Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

Classic Group of Hotels
Chief minister, N Biren Singh, promised equal development for hill and valley at the Barak Festival, Khabung Karong, Senapati District

Mao Council Protest SAPO’s Restriction; MHA Team Visits Nagaland Over ‘Frontier Nagaland’ Demand; CM Promises Equal Development; State Observed Nupi Lan Day

In response to the restriction/prohibition of Mao people in SAPO area by the Southern Angami People’s Organisation (SAPO) “notifying,” the Mao Council said in a rejoinder on December 16 that, after the Tenyimi People’s Organisation (TPO) intervened in 2015-16 in the present dispute over Dzuko and Koziirii, which is known as Kezoltsa by the Southern Angamis, it was decreed that contending parties should refrain from going to the media to avoid paper war and to ensure conducive environment.

The Mao Council said that the SAPO statement of December 7, 2022 was the latest of several statements of SAPO and Southern Angami Youths Organisation (SAYO) “freely issued to misrepresent” to the public on the facts and situation of the dispute. It also said that the Mao people in deference to the TPO stricture have refrained from going to the press.

“Our silence has been severely misconstrued as seen from postings in social media,” the Mao Council said.

Therefore, it was constrained to issue this rejoinder to nullify the “distortions and misinformation” propagated in the media after having informed the office of the TPO of the necessity and “our intention” to set the record straight, the Mao Council said in the rejoinder.

According to the Mao Council, in the SAPO release it has been projected that the Mao and Maram people from Manipur had teamed up against the Southern Angamis of Nagaland. The Council said that this is “blatantly misleading” and the reverse seems obvious.

“Maram Khullen is a separate claimant over Koziirii (Dzuko excluded) who came in much later and was admitted by TPO as party to the dispute only in March 2016 and the dispute thereafter became an unprecedented triangular contest.

“While the Mao Council cannot speak for the Government of Manipur (GOM), it is because of the SAPO/SAYO’s unlawful and provocative activities in Koziirii/Dzuko area that the Manipur Government promulgated 144 CrPC, constructed police base camp and connected road in Koziirii area”.

“In terms of location, 2/3 of the total Dzuiiko area falls under Manipur state,” it also stated.

In 2000, according to the Mao Council, the illegal construction of a SAPO rest house at Chitekayi Ingo, which is well within Mao traditional land brought in Koziirii (Kezoltsa in SAPO), the thick forest adjacent to the Mao Dziiko area as an area of dispute.

However, the statement also said that Mao people cannot be prohibited from living their lives, least of all from taking up any activity “within our own traditional land” that is well between the bounds of law and of the “Arbitration Undertaking”.

CM Promises Equal Development

Speaking as the Chief Guest of the closing function of the two-day long third state-level Barak Festival 2022 at Sanyi Dahrii Sports Complex, Khabung Karong in Senapati District on December 14 Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren expressed his commitment towards bringing equal development in the State and said if with determination, sincerity and commitment, everything can be achieved or delivered with the support and cooperation of the public.

Further explaining the need to shift the festival venue to the Barak River side, Chief Minister Biren said the decision was taken after considering that there is no need of organising a festival if we are unable to deliver its benefit to the public. Therefore, the decision was taken after a thorough discussion with all stakeholders and after understanding the need to educate the youth about the importance of Barak River, its surrounding forest, nature and water.

The Chief Minister further highlighted that the motto of the festival “Save Mother Earth” also echoes Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s belief of “Earth is One.’

Biren said the government cannot work without the support and blessing of the public. He expressed the need to cooperate and support one another. There are around 34-35 communities in the state and it is the duty and responsibility of the Chief Minister to address their needs and grievances, he added.

Chief Minister Biren also spoke of different developmental projects in the district and highlighted the opening of an open gym at Senapati headquarter, ongoing laying of football turf, etc. He also said that assessment of the incomplete stadium at the venue is underway and it will be completed at the earliest, reports added.

Manipur Women Street Vendors Withdraw Movement

The Khwairamband Keithel Street Vendors’ Welfare Union (Kh-KSVWU) has withdrawn their ongoing movement demanding vending space. Speaking to mediapersons at the Manipur Press Club Imphal on December 14, Kh-KSVWU Assistant General Secretary L Nandita said that since the day MAHUD and IMC issued orders to provide market space for street vendors to Temporary Market on a rotational basis, they have been conducting various agitations.

Nandita said, recently they even warned of launching mass suicide movement if state government failed to fulfil their demand by December 13. Following their demand, the state government has issued an order to make seat arrangements for them. Besides this, women vendors of three Nupi Keithels extended solidarity in their movement assuring to stand for truth. Hence, they resolved to withdraw the movement.

On October 16, an order for providing street vendors’ market place at Temporary Market was issued. Nadita said, as per the order, street vendors were allowed to sit on a rotational basis but unfortunately, only some powerful people used to occupy the place and due to such improper acts, they could not get vending space thus hugely affecting their lives, reports added.

MHA Team Visits Nagaland Over ‘Frontier Nagaland’ Demand

A team of three-member committee from the Union Home Ministry (MHA) constituted by the Government of India to study Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation (ENPO) statehood demand issue visits Eastern Nagaland on December 16 on a three-day visit.

The development comes nearly a week after a meeting was held between ENPO talks team with Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the national capital.

In view of the central team’s visit, the ENPO convened an emergency meeting of its Central Executive Meeting (CEC) at Tuensang.

The MHA committee members are AK Mishra (retired) IPS, Advisor, Northeast MHA as leader; Dr Mandeep Singh Tuli, IPS joint director, Intelligence Bureau (IB) and AK Dhayani director Northeast division MHA.

During their visit, the committee will meet the leaders of the ENPO,  seven tribal bodies followed by a meeting with Eastern Nagaland Women Organisation (ENWO) and Eastern Nagaland Students Federation (ENSF) besides Gaon Bura, Doboshi, and Senior Citizens around 3 pm followed by other rounds of meetings with DC/SP/ and other state officials, reports said.

It may be mentioned that the ENPO on August 26, 2022 adopted a resolution of ‘not to take part in any election process of the Central and state until and unless a separate statehood – (Frontier Nagaland) – is granted by the Government of India, as demanded by the people of Eastern Nagaland under the aegis of ENPO.’

Seven tribal bodies, including the Chang Khulei Setshang (CKS), Khiamniungan Tribal Council (KTC), Konyak Union (KU), Phom People’s Council (PPC), United Sangtam Likhum Pumji (USLP), Tikhir Tribal Council (TTC) and Yimkhiung Tribal Council (YTC), endorsed the resolution.

The demand for “Frontier Nagaland” consists of four most backward districts with six major Naga tribes. The reason for such a movement is for the development and welfare of the people in eastern Nagaland.

A KYKL Cadre Arrested in Imphal East

One member of the proscribed Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) outfit was arrested by a team of special commando unit, Khabeisoi at Takhel Makha Leikai, Imphal East around 11.45 am on December 12.

Reports said the arrested person has been identified as one Pukhrambam Puninchandra Singh, 42, son of P Hemanta Singh from Takhel Makha Leikai Imphal East. He was arrested by the team led by OC special commando unit, Khabeisoi under the guidance of SP/Railway, in-charge special commando unit, khabeisoi Th Krishnatombi Singh, after receiving a tip-off from 4 Assam Rifle about the movement of one suspected person of KYKL at the mentioned area.

Puninchandra claims to be a cadre of KYKL outfit. He joined in the year 1998 of April through one Khamba, a self-styled lance corporal of the outfit and received basic military training at Khoupum Tampak 2nd batch. He was working under the command of Chaoba Potsangbam, a self-styled 2nd lieutenant of KYKL, reports added.

State Observed Nupi Lan Day, Biswajit Likens Fight Against AFSPA To Nupi Lan

As usual, the Manipur Government on December 12 observed Nupi Lan Numit 2022 at Nupi Lan Memorial Complex and TG Higher Secondary School, Imphal with Agriculture and Power Minister Thongam Biswajit and MAHUD Minister Yumnam Khemchand attending the function as chief guest and president respectively.

The programme began by paying floral tribute at Nupi Lan Memorial Complex followed by a formal function at TG Higher Secondary School Complex. Artistes of Shri Shri Bal Mukanda Dev Government School Music College, Imphal open the programme with a beautiful performance, reports said.

Addressing the function, Minister Biswajit recalled the historic incident of Nupi Lan fought in 1904 and 1939 and said that these two incidents are great examples to prove the bravery of Manipuri women in the world.

Manipuri women fighting against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) for many decades is also another act of heroism, the Power and Agriculture Minister said, adding that this movement against AFSPA can be tagged as “third women’s war”.

The state government renovating Nupi Lan Memorial Complex with a total budget of Rs 1.3 crore is a mark of acknowledgment to those mothers who sacrificed their lives during the Nupi Lal, Biswajit added.

President of the function, MAHUD Minister, Yumnam Khemchand said that women of state are taking key roles on all fronts. In terms of economy, women are taking a major role in running their families, taking all odd jobs. Because of their active participation in the socio-economy of the state since olden days, the state can have Khwairamband Nupi Keithel, an icon of Manipur at global platform.

Not only this, the responsibility of preservation and promotion of culture and tradition of Manipuri is mostly taken by women. Women usually wear traditional dresses most of the time while men wear pants and shirts even in functions and ceremonies, Khemchand added.

The observation was also attended by many ministers, MLAs and high ranking state government officials. Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren was not in the observation function as he was away attending Gujarat Chief Minister’s swearing-in ceremony, reports said.

High Court Directs State to Revive MHRC by January 13

The Manipur High Court on December 13 gave one last opportunity to the state government to take measures to ensure that the Manipur State Human Rights Commission is functional by the next date of hearing on January 13, 2023, be it by appointing a regular chairman or by way of an interim arrangement.

If the state government fails to take steps, the Manipur High Court would be left with no option but to entertain complaints regarding violation of human rights from aggrieved persons in the form of writ petitions and the HC would have to deal with the same in a timely manner, the HC stated.

The Advocate General of Manipur on December 13 stated that an additional affidavit has been filed, in terms of the earlier order, furnishing the details of the advertisements issued by the state government for the purpose of filling up vacancies in the Manipur State Human Rights Commission.

However, the Advocate General admited that in terms of the judgment rendered by the Supreme Court, the post has to be filled up, at the latest, within three months from the day the vacancy arose. Presently, the vacancy in the post of MHRC Chairman arose on September 1, upon the incumbent demitting office on August 31. Therefore, the period of three months is also long over.

The division bench of the Manipur High Court is utterly dissatisfied with the state of affairs as it is a statutory obligation of the state government to ensure that the body is made functional.

Salam Rohendro Bags Best Progressive Fish Farmer Award 2022

A progressive fish farmer from Manipur, Salam Rohendro has bagged Haricharan Das Memorial Best Progressive Fish Farmer Award 2022 during an international conference on “Responsible Aquaculture and Sustainable Fisheries Interact (RASHI)”.

Reports said the award function was jointly organised on December 13 by the College of Fisheries, Tripura; College of Fisheries Lembucherra Alumni Association (COFLA) and North East Society for Fisheries and Aquaculture, India in recognition of Rohendro’s significant contribution and commendable achievements in developing fisheries and aquaculture in Manipur at Agartala.

The award carries a cash prize of Rs 10,000, a citation and a trophy. Salam Rohendro is a progressive fish farmer of Laphupat Tera Mayai Leikai under Imphal West District. Rohendro has a water spread area of 5 hectares for culturing various commercially important and indigenous fish species of Manipur like IMCs, Exotic Carps, Osteobrama belangiri, Bangana dero, Lebo gonius and Wallago attu (sareng). With his experience of more than twenty years, he is able to market 30 millions of spawn and 42 tonnes of table size fish within the state for past three years, reports added.

MPCC Demands Probe By Central Agency Over PMGSY Roads

The Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has demanded investigation of the entire work carried out under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) in Manipur, by a neutral Central agency.

Senior party spokesperson Ningombam Bupenda Meitei told mediapersons in Imphal on December 14 that the alleged huge road scam under PMGSY should be investigated.

“The issue is related to public money and every single paise needs to be utilised properly in the interest of the people of Manipur. During the period of investigation, any minister found involved in the scam should withdraw from the council of minister so that the investigation remains impartial and fair,” the senior Congress spokesperson said.

Bupenda said the state cabinet also needs to give immediate recommendation to the Central government in order to investigate the matter immediately by a neutral central agency.

He further said earlier Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister had expressed that some documents are uploaded on the social media page of the Indian National Congress, Manipur which breached the privilege of the Manipur Legislative Assembly. He clarified that uploading such documents is not related with the Manipur Legislative Assembly.

The Congress party believes in the rules of law of the land and respects the Indian Constitution and due to the reason, there is no comment regarding the matter from the party, Bupenda added.

The Spokesperson further said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren had claimed that there is zero corruption and Congress party likes to know the reply within 24 hours regarding sending the recommendation to the Central government for investigating the matter, reports added.

MU Students Protest Over Scholarships

Manipur University students on December 14 staged a protest against the delay in the disbursement of post-matric and post-graduate scholarship to students under MOBC from National Scholarship Portal for the year 2021-2022. The students demanded immediate release of scholarship funds.

Reports said the students have been appealing to the state government and MOBC department for disbursing the scholarship but there has been no response from the authority when the last date submission of applications for 2022-23 has been fixed.

Police Foils Sit-in-Protest Against SoO Agreements

The Manipur police on December 15 foiled a sit-in-protest which was planned at Kwakeithel Bazar in Imphal West against the SoO agreements with militant groups run under alleged foreign outfits.

Reports said the sit-in-protest at Kwakeithel Bazar was organised by the Kwakeithel Ima Apunba under the aegis of People’s Alliance for Peace and Progress, Manipur (PAPPM) as a continuation of demand for immediate withdrawal of the SoO agreements.

However, a team of Imphal West district police rushed to the site of the sit-in-protest minutes after its commencement and snatched the banners and placards after a short confrontation with the protesters and ended the sit-in-protest.

According to the protesters, the Government signed SoO agreements with the Kuki National Organisation (KNO), the Zomi Revolutionary Organisation (ZRO) and the Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA) whose leaders are all alleged foreigners (Myanmar nationals) who claimed Manipur as theirs. Besides, being foreign militant groups, they are responsible for the illegal influx of Myanmar nationals in the state, they alleged.

MP Leishemba Urges Centre to Address India-Myanmar Border Issue

Manipur Rajya Sabha MP Leishemba Sanajaoba on December 14 raised in Parliament the India-Myanmar border issue and appealed to the Government of India to address the matter at the earliest.

The MP said border pillar dispute came up during the fencing of the border between India (Manipur sector) and Myanmar. To look into the matter, Home Ministry officials visited Imphal while Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren requested Union Home Minister Amit Shah to resurvey the border pillar. Due to the border dispute, locals of the border area have been boycotting the border fencing work as some of the border pillars are found shifting towards the Manipur sector boundary, he added.

The disputed border pillars are pillar number 64 to 68, pillar number 75 to 79, border pillar number 88 to 95 and old border pillar 80 to 82, he informed.

Since the British period, the boundary issue between India (Manipur sector) and Myanmar remains unsolved. To resolve the matter, Boundary Agreement of Rangoon, 1967 was signed. However, the matter has remained unresolved, the MP said.

Drugs From Manipur Ambulance Seized in Guwahati

Drugs worth Rs 14.1 crore were seized from an ambulance in Guwahati in the early hours of December 14 and one person was arrested.

Reports quoting Joint Commissioner of Police Partha Sarathi Mahanta said acting on a tip-off, a police team intercepted the Manipur-registered ambulance at the parking of an apartment in Hengerabari area. “On a thorough search of the vehicle, we found 50,000 yaba tablets and 200 grams of heroin. The value of the drugs would be around Rs 14.1 crore,” he said.

Mahanta said this was the first time in the State that drugs were being trafficked on an ambulance, which managed to cross several police checkpoints after entering the State from Manipur. A person, who is a native of Meghalaya, was arrested for his alleged role in trafficking the drugs.

The consignment, which was supposed to be sent to Bangladesh via Meghalaya, belonged to an inter-state drug cartel. The police have intensified our operations to nab the other persons involved in the network, reports added.

NESO Observes Black Day

The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) which comprises of the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), Twipra Students’ Federation (TSF), All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), Garo Students’ Union (GSU) and All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) representing eight major students movement in the seven North Eastern States reminded that on December 11, 2019, despite the relentless opposition of the indigenous peoples of the NE against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019, the Government of India did not pay heed and it finally through the Rajya Sabha passed the draconian law which is known as Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

NESO in a press release issued by its Chairman Samuel B Jyrwa stated that it had declared that
December 11 will always be remembered as a Black Day for the whole of the North East and so, in continuation of the Black Day observance, the apex body decided that there will be a display of Black Flags and Black Banners in all the important places of all the seven States.

This observance is to give a message to the Government of India that the organisation is against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 and also at the same time to remind the people and posterior of yet another political injustice that the Government of India perpetrated on the indigenous peoples of the North East, the release stated.

Tangkhul Literature Festival

A two-day Tangkhul Literature Festival 2022 was held at Union Baptist Church Old Building Phungreitang, Ukhrul from December 13 to 14. Mungchan Zimik Ukhrul MLA Ramnganing Muivah inaugurated the festival.

Reports said during the inaugural ceremony, Professor Darlando T Khathing vice chancellor, North East Christian University in his keynote address dwelt on Tangkhul indigenous knowledge “oral literature” adding that it was western missionary Rev William Pettigrew who transformed and introduced written Tangkhul literature.

Speaking as the chief guest, MLA Ram Muivah stated that Tangkhuls fondly remember Rev William Pettigrew as the father of Tangkhul literature while adding that he invented two extra vowels which further advanced the Tangkhul literature.

It was also pointed out that Pettigrew published the first Tangkhul primer, grammar, dictionary and hymnal books and also went on to translate the New Testament (Bible). Following this many Tangkhuls such as MK Shimray, Kanrei Shaiza, T Luikham started to write books on Tangkhul civilization and culture, Ram Muivah said.

The two-day programme included events such as panel discussion and talks, a special interactive session with Tangkhul writers, artistes, poets and others. As a part of the programme, musical performances were presented by Pam’s Kindergarten along with folk song by Guru Rawung.

Tangkhul Literature Festival was organised by Tangkhul Naga Society Delhi in collaboration with North East Foundation for Education and Culture & Association of Recognised Schools Ukhrul District, reports added.

ESU Qualifies for Indian Women’s League

Eastern Sporting Union (ESU), Wangkhei Palace Compound has won 2-0 against UPSA-Pukhao in the 13th Senior Women’s Football League at Artificial Turf Ground, Lamlong Thongkhong. By championing the league, ESU qualifies for Indian Women’s League.

Reports said, having won the previous leg by a slender 1-0 margin, ESU pulled off a similar win in the second leg due to Sanasam Yailembi’s goal in the 52nd minute and emerged league champions of the double-legged 7 team tournament with 10 wins and 2 draws in 12 matches while KRYPHSA finished runners up on 26 points from 8 wins and 2 draws. Finishing third were YWC-Langthabal who collected 24 points from 7 wins and 3 draws.

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