Sitting and former MPs and MLAs of the state will now be under the scanner of the Special Court (MP/MLA), Manipur for all pending cases as directed by the Manipur High Court in compliance to orders from the Supreme Court while November 7 has been fixed for bye-elections to the 30-Lilong Assembly Constituency and 34-Wangjing-Tentha Assembly Constituency.
Also during the week’s events, the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) carried out a demonstration at the Congress Bhawan for the scrapping of the three farm bills that have been passed by both houses of Parliament.
Further, cultural, religious and political gatherings with attendance of over a 100 persons have also been allowed from October 15 onwards, according to the Unlock 2.0 guidelines, while at the same time, October 2 saw a record single-day spike of 286 Covid-19 cases.
A journalist known for courting controversy, Kishorechand Wangkhem, has yet again been arrested for a post deem derogatory to communal harmony.
Special Courts to Try MPs, MLAs
Two exclusive special courts will now conduct trials of cases against former and sitting legislators MPs/MLAs as per an order to the state government from the Manipur High Court.
The courts based in Imphal at the Sessions and Magisterial level will have jurisdiction over the whole state and will be known as Special Court (MP/MLA), Manipur.
The order is in compliance with a Supreme Court order asking 25 states and union territories and the High Courts to place before it the status of cases pending against MPs and MLAs following failure of some states to provide details of pending cases.
Reports say the High Court has also directed the DGP to designate a nodal prosecution officer not below the rank of Additional Superintendent of Police to ensure production of accused persons before the respective Special Courts and execution of NBWs issued by the Courts.
The Director of Prosecution shall ensure that the reports submitted by the IOs under Section 173 CrPC shall be processed on priority basis and submitted to the Special Courts concerned and delay will amount to disobeying the order of this Court.
Special agencies such as CBI, NIA, etc. should ensure that pending investigations of criminal cases against former and sitting MPs/MLAs shall be completed as soon as possible and the reports submitted under Section 173 CrPC promptly.
They will complete all required formalities for speeding up the trial on day-to-day basis, the High Court directed and listed the PIL on October 15 for compliance of the order.
Bye-elections for two Assembly constituencies namely 30-Lilong Assembly Constituency and 34-Wangjing-Tentha Assembly Constituency will be held on November 7. Moreover, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Manipur has written on October 1 to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to conduct bye-elections in three more Assembly Constituencies of Singhat, Saitu and Wangoi.
Reports say Chief Minister N Biren has also said the State Government will appeal to the ECI to give permission for maximum seats lying vacant for conducting bye-elections.
Congress Demands Farm Bills Withdrawal
Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) members staged a protest demonstration against the three new controversial farm bills at Congress Bhawan in Imphal on October 2, terming them “anti-farmer”, according to reports.
The demonstration was part of nationwide protests against the bills which were passed in Parliament recently.
The MPCC observed ‘Kishan Mazdoor Bachao Divas’ (Save farmers and farm labourers), demanding immediate withdrawal of the bills. The sit-in protest was organised by the Kishan Congress, MPCC, reports added.
Unlock 2 and School Reopening
The State Government on October 1 has come out with the Unlock 2 guidelines, which will be in force till October 31, in response to Unlock 5.0 guidelines issued by the MHA.
Lockdown shall remain in force in containment zones till October 31 while no lockdown outside the containment zone shall be notified without prior consultation of the state government.
Reports say the government has allowed opening of schools, colleges, education institutions and coaching institutions. However, it has been notified that separate orders for reopening of the institutions will be issued giving detailed guidelines and SOP.
All hotels and restaurants have been allowed to open along with cinemas/theatres/multiplexes with up to 50 per cent of their seating capacity.
Entertainment parks and similar places will be permitted to open along with swimming pools being used for training of sportspersons from October 15 subject to SOP.
All financial institutes, private banks, insurance companies among others have been permitted and gathering of people, social/academic/sports/entertainment/cultural/religious/political functions and other congregations beyond 100 persons will be permitted after October 15.
Nemcha Kipgen Removal
Condemnations against removal of the lone woman cabinet minister from the council of ministers continue to pour in.
Condemning the removal of Nemcha Kipgen from the state cabinet, women bodies of different communities demanded the state government to provide reasons for her removal.
Reports say, the All Manipur Nupi Marup president Thingbaijam Sakhi said that dropping the lone woman minister from the ministerial post has hurt the sentiments of many women in the state.
The Directorate of Health Services, Manipur has sent a proposal to the government for installation of more automatic contactless sanitizer dispensers for all district Covid care centres as it is more effective than the handheld sanitizers.
According to the Imphal Free Press, State Health Director, Dr K Rajo has said altogether six such dispensers have been installed at the medical directorate with the increasing number of Covid positive cases among the staff.
He further stressed that automated contactless sanitizer is needed for schools and other educational institutes also.
Highest Single-day Covid Spike
A press release from the Covid-19 Common Control Room on October 2 states Manipur recorded a highest single-day Covid-19 spike with 286 cases, including 60 Central Armed Police Force (CAP) personnel.
As of October 2, Manipur now has 11,397 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 2,336 are active cases while 8,992 are recovered cases.
Meanwhile, 351 more patients have been discharged on October 2.
The total number of deaths as of October 2 was 69 while the number of people tested COVID-19 positive without travel history tally at 6614.
125th Irabat Birth Anniversary
The 125th birth anniversary of Hijam Irabat, which is to be observed for a year, began on September 30 with a function organised by Jananeta Hijam Irabat Birthday Celebration Committee at MDU Hall.
Reports said the 125th birth anniversary of Hijam Irabat falls on September 30 next year.
Kishorchandra Arrested Again
Kishorchandra Wangkhem aka Wangkhemcha Wangthoi, 41, who was earlier detained under the National Security Act in 2018, was arrested again on September 29 for communally derogatory remarks made against the Maram tribe on his Facebook post.
Reports say as soon as his anticipatory bail was rejected by Session Judge, Senapati on September 28, police arrested him in the morning of September 29 in connection with FIR registered following a complaint by the Maram Women Union to Senapati police station under section 124A/153A/505 IPC and 3(1)(r)SC and ST POA Act, 1989.