Journalists in the state were back on a cease work strike after continuing threats from underground elements and college teachers also continued to be on a strike rejecting government proposals which do not meet their demands in full, while poppy plantations seem to be on the receiving end with government taking up various measures against its cultivation in the state.
Manipur Journalists Back on Strike
The All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) and Editors’ Guild Manipur (EGM) have resumed the cease work strike after the Poknapham daily was threatened again by an underground group on February 24 to stop publication for six months.
Reports quoting a statement issued by AMWJU Joint Secretary, Longjam Arishrona on February 25 said an emergency meeting of AMWJU and EGM was held at Manipur Press Club, Imphal in this regard and the meeting has resolved that media persons of both electronic and print media shall cease work and hold protests from February 26.
An appeal was issued to the general public to inform and consult AMWJU and EGM prior to taking any action on their own, if there are any allegations or grievances against a journalist or a media house, the release stated. AMWJU and EGM reaffirmed this resolution in the meeting.
Those raising allegations against Poknapham, have been informed to raise their grievances in detail to AMWJU through its office email within 48 hours starting 6 am of Friday, the release stated. If no emails are forwarded concerning the allegations raised against Poknapham within 48 hours, then all allegations will be considered as baseless, it added.
FEGOCTA, AMCTA Reject Proposal
While the college teachers of Manipur have intensified their agitation with cease work and sit-in protests pressing the government for implementation UGC 7th Pay regulations, and the students demanding resumption of classes, Manipur Education Minister S Rajen has announced that a notification for implementation of UGC 7th Pay structure and UGC Regulations from July 1 has been issued and appealed to college teachers to lift their ongoing strike and resume normal classes.
However, the Federation of Government College Teachers’ Association (FEGOCTA) has rejected the same order asserting it was “incomplete” on the ground that it did not mention at all about adopting the UGC Regulations, 2018 and other provisions.
The All Manipur College Teachers Association (AMCTA) also came out strongly against the order issued by Commissioner (Higher and Technical Education), Government of Manipur regarding the 7th UGC Pay structure and regulations.
ATSUM Demands ADC Election
The All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur (ATSUM) has appealed to the government to issue the election notification of the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) at the earliest in the interest of the public.
Reports quoting ATSUM General Secretary, SR Andria said that the ATSUM has waited for almost four months with the hope that the state government will conduct the ADCs election as assured earlier by the state government. He asserted that the State Election Commission has already given intimation as February 17 for issuing election notification, third week of March for polling date and to complete the election by second week of April.
Recruitments Put on Hold
The Manipur government has ordered that all the ongoing recruitment processes undertaken by all the departments shall be put on hold until further orders in view of the state’s economy and precarious financial position of the state.
Reports quoting an order issued by Manipur Chief Secretary, Rajesh Kumar said that all the ongoing recruitment processes including daily wages, contract employment, muster roll, direct recruitment being undertaken by all the departments including all agencies, societies, undertakings, boards, corporations, among others under them shall be put on hold with immediate effect. This also includes the written test examination and viva voce.
Pledge to End Poppy Cultivation
Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren led the leaders and representatives of 33 different communities in taking a collective pledge to work together towards complete destruction of illegal poppy cultivation and checking illicit drug businesses.
Reports said the event held under the banner ‘All Communities Convention for a Pledge against Illegal Poppy Plantation’ was organized at Bhagyachandra Open Air Theatre by Meitei Leepun in association with the apex bodies of the 33 communities under the supervision of the Chief Minister. The convention was held after people responded to the Chief Minister’s call to extend support and co-operation to the state’s war on drugs campaign.
Leaders and representatives of Kharam Tribe Union, Purum Tribe Union, Koireng Tribe Union, Thadou Inpi, Manipuri Gorkha Association, Kom Tribe Union, Chiru Tribe Union, Thangal Tribe Union, Maram Union, Mao Council, Poumai Tribe Union, Zemei Tribe Union, Anal Tangpi, Lamkang Kaver Kupun, Monshang Tribe Union, Moyon Tribe Union, Aimol Tribe Union, Tarao Tribe Union, Hmar Inpi, Paite People Council, Simte Tribe Union, Zou Tribe Union, Mizo People’s Convention, Vaiphei People’s Council, Gangte Tribe Union, Tangkhul Mayar Ngala Long, Mate Tribe Union, Maring Uparup, Zeme Tribe Union, Rongmei Tribe Union, Inpui Tribe Union, Liangmai Tribe Union and Chothe Tribe Union took the pledge, reports added.
Rs. 64.49 Lakhs Contraband Seized
Tengnoupal Battalion of 26 Sector Assam Rifles under the aegis of IGAR(South) recovered contraband items from Tengnoupal area on February 21.
Reports quoting a statement of Assam Rifles said troops of Assam Rifles launched a search operation in the area around village Loisi and while searching the jungle track, the party found 18 concealed and unattended packages, hidden under foliage which contained contraband items worth Rs. 64.49 lakhs.
An Eco-Tourism Project developed under the Ministry of DoNER (NLCPR) was inaugurated by Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren at Thangmeiband Cheirao Ching in Imphal West district this week.
Reports quoting Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren said that people in Manipur live amid tension within the confines of their homes and there was limited time for leisure in life.
The Chief Minister informed that the foundation stone for Cheirao Ching Eco-Tourism Project developed at an estimated cost of around Rs. 15 crore was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit in March 2018. The project was completed within three years though it was hindered for quite a long time due to delay in getting Forest/Environment clearance and COVID-19 pandemic.
Civil Bodies Condemn Assault
The Joint Kuki Civil Voluntary Organisation of Moreh, Vaiphei People’s Council and Vaiphei Students’ Association have vehemently condemned the thrashing of some innocent youths by miscreants suspected to be cadres of UKLF on Saturday at S Moljol village.
Reports quoting a joint statement issued by Hill Tribal Council Moreh, Moreh Youth Club, KSO Moreh Block, Kuki Women Union and HR Moreh said the youths namely, Lunminlen Baite, Jangkholen Haokip, Hemson Haokip, and Seiminthang Lupho, all from Moreh Ward No. VII, were badly hurt.
Poppy Plantations Destroyed
As a part of the ongoing campaign ‘War Against Drugs’, a joint team of Kangpokpi District Police, NAB, Forest Department of Kangpokpi and SDO Tujangvaichong destroyed poppy plants at Makui Hill range under the jurisdiction of Kangpokpi PS.
Reports said that 30 acres of poppy plantations were destroyed at T Khonomphai village side and another 30 acres at Makui Ashang village side.
Editor, Imphal Review of Arts and Politics and author