residence at Thamlapokpi. Immediately, Kakching commandos rushed to Thamlapokpi and raided the house of Akhup Lamkang and seized the remaining 46 soap cases containing heroin. He was later handed over to Kakching police station together with the seized item, reports added.

Massive Drive Against Illegal Immigrants in Manipur

At least 48 foreign nationals have been arrested in a massive drive against illegal immigrants launched across Manipur on October 12. Fourteen persons suspected to be Bangladeshi Muslims staying without valid Inner Line Permit (ILP) were detected at Kakching Police Station jurisdiction and 10 persons were also detected by Pallel Police Station while another 24 persons suspected to be Bangladeshi Muslims or Rohingya Myanmaris were also picked up from Imphal East.

“Found insincerities amongst the communities living in Manipur by sheltering and giving fake Aadhaar Cards to illegal immigrants…,” Chief Minister Nongthomba Biren said in a Facebook Post on October 12.

Chief Minister Biren terming the sheltering of illegal immigrants in the state as the “biggest threat” to the state said, “All officials who are found involved in permitting illegal immigrants in the state will be severely dealt with.”

“We have started a Statewide Drive to root out this menace and will continue till we achieve our goal. I humbly request my beloved Citizens of the State to cooperate in this fight against the illegal immigrants,” the Chief Miinister Biren appealed.

Talks between Government and Nupi Samaj Inconclusive

The meeting between the Government led by Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren and representatives of Nupi Samaj on October 12 in regards to the Manipur Liquor Regulation Policy has failed to reach to an amicable agreement.

Lourembam Nganbi, president of Apunba Manipur Kanba Ima Lup (AMKIL), on October 13 informed the media that the meeting between the Chief Minister and 10 representatives of women organisation did not to come to an agreement regarding the Manipur Liquor Regulation Policy in Manipur.

Addressing the media at the head office of Nupi Samaj, Lamphel in Imphal West on October 13, Nganbi informed that during the meeting with the government at CM Secretariat office on October 12, she, as a representative of seven different women organisations, placed her opinion that the women organisation will never accept the legalisation of liquor. Instead, the government should put additional points in order to strengthen Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, 1991, she added.

Nganbi said that following various movements of Manipur women in the 1970s and 80s, the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, 1991, was formed. However, due to the failure of the government to fully implement the Act, the issue of liquor has been occurring for the past many years even after the Act was implemented, she added.

She also said that they urge further the government to withdraw the state cabinet decision on liquor legalization and that no machine for manufacturing liquor can be imported in the state. If the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, 1991, is implemented properly with the addition of new regulations, then with the support from various CSOs, local bodies and Imas, liquor can be banned successfully apart from manufacturing of DIC liquor for customary purpose, said Ngambi.

If the government fails to fulfil the demand of the women organisation (Imas), then Imas will start an intensified agitation, Nupi Samaj added.

Official Suspended For PMGSY Fund Misappropriation

Manipur RDPR Minister Yumnam Khemchand on October 11 said an official has been suspended in connection with a road construction work from Rengpang to Mongjaron Khullen of Nungba block under Noney district.

“In relation to the PMGSY work, Rengpang to Mongjarong Khullen (15kms), I have given my official statement and an official has been suspended today, as assured that any wrongdoing will be dealt with according to law. If any wrong doing is found, necessary action according to law will proceed,” Minister Khemchand said in a Facebook post.

The Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department in its order issued on October 11 stated that a dsiciplinary proceeding against AE, now EE (i/c), OSD to EC, RED Worthson Sareo is contemplated in relation to PMGSY work with package no, MN07159 (Road name: L029-NH-53 Rengpang to Mongjarong Khullen) under Nungba block.

The order stated that Sareo has been placed under suspension with immediate effect and until further orders. It further stated that during the period that the order will remain in force, the head quarter of Worthson Sareo should be Imphal and Sareo should not leave the headquarter without obtaining permission.

It may be mentioned that the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) on October 10 alleged that funds amounting to around Rs 1,700 crore meant for road construction was misused. The MPCC demanded action against those involved in road construction from Rengpang to Mongjaron Khullen of Nungba block under Noney district for alleged misuse of funds.

MPCC president Keisham Meghachandra alleged that funds to the tune of Rs 1,700 crore, which was released for road construction in four hill districts under PMGSY phase I and II, had been misappropriated.

First Cosmos Flowers Festival in Paorei Village

Paorei village in Manipur’s Ukhrul district organised the first-ever Cosmos Flower Festival in the state on October 14, 2022 in a bid to promote conservation of this delicately enchanting Cosmos flower and boost the village economy.

As autumn peaks through October, hilly Ukhrul in India’s Northeast State of Manipur comes alive with the beauty of cosmo flower bursting forth in full bloom in riot of colours. It is truly a welcoming sight for visitors to the district.

Paorei village is situated around 28 km away from Ukhrul headquarters. It is considered the oldest village in Manipur’s Ukhrul district and is flanked by Longpi and Lunghar village in the east; Peh or Poi in the north, Ukhrul and Halang in the south and Talui in the west.

The Paorei Village Authority said the festival was initiated to promote the rich natural beauty of the village and enhance the economic condition of the villagers through cosmos flower conservation efforts. The festival also showcased vibrant traditional and cultural displays and performances, reports said.

In the effort towards conservation and promotion of cosmos flowers, four localities of the village have started conducting cosmos competition where the most deserving locality is awarded, said Paorei village chairman Robust Pheirei.

“Our main objective was to make Paorei a cosmos village through the intervention of the state government and promote tourism,” he said, appealing to the state government to support the village initiative, reports added.

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