A forest fire at Dzuko valley suspected to be started by miscreants is spreading towards Mt Iso, while Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to the state was completed this week. Courts came out with a death verdict against a rape-murder accused and another man has been convicted for beating his wife to death, even as latest figures that have come out show there were more than two rapes in a month during the previous year in the state.
Dzuko Valley Fire
A massive wildfire raging for the past few days has engulfed a large area of Dzuko valley and is spreading towards Mount Iso, the highest peak in the state. Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren has made an aerial survey of the area.
The Mao Council in a statement has condemned those who started the fire and urged the government to penalise the culprits.
Reports said the chief minister, accompanied by chief secretary Rajesh Kumar, DGP LM Khaute and Senapati DC Th Kirankumar, have taken stock of the situation and a team comprising villagers and forest officials have also rushed to the spot backed up by 200 firefighters.
Amit Shah Visits Manipur
Home Minister Amit Shah during a visit to Imphal has launched several development projects for the state and assured that the BJP government is “fully committed” to the development of Northeast India. Amit Shah laid the foundation stones for seven major development projects and inaugurated the Thoubal Multipurpose Project dam and an e-office in Imphal East.
Reports said foundation stones were laid during a virtual event for Churachandpur Medical College, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and IT-SEZ at Mantripukhri, the state guest house Shanglen, the state police headquarters and Smart City Integrated Centre in Imphal, and Manipur Bhawan at Dwarka in New Delhi.
In a separate gathering, the COCOMI, a conglomerate of civil society organisations met the Home Minister who assured them that the Centre would not grant autonomy to any community in Manipur.
The left parties in the state, meanwhile, stated that except laying foundation stones for the new projects the Home Minister didn’t do much otherwise.
Senapati, Tml Freeze
Manipur experienced the season’s coldest temperature with the mercury falling below 2 degree Celsius on December 29 – the season’s lowest so far.
According to the climate change cell of the state Directorate of Environment and Climate Change, the minimum temperature in Manipur dipped to 1.38 degrees Celsius, while the maximum was 28.18 degrees Celsius on December 29.
Senapati on December 29 recorded the season’s lowest temperature so far at 1.38 degrees Celsius while its maximum temperature was 22.13.
In the valley, Imphal West recorded the lowest temperature of 2.72 degrees Celsius, while the maximum was 22.14 degree Celsius.
Meanwhile, Tamenglong shivered as the district received light snowfall at several places, including parts of Gadailong, Duigailong and Utopia, on December 29 morning. The district, however, recorded a higher minimum temperature of 7.92 degree Celsius while the maximum was 23.66 degree Celsius on December 29.
Policy on Climate Change Soon
A state policy on climate change will be framed soon. This was announced by Tourangbam Brajakumar, deputy director of environment and climate change while addressing the one-day district-level consultation workshop for the 2nd state action plan on climate change for Manipur (SAPCC-Version 2) beginning with Kakching district.
The Alliance for Development Alternative, Manipur (ADAM) in collaboration with the state Directorate of Environment and Climate Change organised the consultation workshop and preparation of the district environment plan (DEP) at Angaanching Eco-park Kakching.
INC Foundation Day
Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee celebrated the 136th foundation day of the Indian National Congress at Congress Bhavan in Imphal on December 28.
Congress Working Committee and All India Congress Committee member Gaikhangam, Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee president Govindas Konthoujam, party legislators, former legislators, former MPs, MPCC officials and party workers from different blocks attended the function.
Border Gate Talks
While a high level committee meeting between India and Myanmar is scheduled to be held on January 5 in Mandalay to discuss reopening of the international border at Moreh and Tamu, the district administrator of Tamu on the other hand has intimated the deputy commissioner of Tengnoupal district that the Indo-Myanmar gates No. 1 and 2 are to remain closed till January 31.
Reports said the Tamu administrator sent an official letter to his Indian counterpart in Manipur as a measure to control the spread of coronavirus.
The Indo-Myanmar border along Moreh has remained closed since March 9.
Villagers Destroy Poppy
Chief of Ngahmun Gunphaijang village Thangboi Kipgen who is also president of the Kuki National Front (KNF), along with the villagers and the village authority members have destroyed around 7 acres of poppy plantation.
Reportedly, it was for the first time in the history of War against Drugs in Manipur that a village chief with its village authority destroyed such huge acres of poppy plantation voluntarily without the participation of the state police and other authorities concerned.
Rapist-murderer Gets Death
Death sentence was awarded to a man convicted of rape and murder of his pregnant girlfriend and for causing death of the unborn child. This was the third time a death sentence was awarded to a convict in connection with crimes against women.
Reports said, Irom Chaoren Singh, 30, of Thoubal district was given the sentence for killing the woman by strangulation and submerging the body in Imphal River.
The court stated that the case was under the category of rarest of the rare.
Man Convicted for Wife’s Death
A man has been convicted of beating his wife to death in an inhumane manner.
Themmithan Phungchamnao, 42, of Ukhrul district was convicted of beating his wife Jessy Zingkhai, 32, daughter of Vareiyo Zingkhei of Kaomtang village at their residence in Narep Meizailung, Ukhrul.
The court has fixed January 13, 2021 for sentence hearing.
Crime on Women and Children
Manipur witnessed 189 cases of crime against women during the period January 1 to December 30, 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The figures were tabled on December 30 in a report by Women Action for Development (WAD) Manipur at the ‘Reflection and Way forward on Issues and Challenge with Respect to Violence against Women and Children’ programme.
Reports said the cases included 32 incidents of rape, one case of gang rape and murder, 11 cases of murder, three cases of molestation, 40 cases of brutal physical assault, two cases of gang rape, 12 cases of suicide, 11 cases of suspicious death, 17 cases of trafficking, eight cyber-crime cases, six life attempt cases, 23 missing cases, four racial attack cases, seven delivery death cases, two kidnapping cases, one attempt to sell a baby, three attempted child marriage cases, three medical negligence death cases, one attempt to rape case, one burning to death case and one abandoned case.
Masle’s Illegal Detention
The Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has directed the State Government to submit a report on why a person named Masle was illegally arrested without appropriate inquiry and why no recommendation for compensation has been made against illegal detention.
The MHRC had registered a complaint after Md Masle alias Masleuddin, 64, son of late Md Heidar Ali of Lilong Haoreibi Turel Ahanbi, Thoubal district filed a complaint against the six respondents.
Masle’s complaint stated that he has been a victim of false and fabricated cases under NDPS Act 1985 and Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988.
Disturbed Area Status
The Manipur government has extended the ‘Disturbed Area’ status to all parts of the state, except in Imphal Municipal area, for one more year with effect from December 1, 2020.
A notification issued by the Home department stated that the “Disturbed Area” tag was extended following the approval of Governor Dr. Najma Heptulla.
Churachandpur women protesters stormed the Assam Rifles post located in P Sejol village of Henglep subdivision around 11am of December 29, demanding release of two persons who had been allegedly detained without providing any reasons since December 26.
Reports said two brothers from Tuilaphai village, Awnkholun, 37, and Khomkhogin, 35, sons of one Thangneh were reportedly kept detained since December 27 after AR personnel who are under the command of Major MS Chauhan allegedly took them from home into their custody without giving any reasons.
Reports further said the women protesters stationed at Tuilaphai village since this December 29 morning blocked Tipaimukh road by burning tyres and erecting barricades. Later, they marched to the Assam Rifles post and made a forceful entry, leading to firing of three blank rounds by the AR personnel.
ATRPFM Plans Bandh
The All Tribal Rights Protection Forum Manipur (ATRPFM) has served an ultimatum to the Chief Minister and Governor of Manipur to issue a notification to conduct the ADC elections before January 5, 2021, failing which it warned to impose bandh along National Highways from January 6, 2021, in collaboration with tribal CVOs and the public.
Nupi Keithel Vendors
The Khwairamband Nupi Keithel women vendors confronted Police personnel on January 1 and attempted to open the three Nupi Keithels which have been kept closed since March 21, 2020 on the pretext of COVID-19 pandemic in India.
Reports said the women vendors asked why they are not allowed to open the market while the other markets, particularly Kwakeithel, Naoremthong, Lamlong, Hatta, Konung Mamang, Kongba and Singjamei in and around Greater Imphal are allowed to conduct normal business.