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Manipur Last Week: Huge Drugs Haul, Firing on Congress Candidate, and Another go at Reservation Talks for Muslim Students

Even as the state government’s ‘war on drugs’ keeps making news, appearing with considerable frequency in the media, there seems to be no let up in the seizure of drugs in the state, with the most recent haul of drugs by the police being a voluminous 435 kg of brown sugar and another 6 kg of opium in separate incidents. In news related to bye-poll politics, a Congress candidate from Saitu constituency was fired upon in an apparent life attempt, while reports said 14 households in Wangoi are still not registered in the electoral rolls. Meanwhile, security forces busted militant hideouts in Kangpokpi, while further down, the NH-2 has been restored after the Khongnem landslide, and Muslim students will have another round of talks with the government on their demand for four percent reservations in higher education.

435 Kg Brown Sugar Seized

A team of Thoubal district police on October 29 busted a brown sugar manufacturing laboratory and seized 435 kilograms of brown sugar, and 435 litres of morphinated liquid, along with other items used in the manufacture of drugs.

Media reports say police rushed to the residence of Md Kayamuddin alias Amuthi, 34, of Thoubal Moijing Awang Leikai, after receiving reliable information on contraband drug items being manufactured there.

By the time the police team reached the house, Kayamuddin, his wife Athotpi and their associates had already escaped but several items were seized, added the sources.

Plastic sacks numbering 16, containing brown sugar hidden underground were unearthed and several items used in the manufacture of drugs were also seized, including seven plastic buckets of 100 litres capacity containing morphinated liquid.

One Bajaj Auto Rickshaw bearing registration number MN04G-0489, one Honda Activa with no registration number plate, two Aadhaar cards in the names of Kayamuddin and Athotpi and one driving license in the name of Md Amir Hussain, were also seized, added media reports.

Bishnupur Opium Seizure

In another case, a team of Bishnupur district police commando on October 25 arrested a person with six kilograms of opium. The person identified as Sokholen Touthang, 37, of Churachandpur was arrested from Naranseina near Ereima School along Tiddim Road, reports said.

Congress Candidate Fired Upon

Indian National Congress candidate for bye-election of 51-Saitu (ST) Assembly Constituency Lamtinthang Haokip on October 29 lodged a written complaint to the Election Commission of India (ECI) demanding disqualification of the candidature of BJP candidate of the Assembly Constituency Ngamthang Haokip. Lamtinthang also demanded appropriate actions against the Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) for justice and to uphold democratic elections.

Reports say, the letter to the ECI stated that “KRA which is under Suspension of Operation (SoO) with the Union and State governments attempted the life of the INC candidate by firing six rounds of bullets while the candidate was campaigning on October 28 at Kangchup Tuikun Village under Kangchup Police Station in Kangpokpi district, Manipur for the bye-election.”

The KRA had also physically assaulted the INC Sub-Committee Chairman Khailun Vaiphei of Kharam Vaiphei Village and threatened six other INC supporters on the same night, the complaint alleged.

Meanwhile, Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has also written to the Election Commission of India to take note of the serious matter to ensure that such incidents do not recur.

Militant Hideouts Busted

Security forces have busted militant hideouts in Kangpokpi district on October 25 and recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition.

Reports say that the security forces launched an operation near Boljang village in Kangpokpi district based on intelligence input and busted hideouts of insurgents.

The troops recovered one M16 rifle, one 9mm pistol, one country made revolver, 60 rounds live ammunition and other warlike stores from the area.

However, no insurgent was arrested during the operation, reports added.

14 Households not in Wangoi Roll

Members of 14 households of Samurou Awang Leikai, also known as Yanglem, in Wangoi Assembly Constituency where bye-elections are scheduled on November 7 are yet to be registered in the electoral roll of the constituency.

As their enrolment in the Electoral Rolls have been denied, they are being deprived of their fundamental rights, particularly right to vote, right to livelihood and socio-economic rights guaranteed under Article 21 and Article 38, a representative of Yanglem informed the Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC).

Accordingly, MHRC registered a case and directed Imphal West DC and Wangoi SDO to take steps for giving and extension of the benefits under government socio-economic and political welfare at the earliest.

MHRC asked the concerned authority to submit their action taken report on or before November 6.

Voting Day Closures

All government offices, educational institutions, private sector undertakings and other establishments located under Wangoi, Lilong, Wangjing Tentha, Saitu Assembly Constituencies shall remain closed on November 7 for the State Assembly bye-elections.

Reports say all banks, financial institutes, LICs located within the four Assembly Constituencies will also remain closed on the day.

Government employees, bank employees and employees of private sector undertakings and others who are the voters of the four Assembly Constituencies but serving elsewhere are allowed special casual leave on the day, to enable them to exercise their right of franchise, it added.

Aid For Reporter

Langthabal MLA Karam Shyam has extended financial assistance to DDK Imphal stringer, Koijam Dhirajit, 45, after the ISTV broke the news of his ailing condition at home.

Dhirajit has been bed-ridden for the past few months owing to failure of both his kidneys. His doctor advised him for kidney transplantation but he cannot afford it and is on dialysis. Karam Shyam visited his home and handed over Rs. 50,000 to the ailing journalist for his treatment. Some others also donated money for his medical treatment.

NH-2 Restored

The 50-metre section of Imphal-Dimapur Road on National Highway-2 or Asian Highway 1 at Khongnem Thana area, about 15 km away from Maram, which sunk into the gorge below in the evening of October 23 following incessant rain has been restored functionally in the morning of October 29.

The landslide cut off the state and left over 300 goods vehicles, including trucks and their drivers, stranded along the highway.

BIPL engineers along with State PWD engineers have started constructing a new stretch of the Imphal-Mao section of NH 2 after the 50 metre long portion sank.

Strike Called Off

The 48-Hour General Strike called by the All Manipur Muslim Students’ Organisation (AMMSO) and Pangal Students’ Union of the Dhanamanjuri University (PSUDMU) demanding four percent seat reservation for Meitei Pangals (Manipuri Muslims) in higher education was called off late October 29.

Reports say that the two student bodies called off the agitation following a positive response given by Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren. Another round of talks in connection with the matter will be held on November 9.

Journalists’ Pension Hiked

The Manipur government has hiked journalists’ pension amount by amending the Manipur Working Journalists’ Pension Rules 1996.

According to the latest amendment, the Manipur Working Journalists’ Pension (Third Amendment) Rules, 2020, Rule 10 amends Rule 10 of the Manipur Working Journalists’ Pension Rules, 1996, the words and figures “Rs.4000 (Rupees four thousand only)” in clause (l) and “Rs. 2000 (Rupees two thousand only) in clause (ii), with the words and figures “Rs.8000 (Rupees eight thousand only and Rs.5000 (Rupees five thousand only)” respectively, a notification issued by the information and public relations department said.

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