Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

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Former Chairman of UNLF speaking at the 27th Death Anniversary observation of NK Sanajaoba

Lamyanba NK Sanajaoba Remembered; Rs 15,499 Crore Road Development Project for Manipur; Escaped Undertrial Prisoner Nabbed; Former MDS Project Director’s Assets Attached; Manipur Government Inks MoU with Infosys

The 27th death anniversary of NK Sanajaoba, founder Editor of Manipuri monthly journal “Lamyanba” published by Pan Manipuri Youth League (PANMYL) and pioneer investigative journalist of Manipur was observed on November 11 at Singjamei Kshetri Leikai, Imphal under the aiges of NK Sanajaoba Memorial Trust.

During the observance, rich floral tributes were paid to NK Sanajaoba, who is regarded as the pioneer of investigative journalism in Manipur.

Speaking at the observance, former Chairman of United National Liberation Front (UNLF) R K Meghen aka Sanayaima has stated that contemporary Manipur needs outspoken journalists like NK Sanajaoba who didn’t hesitate to report the truth and wrongdoings of the society.

Noting that investigative journalism was not widely prevalent in India when NK Sanajaoba started working as an investigative journalist, Meghen said Sanajaoba’s writings through the column, ‘Yukhal Marumda’ in Lamyanba journal exposed corruption and other wrongdoings in the society.

Further, Meghen stated that Sanajaoba didn’t get any salary and maintenance fee while he was the Editor of Lamyanba and did his service purely in the interest of Manipur.

Saying that the Government of the time frequently intimidated him for revealing their misdeeds and corrupt activities, Meghen stated that Sanaojaoba was not just a journalist but also a leader of Manipur. “Sanajaoba always stood for the truth,” he added.

Maintaining that occasional imprisonment and police brutality failed to suppress the voice of the late journalist, Meghen stated that Sanajaoba was also a fluent writer who captivated the eyes of the readers.

“Every time Sanajoaba was sent to prison, he wrote about the mismanagement of the jail when he came out,” Meghen added.

“While Sanajaoba was in prison, he protested against the ill treatments of prisoners along with his inmates,” he said and added that the late journalist even took out a nude protest whilst in a prison at Jiribam.

Meghen said that Sanajaoba, unfortunately, lived a sad life in the last years of his life due to the restriction imposed on publishing Lamyanba.

He also stressed the need to make the people aware of Sanajaoba’s ideas and what he wanted in the society instead of simply holding the observance.

Sanajaoba took vital role in popularising Manipuri language when Sanskrit and Bangla languages were widely in use among the educated section of the society at that time; Meghen recounted and described Sanajaoba as a man of integrity who dreamed of a united Manipur.

Manipur Cultural Integration Conference vice president Ahongshangbam Birendra; Lamyanba NK Sanajaoba Ningshing Thoupang Lup chairman Waikhom Nageshwor; NK Sanajaoba Memorial Trust Vice-Chairman Sh Shamu; All Manipur Women’s Social Reformation and Development Samaj (Nupi Samaj) President Thokchom Ramani; Apunba Manipur Kanba Ima Lup (AMKIL) President Lourembam Nganbi; South East Youth Organization President K Devananda Sharma; Pebiya Pandit Leikai Youth Development Organization President Dr I S Nongmeikapam and Mongkhanglambi Modern Club Vice President Lokendra Soibam among others also attended the programme.

Rs 15,499 Crore Road Development Project for Manipur

Various road development projects measuring a total length of 655 Km with a cost of Rs 15,499 crore are in the pipeline. Work for some projects had already been started while other projects will be started as soon as the approval is accorded.

Reports said the projects included elevated corridor throughout the Imphal City (25 Km costing Rs 3692 crore), 2-Laning with paved shoulder from Imphal-Kakching Lamkhai via Mayang Imphal on NH-137A (45 Km with a cost of Rs 910 crore), 2-Laning with paved shoulder from Shanshak to Tengnoupal on NH-39 (202 Km costing Rs 3130 crore), 2-Lane from Akash Bridge to Jessami Pkg-2 (14 Km with a project cost of Rs 152 crore), 2-Lane Imphal to Jiribam Pkg-7 (36.40 Km costing Rs 760 crore), 2-Lane Ukhrul-Toloi-Tadubi Pkg-3 (31 Km costing Rs 315 crore), 4-Lane Imphal to Senapati Pkg-4B (12.39 Km costing Rs 268 crore), 4-Lane Imphal to Senapati Pkg-5B (10.7 Km costing Rs 228 crore), 2-Lane Ukhrul-Toloi-Tadubi Pkg-2 (41.4 Km costing Rs 594 crore), 2-Lane Yaingangpokpi-Finch Corner-Ukhrul-Jessami-Laiyne Bridge Pkg-5 (42 Km costing Rs 540 crore), 2-Lane Yaingangpokpi-Finch Corner-Ukhrul-Jessami-Laiyne Bridge Pkg-6 (42 Km costing Rs 518 crore), 2-Lane Yaingangpokpi-Finch Corner-Ukhrul-Jessami-Laiyne Bridge Pkg-7 (11 Km costing Rs 199 crore), 4-Lane Imphal to Moirang (36.78 Km costing Rs 2169 crore), 2-Lane Ukhrul-Toloi-Tadubi Pkg-1 Bypass (7 Km costing Rs.258 crore) and 2-Lane Mao to Senapati (98 Km costing Rs 1766 crore).

The implementing agency for the first two projects mentioned above is the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) while the implementing agency for the remaining projects is National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL).

The Projects were finalised in a review meeting chaired by Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Ghadkari and Union Minister of State in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways General VK Singh on National Highway Projects in North East Region held at Guwahati on November 11 where Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren attended.

With all these road development projects taken up, the road connectivity across the state will be considerably improved, reports added.

ED Attaches Former MDS Project Director’s Assets

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached the properties worth Rs 3.21 crore belonging to former project director of Manipur Development Society (MDS), Yambem Ningthem under the anti-money laundering law in a case linked to embezzlement of government funds.

The attached properties include immovable properties worth Rs 3.04 crore and an amount of Rs 8,20,000 available in various bank accounts. The ED had earlier frozen 11 different bank accounts on November 25, 2021 related to the accused with a balance amount of Rs 41,53,489.

“Enforcement Directorate (ED) has provisionally attached immovable and movable properties worth Rs 3.12 crore belonging to former project director Yambem Ningthem and his associates in connection with an investigation into a money laundering case involving the Manipur Development Society’s massive fund embezzlement,” said the ED in a statement.

The statement said ED initiated investigation on the basis of the FIR on September 9, 2017 lodged by Imphal West Police under various sections of IPC,1860 and section 13(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, against officials of MDS and other individuals with an allegation of misappropriation of MDS funds to the tune of more than Rs 169 crore.

Sangai Festival 2022 Theme Song Launched

The Sangai Festival 2022 theme song, titled “Manipur” sung by renowned Manipuri folk music artist Mangka Mayanglambam and her team, was launched by Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren November 8 at the CM Secretariat in Imphal.

Addressing the media on the occasion, Chief Minister M Biren stated that the Sangai Festival is a beautiful festival, which could be brought up to international level if wide publicity is given. After a gap of two years, this time, the Sangai Festival 2022 is being planned to be organised in a bigger way, with various events organised at 13 venues across the state.

Stating that a large cultural exchange programme would be organized at Makhel as a part of the festival, the Chief Minister informed that the people of Ahom and Nagaland would be invited to attend the festival. Arrangements are also being made to organize events at Behiang and Khoupum and other places apart from the main venue at the Sangai Ethnic Park, Moirang Khunou at the periphery of the habitat of Sangai, he added.

Appreciating Mangka and her team for coming up with the beautiful Sangai Festival theme song, he informed that the video for the theme song would also be launched soon. He further appealed to the media persons to give wide publicity of the theme song in order to attract tourists, reports added.

Escaped Undertrial Prisoner Nabbed

An under trial prisoner, Ningthoujam Gandharaj who was brought to Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Science (JNIMS) for medical treatment on November 8 escaped from the custody of the securities inside the JNIMS Hospital complex.

However, surprisingly, he was later after a high drama hectic search arrested inside the campus of Superintendent of Police of Imphal East district which located at a distance of about 850 metres from JNIMS.

Reports said he was found hiding inside the campus of SP, Imphal East district, on top of a water storage tank which is located adjacent to JNIMS hospital on the eastern side.

The prison guards said Ningthoukhongjam Gandharaj Singh, 21, of Kumbi of Bishnupur district was reportedly found trying to hang himself inside the cell of Manipur Central Jail, Sajiwa in Imphal East on November 8 morning, reports added.

Centre Releases Revenue Deficit Grant Rs 192.50 Crore To Manipur

The Union Government of India on November 7 released the eighth monthly instalment of Post Devolution Revenue Deficit (PDRD) Grant of Rs 7183.42 crore to 14 states, including Rs 192.50 crore for Manipur as per the 15th Finance Commission recommendation.

The Fifteenth Finance Commission recommended a total Post Devolution Revenue Deficit Grant of Rs 86,201 crore to 14 states for the financial year 2022-23. The 14 states are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal.

The Department of Expenditure under the Union Finance Ministry recommended grant to the recommended states in 12 equated monthly instalments.

With the release of the eight instalment for the month of November 2022, the total amount of Revenue Deficit Grants released to the states in 2022-23 has gone up to Rs 57467.33 crore, including Rs 1,540 for Manipur.

The Post Devolution Revenue Deficit Grants are provided to the states under Article 275 of the Constitution. The grants are released to the states as per the recommendations of the successive Finance Commissions to meet the gap in Revenue Accounts of the states post devolution.

The eligibility of states to receive this grant and the quantum of grant for the period from 2020-21 to 2025-26 was decided by the Fifteenth Finance Commission based on the gap between assessment of revenue and expenditure of the state after taking into account the assessed devolution during this period.

The eighth monthly instalment of PDRD Grant amount for 2022-23 released for other Northeast states are: Assam – 407.50, Nagaland, Tripura – 368.58, Sikkim – 36.67, Meghalaya – 86.08, and Mizoram – 407.50

Tingkao Ragwang Kalum Kai Inaugurated at Ragailong

Tingkao Ragwang Kalum Kai at Ragailong in Imphal East was inaugurated on November 8 by Manipur Assemby’s Hill Areas Committee Chairman Dinganglung Gangmei aka Dipu Gangmei.

Speaking at inauguration of the Kalum Kai (house of worship), Dipu Gangmei said a person should never portray his or her identity as defined by others but should depict or present themselves as whom they really are as per the perspective of cultural and tradition inherited from their fore-fathers that one should “Be proud of your own culture and tradition.”

General Secretary of Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak Phom (TRCP), AMN Chaoba Kamson, in his speech said the impressive house of worship of Tingkao Ragwang is designed and constructed based on the model of traditional ornamented ritual house (Taraang Kai) of Kabui Rongmei community for regular worship on every Sunday and every full moon day for preservation, protection and promotion of indigenous TRC religion.

Narrating the history of the Kabui Rongmei community, Chaoba Kamson added that the construction of temple culture was neither traditional nor prevalent in olden days.

The inauguration function was attended by permanent invitee of TRCP (AMN) Kadum Kamson as president; president of TRCP Ragailong Longmei Pouvharel as chief host; while MLA Thangjam Arunkumar; former minister O Henry; vice-president of ABV Kalyan Ashram Ma Satyendra Singh; nampou of Ragailong Pei Golthangmei Kakhangai and namgakpou of Ragailong Pei Kamei Gaingamlung Kabui as guests of honour.

Heroin Seized From Vehicle, Driver Escaped

A team of Narcotics and Affairs of Border (NAB) seized 40 soap cases of heroin powder weighing around 665 grams in total from B Vengnom near a Community hall around 5.30 am on November 7.

Reports said the NAB team while conducting frisking and checking at B Vengnom near community hall, Churachandpur district gave a signal to stop a white coloured Borelo Pick Up having registration number AS11DC2032 for verification.

On seeing the signal, the driver fled away leaving the vehicle with the key. The police team chased him but he managed to escape among the crowd.

As many as 40 soap cases containing suspected Heroin powder in small plastic pouches were found inside the concealed compartment weighing about 665 grams, including the weight of the transparent plastic pouches. The vehicle along with the suspected heroin powder was seized in presence of independent witnesses, reports added.

Myanmar National Impersonating Dead Person in Manipur Arrested

At least two persons from Khuljang road near Chakpikarong, Chandel district in Manipur, including a Myanmar national, have been arrested for impersonating and using Aadhaar of a dead person and another for assisting in the illegal immigrant to enter India.

Reports said a team of 37 Assam Rifles of Shalluk in Chakpikarong subdivision on November 7 handed them over to Chakpikarong police station. The arrested persons have been identified as one Lenkhenmang Mate, 26, son of Doujatong Mate of Tuivang village in Myanmar and Letminthang Baite, 30, son of L Ngamlet Baite of Charongching village, Chandel district – the latter was arrested on the charge of assisting the Myanmar national to enter India from Khengjang Village near Molcham Police Station, Chandel District.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (Intelligence) (range II), Ningshen Worngam told media at Officers’ Club, 1st Battalion Manipur Rifles, Babupara on November 9 that during preliminary investigation by Chandel district Police it has been found that Lenkhenmang was holding an Aadhaar card named as Holkholal, 38, son of Tongkhotahang of Khengjang Village, Chandel District, which was not his real name.

DIG Ningshen said Holkholal had passed away in May 2019 and Lenkhenmang was impersonating Holkholal by possessing the Aadhaar card of the deceased person to aid in his illegal border trading or business.

Manipur Government Inks MoU with Infosys

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Department of Education, government of Manipur and Infosys Ltd on implementation of Infosys Springboard at the cabinet hall of CM Secretariat on November 9.

Reports said the MoU, meant to promote education system through technology, was signed between commissioner of Education (S), Gyan Prakash; Director of Education (S), L. Nandakumar and Head of Corporate Aaffairs of Infosys Ltd, Santhosh Ananthapura and Senior Vice President of Infosys Ltd Thirumala Arohi, in the presence of Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren; Education Minister Thounaojam Basantakumar; MLA of Patsoi Assembly Constituency, Sapam Kunjakeswor (Keba) and Khumukcham Jibon.

Addressing the media, CM Biren extended his gratitude to Infosys Ltd for the new venture that has to be taken up under the Corporate Social Responsibility Scheme of the company. He continued that the state has already adopted NEP but there is a need for full implementation. As such, this Infosys Springboard Scheme would surely help in implementing NEP effectively. Under this project that is worth around Rs 25 crore, tablets would be provided to as many as 1000 students studying in government schools in the first phase. It will cater to all the government schools in a phase wise manner, the CM added.

Reports said the programme will be delivered online virtually by Infosys experts and in addition, teachers can up-skill themselves. Infosys Springboard also empowers students through the present scheme of Student to learn by doing and develop holistically in preparation for emerging jobs and career opportunities; teaches to better collaborate with learners on their skilling journey using the platform’s engagement features; motivating to learn; leveraging the Teacher-Student relationship; Just-in-time Learning, etc.

CEO Manipur Announces Draft Photo Electoral Rolls

Manipur Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Agrawal on Novemver 9 at CEO Complex, Lamphelpat in Imphal announced the publication of the Draft Photo Electoral Rolls of all the Assembly Constituencies of Manipur, as per the schedule fixed by the ECI.

The Special Summary Revision (SSR), with respect to January 1, 2023 as the qualifying date, was released along with the all new “The Trend” campaign under SVEEP with the sole objective of giving maximum awareness to the electors.

There is a total of 20,43,156 electors (9,88,704 males, 10,54,245 females and 207 third genders) as per Draft roll with respect to January 1, 2023 as the qualifying date and the sex ratio is 1066.

Looking to the number of electors as per final roll with respect to January 1, 2022 as the qualifying date, Manipur witnessed a total of 8,192 new voters (3,585 males, 4,606 female and 1 transgender) in the Draft roll with respect to January 1, 2023 as the qualifying date.

The Elector to Population Ratio as per the draft roll is 56.94 (55 male, 50 female and 0 transgender). Imphal East, Bishnupur and Chandel have the highest EP ratio with having 65 each, while Kangpokpi and Senapati have the lowest EP ratio with having 35 and 40 respectively. The EP ratio of Imphal West is 61; 63 for Thoubal; 60 for Jiribam; 52 for Chandel; 51 for Ukhrul; and 58 for Tamenglong.

According to the CEO, Manipur, the EP ratio of Kangpokpi and Senapati is low as the commission is unable to find enough voters as the census date of the two districts is disputed.

If Kangpokpi and Senapati is removed, the EP ratio of Manipur is 61.5 per cent which is very near to the normal (good) EP ratio of 63-64 per cent, he said adding that the SSR will give its best to ensure that the state cross the line of the good EP ratio.

Informing that 75 per cent of voters have linked their Aadhaar, he said that linkages of Aadhaar card will continue during the SSR besides collecting the mobile no of the voters (no mandatory) so that every voter can be notified about the updates of any election process.

To ensure ‘no duplicate voters’ and that a voter is registered only in one constituency, the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Manipur is set to launch an exercise to check photo similar entries of voters for the whole state of Manipur.

“We are also trying to do photo similar entry exercises to examine voters having similar photographs to check for duplicate entries or voters’ appearance in two constituencies,” said CEO Manipur Rajesh Agrawal. During a similar exercise conducted in the 2022 Manipur election, as many as 8,000 duplicate name entries in the voter list were deleted, he added.

Illegal Migrant Found Hiding For Nine Years

A team of Heingang police station arrested an illegal migrant from Telangana, who had been hiding for the last nine years without an Inner line permit by marrying a local girl from Kairang Chingya, Imphal East district on November 10.

Reports said the arrested person has been identified as one Rihan Khan, 45, son of late Md Abdulla Khan of Dyancharam, KV, Telangana. Police reported that Rihan has been hiding at Kairang Chingya, Imphal East without possessing any ILP permit or relevant documents. He, however, had married a local girl, Saniya Choudary, 30, daughter of Fazal Choudary from Kairang Chingya.

Rihan was detected by the police during an ILP drive conducted in the Kairang Chingya area. As Rihan failed to produce an ILP permit or any relevant documents, the police team arrested Rihan under section 3 of Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.

Non-Local Gets MBBS Seat at RIMS Under OBC (Meitei-Pangal)

A non-local was found allotted an MBBS/BDS seat at RIMS under the OBC (Meitei-Pangal) category, the All Manipur Muslim Organisations Co-ordinating Committee (AMMOCOC) said on November 10 and demanded allotment of that particular seat to a genuine Meitei-Pangal.

During a counselling for MBBS/BDS conducted by the Health Department on October 21-22, a total of 33 students were allotted seats for MBBS at RIMS (five), JNIMS (14), Churachandpur Medical College (nine) and Shija (five).

Of the total five seats allotted for RIMS, three are unreserved while two are reserved for OBC (M-P). Likewise, of the 14 seats at JNIMS, nine are unreserved and five for OBC (M-P); for the CMC, one is unreserved and nine are for OBC (M-P) and for the Shija, all the five are for OBC (M-P).

Of the two seats of OBC (M-P) reserved at RIMS, one of the seats was allotted to a non-local, alleged secretary general AMMOCOC Wahidur Rehman while speaking to the media at its office at Hatta in Imphal East.

He informed that the non-local was selected under the unreserved category. However, the non-local was allotted the seat under the OBC (M-P) category.

Stating that the four per cent reservation policy for the Meitei-Pangal was obtained after a long struggle taken up by the Meitei-Pangal with the principle to uplift the minority community and make an egalitarian society, he said, “Snatching of the reservation rights by a non-local is not acceptable.” Such an untoward action arose due to the negligence of the OBC certificate issuing authority, he said, drawing the attention of the state government to initiate legal action against those perpetrators.

Demanding the allotment of the said OBC (M-P) seat to a genuine Meitei-Pangal student, the secretary general threatened to take up agitations by joining hands with other like-minded groups if the state government fails to comply with their demands.

Separate Grant For Sanamahi Temple Board

To promote and conserve Sanamahism, the Manipur government will try to earmark a separate annual grant for Lainingthou Sanamahi Temple Board, similar to Govindajee Temple Board, from the state annual budget, Lainingthou Sanamahi Temple Board vice president Lourembam Rameshwor said on November 11.

Lourembam Rameshwor, who is also the chairman of State Planning and Development Authorities, was speaking during the closing ceremony of ‘15-Day Workshop on Rite-De-Passage of Sanamahism (Sanamahi Lingning gi Pokpa, Luhongba amasung Korou Nonggabgi Thouramsing)’ held at Lainingthou Sanamahi Sanglen, Hayingkhongban in Imphal West near 1st Manipur Rifles southern gate.

He said that there is no platform for the Meitei community to gather like others and due to this, the community is facing difficulties in development too. Hence, he appealed to the people to cooperate with each other for the development of Sanamahism, reports said.

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