Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

MPCC demands scrapping of 1,33,553 duplicate names from state voters list

MPCC Demands Deletion of 1,33,553, Duplicate Names in Electoral List; BJP Celebrates First Year of 2nd Term; Committee to Investigate SoO Arms Loot; Ccpur CSOs to Oppose Land Survey; MLA Radheshyam Resigns As CM’s Advisor; GOI-NSCN(IM) Talk Resumes

At least 1,33,553 numbers of photo similar entries in different polling stations of the 60 Assembly Constituencies (ACs) of Manipur were found in the electoral roll, claimed the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) on April 10.

A team of MPCC led by its Legal Department chairman S Shyamcharan has submitted a representation to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Manipur seeking his attention for rechecking the number of photo similar entries in the electoral roll of the state.

The memorandum requested the CEO for cancellation or correction of any wrong entries in the names with the photo in the different electoral rolls under Rule 26 of Registration of Electors Rules, 1960 for conducting free and fair elections. The wrong entries were entered through fraudulent means and collusion with unknown persons, it alleged.

Meanwhile, altogether 57,065 false voters were deleted from the electoral rolls as a part of an ongoing exercise which began in November 2022.

Reports said the purification, which began in November 2022, was done with the removal of repeat or multiple entries or repeat EPIC numbers, entries of the dead voters at polling station level of Manipur.

In the process, as of now, a total 57,065 electors have been deleted out of 1,33,553 PSE with 42.7 per cent of deletion from a total of 20,57,854 electorate.

Senapati district tops the list as out of 40951 photo similar entries (PSE), 19774 electoral rolls were deleted; the lowest was Bishnupur district where 1317 electoral rolls have been deleted out of 2643 photo similar entries, reports quoting the Joint CEO said.

In Imphal West district, out of 5603 PSE-2226 electoral rolls have been deleted; 2938 out of 6149 PSE in Imphal East; 2279 out of 5053 PSE in Thoubal; 6844 out of 14432 PSE in Chandel; 5081 out of 12031 PSE in Ukhrul; 2353 out of 8222 PSE in Kangpokpi; 4940 out of 14034 PSE in Tamenglong; 9230 out of 24159 PSE in from Churachandpur and 83 out of 276 PSE-83 in Jiribam, reports added.

MLA Radheshyam Resigns as CM’s Advisor

Heirok Assembly Constituency MLA Thokchom Radheshyam on April 13 resigned as advisor to the Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren, citing lack of responsibilities and desires to focus on the upcoming parliamentary election and the development of his constituency as the reason.

In his letter addressed to Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren, MLA Thokchom Radheshyam stated that he had not received any responsibilities since he had been appointed as the advisor to Chief Minister. He mentioned that he had decided to resign as advisor to CM as he wanted to give his attention to the upcoming Lok Sabha election and focus on the development of Heirok Assembly Constituency as well.

It may be mentioned that CM Nongthombam Biren appointed MLA Thokchom Radheshyam as the advisor to CM on December 31, 2022. He was the Education and Employment Minister for three years during CM Biren’s first term. The ‘School Phagat-Hansi Mission’ was commenced during his tenure as the Education Minister.

GOI-NSCN(IM) Talk Resumes

After a long break the talks between the Government of India (GOI) and Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, NSCN (IM) has been resumed on April 13.

The Newmai News Network quoted the NSCN (IM) as saying on April 13 that the talks between the leaders of the organization and Government of India interlocutor, AK Mishra was ‘positive’. The NSCN (IM), however, did not divulge details of the talks.

The talks between the GOI interlocutor and the NSCN (IM) leaders was held at Police Complex, Chumoukedima near Dimapur for nearly three hours starting from 11 am. The GOI interlocutor AK Mishra arrived in Dimapur on April 12 for the talks.

According to reports, 24 NSCN (IM) leaders led by Thuingaleng Muivah participated in the April 13 talk. However, no date has been fixed as yet for the next round of talks, sources added.

It may be mentioned that for quite a while the talks between the NSCN (IM) and the GOI could not be resumed due to differences on the issue of ‘Naga national flag’ and ‘Naga constitution’. However, the April 13 talk outcome, considered by the NSCN (IM) as ‘positive’, has changed the atmosphere, reports added.

BJP Celebrates First Year of 2nd Term

The first anniversary of Bharatiya Janata Party – BJP’s Nongthombam Biren Government 2.0 was celeb9rated on April 13 at Senapati Public Ground with Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren as the chief guest.

The inauguration of 95 projects worth Rs 22,450 lakhs and the laying of foundation stones for 17 projects worth Rs 7605 lakhs marked the celebration.

Nongthombam Biren was sworn in as the chief minister of Manipur for the second time on March 21, 2022 after his party, the BJP won the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly election.

Stating that the government had chosen Senapati district to celebrate the 1st anniversary of his government 2.0, Chief minister N Biren said Senapati district is on its path to become the 2nd capital of Manipur in terms of sports, it being the first hill district to have an artificial football turf.

Biren further informed that a Critical Care Block with 10 ICU beds will be constructed at Senapati District Hospital with an estimated cost of Rs. 28 crores. Specialist doctors will also be stationed at the block to check seriously ill patients, he added.

A booklet and a short film on the achievement of the first year of the government were released by the Chief Minister. A short film on War on Drugs 2.0 was screened during the programme. After the end of the programme, a friendly football match was played between CM’s 11 and Senapati 11 at the newly inaugurated Astro turf at the Public Ground, reports added.

Meanwhile the party also announced its cabinet decision to grant Rs 10 lakhs incentives to one beneficiary, within the age of 65 years, of every household across the state under the ‘One Family, One Livelihood’ scheme launched by the government as part of its celebration.

Maharaj Narasingh Remembered

The 173rd Death Anniversary of Maharaj Narasingh was observed on April 11 at Kangla in Imphal. The observation was organized by the State Archaeology Department of Art and Culture, Government of Manipur.

Speaking at the occasion, Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on emphasized the importance of the current generation remembering and honouring the sacrifices made by our forefathers in defence of their motherland’s freedom. He expressed concern that many youths were getting addicted to drugs and intoxicants in the name of modern Manipur, and that the present generation seemed to have forgotten the contributions of their forefathers.

At the observation, Chief Minister Biren led other dignitaries in paying floral tributes and offering tarpan at Nungjeng Pukhri in Kangla.

Committee to Investigate SoO Arms Loot

The Chief Minister also said the government has formed a special committee to investigate the recent looting of arms and ammunitions from a designated camp of the proscribed Kuki National Army (KNA).

He pointed out that according to ground rules of the Suspension of Operation (SoO), the designated camp was supposed to be manned by cadres of the outfit. But only four cadres were present when the said KNA camp in Churachandpur district was looted.

“Combing and search operation is on to capture the culprits of the banned militant outfit, the Kuki Independent Army (KIA) involved in the incident,” Biren said. He also mentioned that investigation is underway to ascertain why the majority of active KNA cadres were absent from their designated camp. The investigation will also look into possible corroboration between KNA and KIA, he added.

Chief Minister Biren reiterated that the investigation will leave no stone unturned and that all possible angles will be examined. “The government does not take the matter lightly; all levels of the governance will be activated to resolve the matter as swiftly as possible,” he stressed.

A team of the proscribed Kuki Independent Army (KIA) around 7.30 pm on April 8 raided Horeb SoO camp at Chongkhozou in Henglep Sub-Division of Churachandpur district and looted a large cache of arms and ammunition from the camp.

According to reports, the KIA team led by its self-styled commander-in-chief Thangkhongam Haokip alias Davidson along with around 14 other miscreants raided the SoO camp. The 15 men in camouflage fatigue outfits raided the camp and overpowered the four sentries and seized their weapons, it stated. As there were only four sentries at the camp barrack during the incident, they were outnumbered by the KIA team.

It informed that from ‘UTLA’, KIA looted one SLR with two rounds, one 7.62 mm pistol with one mag with one round, two 0.32 pistols with one mag with two rounds, one 9 mm pistol with one round, one 0.65 pistol with one round, one 9 mm country-made pistol with one round, one AK 47 with 101 rounds, and two Lethode bombs.

From ‘KNF-Z’, they took three AK 56 with two mags with 37 rounds, two M 16 magazines with 420 rounds, 14 ladies carbine rounds, one carbine magazine, one 0.303 rifle, and one 7.62 pistol with one mag with four rounds, it continued.

It stated that from ‘USRA’, they took two carbine magazines with 32 rounds, 12 SBBL rounds, 126 7.62 mm rounds and one telescopic sight. They also took one SLR with one mag and one 7.62 mm pistol with one mag with three rounds from the ‘camp protection’, it mentioned. The KIA team took the mobile phones of the four sentries but left one of their country-made single-barrel defective SBBL guns, the reports added.

Churachandpur CSOs to Oppose Land Survey

A team of Churachandpur civil society organisations (CSOs) led by the Kuki Students’ Organization (KSO) Churachandpur and the Zomi Students’ Federation (ZSF) are on vigil and prepared to oppose the survey, terming it ‘Illegal’ in a response to a news that Manipur Government’s Forest department and Revenue department is about to conduct a survey of four villages in Churachandpur district.

According to reports, the order dated April 4 issued by SDO Churachandpur announced that the survey will be conducted from April 10 to 13. Responding to the order, the village authorities and CSOs took up duties in the four villages, namely Pearsonmun, Bungmual village Headquarter Veng and Sialmat village.

On April 11, a team led by leaders of KSO and ZSF put up duty at HQ Veng where they eventually learned that the area was already surveyed without the knowledge of the villagers. The team rushed to Sialmat village where they came in contact with the team personnel conducting the survey. The team who surveyed the area said that their survey, which they called Geo- Tagging, was done from a distance without actually going to the village, the reports said.

Meanwhile, the villagers of Pearsonmun and Bungmual are putting on a strict vigil since Monday but were surprised to learn that their villages are already surveyed. The chief of Bungmual, Mangchinkhup Paite said that they met the SDO Churachandpur and learned that the survey was carried out, following a directive from the Forest department.

He said that he, along with the chief of Pearsonmun, tried to meet the DFO who was not in her office. Alleging that they are not consulted in the survey, he warned that they will accept it at any cost and will take up further action, reports added.

MPCC Says NCERT Syllabus Altered to Establish Fascist Society

The Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) on April 11 lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government and alleged that the distortion of history and strangulation of democracy by altering the NCERT syllabus by the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is an attempt to whitewash its past. The move signals toward the process of “ghettoisation” so that a fascist society can be established.

Speaking to the media at Congress Bhawan in Imphal, MPCC vice-president Hareshwar Goshwami pointed out that the alteration of syllabus is an act of mimicking the tactics played by the Nazis to spread fascism through education.

The topics which were completely removed from the syllabus include Key Elements of Democratic Government, Indian After Independence, Democracy in Diversity, Popular Struggle and Movements, political parties, Challenge to Democracy, Industrial Revolution, Kings and Chronicles; the Mughal Courts (C. 16th-17th centuries) among others, Hareshwar said.

“The move is a visible indicator of the ulterior motives of the un-secular BJP/RSS which are the diverse policy and intolerance; attempt to rewrite history with a fascist ink to conceal their past anti-national movements and establish a fascist government by murdering democracy,” said Hareshwar.

Moreover, their intention is also to expunge the role of the Indian National Congress (INC) during India’s freedom struggle and the post-independence period to build a new India, he added.

Regarding dropping of the reference to ‘Godhra Riot (2002 Gujarat Riot)’ from class XII sociology textbook titled Understanding Society, he alleged, “The reference was dropped as it involved PM Modi, though he was given a clean chit when he was well in power without proper trial and procedures.”

Hareshwar further pointed out that a few Dalit writers have also been dropped. It is time for all the political parties to act against such actions by considering it as a primary responsibility to save democracy, history and secularism. “One can distort history and subdue democracy rights for sometime but not erase them forever,” he added.

Earlier on April 9, addressing a press conference after the celebration of the 53rd foundation day of National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) at Congress Bhawan in Imphal, MPCC spokesperson Bamkim Chandra spoke on the negative development in the education sector witnessed during the BJP regime. He said that the BJP has infiltrated the controversial RSS ideology in the educational sector by ways of deforming the NCERT syllabus and stated that it is unacceptable by all.

He highlighted the omission of chapters on Mughal empires, democratic policy, democracy and diversity, popular struggle and movements and challenges of democracy from the NCERT syllabus of X, XI and XII standards by the Modi-led BJP government.

CSCHR Welcomes Home Ministry’s Decision on Prosecution Sanction

The Civil Society Coalition for Human Rights, Manipur and the United Nations (CSCHR) has warmly welcomed the Government of India (Gol)’s support of the recommendation by the United States of America to “Prosecute those responsible for human rights violations”.

The CSCHR stated that the support was stated in paragraph No 151.14 of the final report of the 4th cycle of Universal Periodic Review of India (UN document no. A-HRC-52-11-add1-AV-India-E) adopted by the UN Human Rights Council on 27 March 2023 in Geneva.

CSCHR on the statement sincerely hopes that, in compliance with this commitment, the Union Home Ministry will soon grant prosecution sanction to all the personnel of the armed forces of Union where the CBI/SIT has already submitted triable evidence of committing extra-judicial executions as per the investigation conducted under the direction of the Supreme Court of India in EEVFAM v/s Uol, Writ Petition (Criminal) 129 of 2012.

Through the press statement, CSHCR also heartily thanked the government of Belgium, Norway, and Pakistan for recommending to repeal/review/withdraw the draconian AFSPA. This is a long standing demand of the people of Manipur and many key Governments including Canada, Germany, Serbia, Switzerland, UK etc. have made similar recommendations in the previous three cycles of UPR. But unfortunately, as done in the previous cycles, India simply took note and did not support the recommendation.

The much hyped-up propaganda that the law-and-order situation in the North-East region has improved considerably and that AFSPA will eventually be removed from the region have no resonance in the UN.

It is also regrettable that despite of the body of protecting the indigenous people of the region, the government did not support the recommendation of Paraguay to ratify the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (ILO Convention 169), stated the statement of CSCHR adding that India also simply noted the recommendation to ratify the conventions and protocols relating to the status of refugee and statelessness by several countries.

CSCHR, nevertheless, fully endorses the recommendation of Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, Thomas H Andrew that “India give UNHCR unfettered access to refugees and asylum seekers throughout the country, including in Mizoram and Manipur state.” (para 99 of UN Document no. A/HRC/52/66)

CSCHR has submitted stakeholder reports to the 4th cycle of UPR in March 2022, as done in the previous cycles. Two representatives of our constituent organizations were present in the UPR Working Group session in November 2022 and one during the adoption session in March 2023 in Geneva.

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