Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

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Train reaches Vangaichungpao in Tamenglong

Manipur Curfew Extended till July 10 with More Relaxations; Train Reaches Vangaichungpao in Tamenglong; AMWJU, EGM Flay Attack on Media

Curfew extended to July 10

The Manipur Government on June 30 extended the curfew for 10 more days till July 10 with more relaxations by observing that the COVID-19 situation in the state has improved compared to what it was in May.

As per the order, agriculture activities, horticulture activities, shops and establishments dealing with inputs like fertiliser, seeds, pesticides, mechanical tools etc. will be permitted.  Government offices of Agriculture and Horticulture departments, NREGA activities, Stationery shops and Opticians outside Thangal Bazaar and Paona Bazaar may open from 10 am to 2 pm on the days when grocery shops are closed, the order stated.  Further, opening up will depend on the Covid scenario and the progress in vaccination.

Vegetable vendors (district administration should ensure that spots for spacing of vendors are clearly marked complied) and grocery shops will open as per earlier arrangement on July 1, 4, 7 and 10 from 7 am to 10 am, it stated.

Meanwhile, the order signed by state special secretary (home) H Gyan Prakash mentioned that the state government will be relaxing the curfew or containment zone order in the future, in a calibrated manner by assessing the Covid infection scenario.

While opening up without compromising public health safety, it has been considered prudent to prioritise the opening of institutions, organisations, factories, shops, markets, private offices and others where the employees and workers are Covid vaccinated, it stated.

The same would be applied to NNREGA job card holders and workers of government and private projects, it mentioned.

It may be mentioned that the State Government had issued an order to impose curfew on June 11. The restriction was imposed in the districts of Imphal West, Imphal East, Bishnupur, Thoubal, Kakching, Churachandpur and Ukhrul. The order was extended till June 30.

No COVID-19 Negative Certificate Required for Fully Vaccinated Persons

The Manipur Government on June 30 notified that persons entering Manipur from outside the state, who have been fully vaccinated with two doses of Covid vaccine, will be exempted from producing negative Covid testing reports or from mandatory testing on arrival at Imphal Airport or at entry points at Mao Gate and Jiribam.

The order signed by deputy secretary, Health and Family Welfare Soiminlian Lengen stated that they should produce a valid certificate depicting the fully vaccinated status of the person with two doses of Covid vaccines, said reports.

Reports further said persons who are not vaccinated or only partially vaccinated i.e. received only one dose of Covid vaccine will not be exempted and will be required to produce negative Covid test reports at the time of entry into Manipur and the order comes into force with immediate effect.

69 New Cases of COVID-19 Delta Variant Reported

The Manipur Health department on July 2 informed that the state has reported 69 new cases of the highly transmissible Delta Variant of COVID-19.

“Today, IDSP Manipur has reported that nasopharyngeal swabs collected from 69 individuals have been confirmed as Delta Variant positive,” the state health department said on July 2 in a statement.

Earlier on June 18, Manipur had reported 18 cases of the Delta Variant. Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren had disclosed that 20 samples were sent to Hyderabad from Manipur for testing, of which 18 were found positive for the Delta Variant.

Manipur CM Biren Announced Rs 20 Lakh for First Fully Vaccinated Assembly Constituency

To encourage mass COVID-19 vaccination drives in all the assembly constituencies of the state, Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren  on June 30 announced that a cash reward of Rs 20 lakh would be given to the first fully vaccinated assembly constituency.

Reports said the chief minister made the announcement during the launching function of Mobile Insulated Vaccination Bus at Khurai Lamlong Keithel, Imphal East on June 30. The Mobile Insulated Vaccination Bus was donated by Khurai MLA, L Susindro Meitei.

Manipur amongst Six States with COVID-19 Surge

The Centre on July 2 has rushed two-member high level teams to six states of India including Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Manipur, that are reporting high number of COVID-19 cases.

Reports said the multi-disciplinary teams have been sent to these states for COVID-19 control and containment measures. The team to Manipur will be led by Dr L Swasticharan, Add DDG and Director EMR; team to Arunachal Pradesh will be led by Dr Sanjay Sadhukhan, Professor AIIH and PH; for Tripura Dr RN Sinha Dir Professor, AIIH and PH; for Kerala Dr Ruchi Jain, Public Health Specialist Gr II, RoHFW; for Odisha Dr A Dan, Public Health Specialist AIIH anf PH and for Chhattisgarh Dr Dibakar Sahu, Assistant Professor, AIIMS Raipur. Teams will be supporting them in their efforts for targeted COVID response and management, and effectively tackling the pandemic. The two-member high level team to these states consists of a clinician and a public health expert.

“The teams will visit the states immediately and monitor the overall implementation of COVID-19 management, especially in testing, including surveillance and containment operations; COVID Appropriate Behaviour and its enforcement; availability of hospital beds, sufficient logistics including ambulances, ventilators, medical oxygen etc., and COVID-19 vaccination progress. The teams will monitor the situation and also suggest remedial actions,” the Union Health Ministry said in a statement.

Indo-Myanmar Border Movement Suspended in Kamjong

The district magistrate of the Kamjong district of Manipur on July 1 has suspended the existing free movement regime (FMR) along the Indo-Myanmar border for one month with immediate effect amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 100 km of the India-Myanmar boundary pass through Manipur’s Kamjong district, and over the few years, cross-border trade activities have picked up in the border hill district.

Reports quoting district magistrate Hungyo Worshang as saying that the order is issued given the COVID-19 scenario in the state with an average of over 500 positive cases daily, and considering the likelihood of possible risk of spread of the infection from across the border in Kamjong district of Manipur.

Movement of people and goods across the border is suspended with immediate effect until further notice. Any person or organisation found violating the order shall be booked under relevant laws and rules, said the order.

Compensation for NH-2 Alignment at Khongnem Thana after Landslide

Works Minister Thongam Bishwajit on June 29 inspected the stretch of National Highway-2 at Khongnem Thana, Senapati that were affected by a landslide on October 23, 2020 and assured to release the compensation amount at the earliest for the families affected by the new road alignment for restoration of the national highway stretch.

The minister speaking to the media said that the government will compensate the affected families at the earliest to facilitate them to shift to a suitable location. The minister also met the village chairman and members of the affected families and heard their grievances. He further urged the public to support the government in its endeavour to bring equal development in the state, reports said.

Man Arrested With 586 Gram of Heroin

Churachandpur police arrested a man around 7.45 pm on June 28 for transporting heroin No.4 around 586 grams from Moreh to Churachandpur district.

A team of Churachandpur police arrested Jangminlun Mate, 23, son of Sonpao Mate of Nabil village, Chandel district, presently at Moreh ward no.9 from a house in B Mualhoih village after getting reliable information. Jangminlun disclosed that the heroin No.4 was given to him by one Seiminthang Baite of Moreh and he had transported 15 soap cases and one plastic packet of heroin No.4 powder which were concealed in the fuel tank of the EECO van bearing registration number MN07E0105 which he had parked at Demmang Veng, Tuibuong, reports said.

AMWJU Condemns Threat, Attack on Media; Demands Arrest of Attackers
Agitators burning newspaper outside RK Nimai’s residence

Violating COVID-19 restrictions around 20 persons mobbed at the residence of columnist R K Nimai, shouted slogans and burnt copies of an article written by him, published in Imphal Free Press on June 23 regarding the steps taken up for the removal of kabaak from the Kanglashas inside Kangla.

The All Manipur Working Journalist Union (AMWJU) and the Editors Guild Manipur (EGM) have appealed to the DGP Manipur to arrest the people involved in burning a copy of Imphal Free Press at the residential gate of columnist RK Nimai at Palace compound, Imphal around 10.30 am on July 2.

In a letter to the DGP, AMWJU demanded arrest of the culprits within seven days and provide updated report of the action taken so far on the bomb attack on Poknapham office and at least three cyber crimes cases filed by AMWJU, ISTV and Impact TV.

Violating COVID-19 restrictions around 20 persons gathered on July 2 morning at the residence of RK Nimai, shouted slogans and burnt copies of Imphal Free Press, in which an article written by him was published. The article provided critical analysis of the steps taken up for the removal of the props from the Kanglashas inside Kangla.

AMWJU and EGM Say, CM Biren’s Announcement Violates Right to Information

The All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU), the Editor Guild Manipur (EGM) and AWMJU Advisory Committee on June 27 stated that the public announcement made by Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren to take immediate response against the reports published widely in local dailies, based on a report of IANS is a violation of right to information guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.

A joint meeting attended by representatives of the standing committee of AMWJU and EGM and its advisory committee and functionaries reacted to the statement of the chief minister regarding a report issued by IANS on Covid vaccination, stated a joint release.

The joint meeting deeply investigated the report which was published in various local dailies and found that it was about Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines which are not administered in India. It also clarified that the recent vaccination drives established by the central government including the state were not related to the vaccination programme being carried out in the USA.

There is no such apprehension in publication by the information related to the Covid issues mentioned in the report, which the state government has to realise. The state government should reconsider its decision to take any punitive action against the media houses, the statement urged.

RK Sanatomba Memorial Journalist Award 2021 Given to Joyshree Usham
RK Sanajaoba award distributed

The RK Sanatomba Memorial Trust presented the RK Sanatomba Memorial Journalist Award 2021 to the associate editor of Impact News Joyshree Usham.

A release issued by the trust chairman, RK Nimai said that the award distribution ceremony of RK Sanatomba Memorial Journalist Award 2021 was organised in a low key affair owing to the present COVID-19 pandemic.

It stated that the award for this year was given to Joyshree Usham, who was a former sub-editor and now associate editor of Impact News, for excellent reportage on gender issues during 2020. The award carries a cash component of Rs 25,000 along with a citation and shawl.

CAF and PD Commissioner, Kakching DC Directed For Inquiry on Rice Distribution

Following a complaint regarding non-distribution of National Food Security Act (NFSA) and Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) rice in Kakching district, Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) on July 1 issued a notification to the commissioner, CAF and PD, government of Manipur, and the DC of Kakching district to make inquiries into the matter and submit their respective reports to the commission before three weeks.

Reports said the notification issued by MHRC acting chairperson Khaidem Mani mentioned Naorem Purnima and Naorem Brojen of Kakching as the complainants on the issue. It mentioned that the complainants had alleged that despite two separate representations submitted earlier to the DC of Kakching seeking his intervention in regard to the non-distribution of NFSA and PMGKAY rice in the district, there has been no response till date.

In regard to the issue, MHRC has registered a case under the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993, and July 21 has been fixed for further proceedings, the notification mentioned. Asking both the commissioner of CAF and PD, and the DC of Kakching to present their respective reports before three weeks, the notification also directed them to ensure distribution of NFSA and PMGKAY rice in the interim, reports added.

AR Seizes 3,920 Kg of Poppy Seeds

Troops of Moreh Battalion of Assam Rifles seized 3,920 kg of poppy seed worth Rs. 2.7 crore on June 30 in Moreh.

Reports said during an operation near H Munnom village in Moreh, the troops observed bags dumped in thick foliage along the Indo-Myanmar border and on thorough checking of the area, 56 bags containing 3,920 kg of poppy seeds worth Rs 2.7 crore were seized according to a release of IGAR (South).

The recovered items have been handed over to Customs Preventive Force, Moreh for further legal actions, reports added.

Manipur Chief Minister Rewards Two Apple Orchardists of Ukhrul with Rs 1 Lakh Each

Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on June 30 handed over a cheque of Rs 1 lakh each to Augustina Awungshi Shimray and Ringphami Thingshung from Ukhrul district for their successful venture into apple farming.

CM rewarding Ukhrul apple entrepreneur

The young farmers had called visited the chief minister and gifted him a basket of their first harvest from their apple orchards, which was started in 2019.

Appreciating their venture, the Chief Minister also announced that the state government will sponsor them to train farmers interested in apple farming through Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA).

“It was very encouraging to meet Ms Awungshi Shimray Augustina who had successfully harvested over 150 kg of apples from her orchard in Poi village, Ukhrul. Augustina’s bold decision to experiment with an apple orchard and subsequently harvesting it successfully has shown an avenue on how our farmers can diversify into profitable crops,” the Chief Minister tweeted.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, farmers, mostly youth, in Ukhrul district have harvested a good amount of apples this year as part of the pilot project being initiated by the North East Council (NEC).

In 2019, around 20 youths belonging to various villages in Ukhrul district went to attend a workshop on apple cultivation in Himachal Pradesh organised by NEC and sponsored through the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in a mission to reach out to Northeast villages to experiment with a pilot project of apple cultivation, reports added.

Trial Run of Silchar to Vangaichungpao Passenger Train Conducted

A trial run of Silchar to Vangaichungpao in Tamenglong district of Manipur has been conducted on July 2. The trial passenger train reached Manipur at Jiribam Railway Station at around 11 am on July 2, which departed from Silchar Railway Station at 8:30 am.

Reports said the passenger train service will soon be started from Vangaichungpao to Silchar. As soon as construction works of the longest tunnel in the state is completed, there will be train service from Imphal that will be connected to different stations in the country. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal will be launching the first passenger train in the state within the month of July.

SILCHAR-VANGAICHUNGPAO Passenger (55665) runs between Silchar (SCL) to Vangaichungpao (VNGP) in Manipur’s Tamenglong district. The train takes 2hr 30 mins to cover the distance of 66.8 KM.

Later, the locals of Vangaichungpao expressed their happiness as the train reached Vangaichungpao Railway Station at about 1:30 pm coming from Jiribam Railway Station, reports added.

Rina Akoijam from Manipur Becomes First NE Woman to be Director General of Audit
Ak Rina

Rina Akoijam becomes the first woman from the North Eastern region of India to have held the DG Audit Post. Rina, a 1997 batch IRS officer from Manipur has assumed the office as Director General of Audit (Infrastructure) in New Delhi on July 1.

Reports said Rina has previously served as Principal Director of Commercial Audit & Ex Officio Member Audit Board Ill, New Delhi; Accountant General (Audit), Sikkim; Principal Director (Central Excise), Principal Director (Northern Region), and Principal Director (GASAB) in the Comptroller & Auditor General of India’s office in New Delhi.

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