Over 9000 health workers will be vaccinated against Covid-19 in the first phase which has already begun, while there was an announcement on the reopening of schools for students of Class IX-XII. Meanwhile, the number of female voters has significantly surpassed that of males, while the Congress Party held a protest rally lending support to the farmers against the contentious farm laws. The week also saw the State Cabinet taking a decision on ADC polls.
Covid-19 Vaccination Launched
Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren launched the much-awaited Covid-19 vaccination drive in the state at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), Imphal on January 16.
The chief minister said that a total of 9,617 health care workers of the state will be vaccinated at 10 sites across the state during the first phase.
“Historic #COVID19Vaccination starts in Manipur today as it is being done all over India. 9617 health care workers of the State will be vaccinated at 10 sites all over the State in the first phase. #LargestVaccineDrive,” CM Biren tweeted.
A report said that the first beneficiary of the vaccination was an attendant at JNIMS, from Khurai in Imphal.
Classes IX-XII Reopen Jan 27
Since Manipur continues to witness a downtrend in the Covid-19 cases with no report of Covid-19 deaths for about a week now, Manipur schools are to reopen for Class IX and above from January 27 while observing SOPs. Colleges will also reopen on the same day.
Reports said the government’s decision on reopening of normal classes for Standard IX and above was taken at the State Cabinet meeting held on January 15 at Kamjong. Prior to the decision, the SOPs to be maintained for the schools were prepared by the state in line with the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Education and have already been approved by the State Cabinet. The SOPs encompass health, hygiene, safety and learning with physical and social distancing.
Full classes resumed from January 1 in the neighbouring state of Assam, and in Meghalaya from January 11.
MPCC Protest Farm Laws, Stage Rally
The Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) and its constituent committees staged a protest rally and marched towards the Governor’s bungalow on January 15 in connection with the countrywide Kishan Adhikar Divas against contentious farm laws in the country.
Reports said the protesters held placards that read, ‘No food without farmers’, ‘Save farmers, save democracy’, ‘Farmers are the backbone of our nation’, ‘Modi rules black days for farmers’, ‘Repeal anti farmer farm laws’, etc. The protesters also chanted slogans denouncing the Modi government.
The police intervened and tried to stop the protesters in front of the Congress Bhavan. However, volunteers of the Youth Congress managed to march towards the Raj Bhavan. Later, representatives of the MPCC, Youth Congress and Mahila Congress were allowed into the Raj Bhavan. However, they couldn’t meet the Governor, reports said.
Briefing the media at Congress Bhavan after the protest, CLP leader O Ibobi said that more than 70 percent of the country’s population are farmers and a major chunk of the country’s GDP is generated from agriculture.
Ibobi said the farmers have been demanding repeal of the farm laws implemented by the present government, introduction of a law on Minimum Support Price (MSP) assured by the Centre similar to the National Food Security Act and provision for more subsidised electricity to farmers.
MPCC president Govindas Konthoujam said many farmers have lost their lives while protesting against the farm laws but the Prime Minister has not given any comments or message to the farmers till date.
Female Electors Over 10 Lakhs Now
The number of female electors in Manipur has crossed 10 lakhs for the first time and is more than the number of male electors, according to the integrated final photo electoral rolls of the 60 Assembly constituencies of Manipur published by the Electoral Registration Officers (EROs).
Reports quoting Joint Chief Electoral Officer, Ramananda Nongmeikapam said the total electors as per final roll with respect to January 1 as the qualifying date is 19,58,087 and the number of electors in the draft electoral rolls is 19,21,828. Among the total electors in the final roll of the special summary session, the number of males is 9,51,409 while the number of females is 10,06,581 and the number of third gender is 97.
The commission will be issuing a free Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC) to the newly enrolled electors on January 25, which is also the 11th National Voters Day, said the joint CEO.
Reports further said e-EPIC will be launched on January 25 and it will help the electors in downloading and printing the voter card.
Cabinet Decision on ADC Polls and MHRC
The State Cabinet Meeting held on January 15 at Kamjong agreed to conduct elections to the Autonomous District Council and Urban Local Bodies, reports said. The meeting also gave approval for the strengthening of manpower allotted under the Manipur Human Rights Commission.
Reports said the Cabinet meeting approved rules governing Manipur Private Security Services for providing private security to cash transportation activities, rules for banning unregulated deposit schemes, and the Manipur Human Rights Commission Service Rules to strengthen the commission’s manpower.
The meeting also decided to celebrate the Statehood Day on January 21 with due restrictions in view of the pandemic, reports added.
CM Inaugurates 12 Projects in Hills
As part of the state government’s ‘Go to Hill’ mission, Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren made his maiden visit to Kamjong district headquarters along with his Cabinet Ministers on January 15 and inaugurated different developmental projects while also laying foundation stones for some others.
Reports said the CM was given a warm welcome after he alighted from a Bell-412 helicopter. A colourful reception was organised in his honour at Kamjong Public Ground in the newly created district.
Gold Snatching Cops Held
Four police constables posted at the Narcotics and Affairs of Border (NAB) Manipur have been sent to police custody till January 19 for allegedly snatching gold ornaments from a family on their way to the Imphal airport on January 10, 2021.
Chief Judicial Magistrate of Imphal West on January 14 remanded the four police constables to six days’ police custody till January 19.
Reports said the four constables are Tongbram Dhanabir of Govindagram Nambol, Sapam Thansuwang of Yumnam Huidrom Makha Leikai, Nameirakpam Sanjoy of Kiyamgei Mamang Leikai and Sagolsem Sandhyarani Devi of Wangoi Bazar.
The four were arrested by the Singjamei police on January 13, 2021, after a complainant Nahendra Chinnaiya of Moreh lodged a report to OC Singjamei that gold ornaments belonging to him and his family members were snatched away by four unknown persons while on their way to the Imphal airport.
AMWJU Condoles Senior Ex-editor
The All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union on Thursday expressed condolence over the demise of former editor of Eastern Standard daily newspaper, Shorokhaibam Nailendra of Nagamapal Singjubung Leirak on January 13.
A condolence message sent out by the union stated that senior journalist Nailendra who took an active role in formation of AMWJU and establishing Manipur Press Club was also the second general secretary of the union.
34 Crore Drugs Disposed
Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren disposed pre-trial drugs and psychotropic substances worth Rs. 34,12,09,910 in the international market seized by Narcotics and Affairs of Border (NAB) and Manipur Police at Pungdongbam Chingmang in Imphal East district on January 14 by setting the drugs on fire in the presence of Ministers, MLAs, high ranking police officers, media persons, villagers and local leaders.
Reports said the contraband items disposed of were Heroin powder (2.27 kg), Ganja (273 kg), 5,80,853 WY tablets, 1,22,696 SP capsules and 530 N-10 tablets. These were seized by NAB, Thoubal, Bishnupur, Noney, Senapati, Imphal West and Imphal East district police.
Drivers Day Observed
The All Manipur Road Transport Drivers’ and Motor Workers’ Union observed the 32nd Drivers’ Day honouring and commemorating the deceased drivers at its office located at MG Avenue, Imphal on January 14.
Reports said the General Secretary of the Union, Anil Maimom stated during the observation that drivers have been playing a big role in Manipur society. They do not have any enemies and are serving the people by transporting essential commodities. Nonetheless, they are victimised by highway looters and harassed by both armed and unarmed highway looters, he said.