Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

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Manipur cabinet on December 6, 2023 decided to lift prohibition of liquor in the state promulgated since 1991

Liquor Prohibition Lifted from Manipur; Nupi Samaj and CADA Oppose; Slain 13 Laid at Andro Tarungthel; NSCN (IM) Reiterates Naga Integration

Despite the demands raised for stronger prohibition by the Coalition Against Drugs and Alcohol (CADA) and All Manipur Women’s Social Reformation and Development Samaj (Nupi Samaj), Manipur has government issued a gazette notification, lifting the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act in some areas of the state on December 6.

The gazette notification mentioned that under the proviso to sub-section (2) of section 1 of the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, 1991 (Manipur Act. No. 4 of 1991), the Governor of Manipur “hereby withdraws the said Act from the areas of Greater Imphal, district headquarters, tourist locations in the state and registered hotel establishments with not less than 20 lodging rooms.”

Although the decision provides for legalisation of production, manufacture, possession, export and import, transport, purchase, sale and consumption of liquor, Chakpa villages are not covered in the new government notification.

Chakpa villages like Sekmai, Andro and Phayeng are known for production of unique local brew.

Nupi Samaj and CADA Oppose Prohibition Lifting

The All Manipur Women’s Social Reformation and Development Samaj (Nupi Samaj) and Coalition Against Drugs and Alcohol (CADA) has strongly opposed the Manipur Cabinet’s resolution to legalise liquor in the state.

Speaking to the media in a press meet held on December 5 at CADA office, Nupi Samaj President Thokchom Ramani said that while the people of Manipur are mourning the loss of their near and dear ones due to the prevailing violence in Manipur, and the State government is concerned about the production of liquor.

Slain 13 Laid at Andro Tarungthel

Manipur mourned the death of 13 Meiteis mostly youths including teenagers in a tragic incident that occurred on December 4 near Leithao village in Tengnoupal district felling victim to a ruthless massacre by suspected Kuki militants.

Despite Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren’s recent claims of peace and BJP Manipur’s celebration of election victories in other states, the stark reality in the state has ignited widespread anger among the people mourning the death of the 13 youths. Many perceive the incident as obvious example of a lawless state under Biren-led BJP government.

The mortal remains of the 13 youths including minors were brought at Andro Tarungthel for burial after postmortem at Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), Porompat in Imphal East. They have been laid to rest at Andro Tarungthel on December 5.

The 13 individuals are identified as Konjengbam Meghachandra, 47, son of Konjengbam Bimolchandra of Sagolband Nepra Menjor of Imphal West district; Ningthoujam Tomba, 24, son of Ningthoujam Shyam of Kumbi Salam Konjil Part-2 of Bishnupur district; Oinam Loken, 43, son of Oinam Shyamkeshor of Sagolband Nepra Menjor of Imphal West district; Thingnam Rocky, 25, son of Thingnam Tomba of Torbung Bazar Mamang Leikai of Bishnupur district; Chingakham Nethei aka Roshan, 17, son of Chingakham Surchandra of Andro Tarungthel of Imphal East district; Mayengbam Roshan, 25, son of Mayengbam Thoiba of Wangbal Lamboithong of Thoubal district; Moirangthem Kingson, 39, son of Moirangthem Kingkong of Khurai Puthiba Leikai of Imphal East district; Chongtham Lamdainganba aka Chingu aka Ibungo, 23, son of Chongtham Manihar of Sabungkhok Khunou Awang Leikai of Imphal East district; Sougaijam Krishnakanta, 20, son of Sougaijam Surchand of Kakching Turel Wangma Ningthem Pareng Leikai of Kakching district; Meisnam Sanajaoba, 22, son of Meisnam Shyamkanhai of Yairipok Kak Mayai Leikai of Thoubal district; Pheiroijam Malemnganba, 18, Pheiroijam Manglem of Irengband Hawailou Laimaya of Kakching district; Laishram Arun aka Sanathoi, 17, son of Laishram Ibohal of Khoidum Makha Leikai of Kakching district.

Their bodies were swiftly transported to JNIMS Morgue on Monday night (December 4), with post-mortem conducted after family identification on Tuesday, December 5.

Grieving families, collectively deciding on funeral arrangements, opted for burial at Andro Tarungthel in Imphal East. The procession paid homage, giving a hero’s salute as candles and Meiras illuminated the route from JNIMS to Andro via Thoubal.

Violence Getting Genocidal: MPCC

Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) on December 6 extended condolences over the death of 13 unarmed youths who were massacred allegedly by Kuki militants near Leithao village in Tengnoupal district.

MPCC President Keisham Meghachandra extended his condolences and alleged the Central government of remaining silent on the conflict which has crossed over seven months in Manipur. The conflict is more likely a genocidal mission, he said, questioning for how long the people of Manipur will survive in such a scenario.

Talking to the media at Congress Bhavan, Meghachandra said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Home Minister Amit Shah has not uttered a single word against the recent murder of 13 Manipuri youths at a place which is in the close proximity of Assam Rifles’ Post in Tengnoupal district.

NSCN (IM) Reiterates Naga Integration

The solution to the Indo-Naga political peace process must include the whole Naga area or it will never be accepted by the Nagas, General Ningkhan Shimray – MC, VC, Longvibu Naga Army said on December 6.

Addressing the ‘People’s Consultative Meeting on Indo-Naga Political Peace Process’ at the Mini Stadium, Apollo ground in Tamenglong district, General Ningkhan Shimray said that the Nagas will never sell their birthrights for a piece of meal and that the solution is for the whole Naga areas.

“Our solution is for the whole Nagas area. We will not accept any other solution if not for the integration of the Nagas”, the Naga leader said.

The General of the Naga Army also said that the Government of India recognizes the uniqueness and the sovereignty of the Nagas and to cover the whole Nagas areas, PAN HOHO came. Five Prime Ministers of India have already said that the Nagas have every right to be independent because of their unique history, he said, adding that the Nagas made it clear that they will never be a part of India even by consent, compress or any forces.

SC Gives Three Options to Manipur Students

In a plea for relocating 284 students affected by the Manipur violence to different Central Universities where they could continue their studies, the Supreme Court on December 4 provided three options for the students to attend classes at Manipur University online; to attend the Assam University, Silchar or to attend North East Hill University, Shillong.

The bench comprising CJI DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra stated that it would direct the committee led by Justice Gita Mittal to explore better administrative decisions to aid the situation of the students.

At the outset, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the court that nodal officers had been appointed to assess the availability of courses students wished to continue in the University of Manipur itself and facilitate arrangements for students to attend classes.

The Solicitor General also highlighted that an option for online classes was suggested for those unable to relocate physically.

However, CJI DY Chandrachud expressed concerns about the quality of online education and emphasised the need for a sense of normalcy in the lives of these students who have fled in violence.

SG Mehta asserted that there was no way of knowing which student had genuinely fled violence. He stated that it was extremely difficult to get admission in a Central University and there may be students who relocate to a different state simply to join a better University.

Thus, CJI suggested for accommodation in closer universities, Assam University and North East Hill University.

“Any other grievance can be raised before the committee led by justice Gita Mittal. She will engage with the state administration regarding this and any other option submitted to us will be considered. The process of relocation shall be carried out in two weeks upon such requests made. Manipur University shall ensure that above exercise does not impede the students from receiving degree for their course of studies”, stated the bench.

It may be recalled that the SC had constituted a panel of three women judges to oversee the humanitarian works for the victims of Manipur violence. The panel is led by Justice Gita Mittal.

Eastern Command Chief Calls On Manipur Governor

IPS Probationers of 2021 and 2022 Batch and Lt General RP Kalita GOC-In-Chief of Eastern Command called on the Governor of Manipur, Anusuiya Uikey at the Raj Bhavan on Wednesday (December 6) on separate occasions and discussed the prevailing situation of the state.

According to a release from the Raj Bhavan, IPS Probationers of 2021 and 2022 Batch – Abhinav, Dharmendra Kumar, Gaurav Dogra and Prakhar Pandey called on the Governor at Raj Bhavan, Imphal where they were extended warm welcome.

In light of the prevailing situation in the state, Uikey informed about the various initiatives taken up by her office to bring amicable solutions between both the communities in conflict. She also advised the IPS probationers to understand the present situation of the state, the release stated.

A Cache of Arms and Ammunition Recovered

Police in restive Manipur recovered a cache of arms and ammunition today in a joint operation with central security forces in the fringe area of Imphal East district. The recovered arms and ammunition were three SMG carbines with empty magazines, 15 HE 36 hand grenades without detonator, six WP smoke grenades without detonator, 18 two inches (2”) mortar HE bombs and six 75 MK-2 detonators, police said.

The cache or arms was discovered during a cordon and search operation at hill range of Nongshum and Khamenlok areas under Sagolmang police station of Imphal East district bordering Kangpokpi district.

Govt’s Silence Condemned

Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader and former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi on December 7 condemned the Central and State government for allegedly being silent spectators of the ongoing violence in Manipur.

The former Manipur Chief Minister was speaking as a chief guest at the 29th death anniversary of former minister Moirangthem Ibotombi organised by Moirangthem Ibotombi Memorial Charitable Trust at Wangjing Kodompokpi sports complex.

Ibobi strongly condemned both the governments for “failing to revive peace in the state and bring peace between the two warring communities of the state.” But the government has been shouting that normalcy has started returning in the ongoing violence of the state.

He appealed to the government to let the displaced people taking shelter in the relief camps to return back to their respective homes as it has been seven months since the violence started in the state.

Poppy Destroyed In Ukhrul

A combined team of security forces destroyed approximately 60 acres of poppy cultivation area at Khamasom village, Ukhrul district on December 6, according to a release issued by the Police Control Room, Manipur Police on December 7.

The release also stated that the situation in the State was under control during the last 24 hours. The movement of 341 and 296 vehicles along NH-37 and NH-2 respectively with essential items have been ensured. Strict security measures are taken up in all vulnerable locations and a security convoy is provided in sensitive stretches in order to ensure free and safe movement of the vehicles, it added.

The release mentioned that a total of 146 Nakas/Checkpoints were installed in different Districts of Manipur, both in the hill and the valley and Police detained 395 persons in connection with violations in different districts of the State.

State BJP Celebrates Victory in Three States

The BJP Manipur Pradesh celebrated the victory in Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh at party’s office, Thambal Shanglen at Nityaipat Chuthek in Imphal on December 3. The celebration was led by Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren.

Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren has said that the BJP will secure all the Parliamentary seats in Manipur in the 2024 elections and help Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Government retain power at the Centre for the third consecutive term.

Kangpokpi Celebrates Lalduhoma’s Victory In Mizoram

Ahead of Zoram People’s Movement leader Lalduhoma taking oath as the next Chief Minister of Mizoram, the Kuki-Zo bodies of Kangpokpi district celebrated his jubilant victory in the recently concluded Mizoram election.

Congratulating the ZPM leader and his party on clinching a history victory, the Kangpokpi Town Committee, the Kangpokpi Women Welfare Organisation, and the Kangpokpi Youth Union organised a simple celebration party at the office of the town committee office on December 8.

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