After fresh controversy the state government has clarified that it is taking necessary steps to give aid to the Myanmar nationals who have crossed the border to seek refuge in Manipur, even as there has been reports of a crackdown in places near to the border in Myanmar. Also during the week the Salai office was stormed by investors and three of its men arrested, while founder N Samarjit is already under police custody. The Babysana case was also resolved this week with the CBI vindicating the school authorities of all charges in the suicide case.
State Taking Steps to Aid Myanmar Nationals
Special Secretary (Home) Government of Manipur, H Gyan Prakash on March 30 said the state is taking all humanitarian steps, including treatment of injured Myanmar nationals. He stated this in an official letter clarifying on the reports that Manipur has ordered not to provide food and shelter to Myanmar nationals.
“The state government has been taking all humanitarian steps and had recently taken all steps, including taking them to Imphal, to treat the injured Myanmar nationals. The state government continues to provide all aid,” said the special secretary.
However, reports said many Myanmar nationals tried to enter the border on March 27 but the Indian security stopped them from entering and made them go back to their own country.
In order to check the entry of Myanmar nationals through the porous Indo-Myanmar border, a strict checking was conducted by a team of police and AR personnel on March 27.
Bomb Blasts at Moreh Border
While India has beefed up security measures to ensure there is no massive influx of foreign nationals following an incident that led to the killing of a Myanmar national and grievous injuries to seven others late on March 25 in Tamu town, about 5 km inside the neighbouring country, a bomb exploded at Moreh Ward No. 2 near a temporary bunker of the Assam Rifles. No one was hurt in the explosion.
Meanwhile, sounds of heavy firing and explosions near Namphalong Fire Sub-station on Myanmar side could be heard at Moreh during the night. Reports said there have been casualties in the incident in Myanmar.
Samarjit Remanded to Police Custody
Special Judge (NIA), Manipur on March 31 remanded self-proclaimed external-defence minister of Manipur State Council (MSC) Narengbam Samarjit for 13 days’ police custody till April 12.
Investors Storm Salai, MD Arrested
After Narengbam Samarjit was remanded for 13 days NIA custody by the court, the investors staged a protest in front of Salai office and demanded to arrange a meeting with the managing directors of Salai Group of Companies.
Reports said, investors at Salai Group of Companies stormed its office located at Tera Bazar on April 2 at around 10 am with the demand to return their deposited money.
Meanwhile, Managing Director of Salai Group of Companies, Brojendro Elangbam and two others were arrested by the Manipur Police in the morning April 2.
CBI Says Babysana Committed Suicide
The Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) on April 1 submitted the final report of the 2019 Babysana death case before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West, stating that 14-year-old Ningthoujam Babysana Chanu hanged herself to death.
Babysana, a girl student of class-VII of Standard Robarth Higher Secondary School at Canchipur in Imphal West, was found hanging in the hostel dormitory on July 18, 2019.
Reports said the CBI’s final report stated that she was not instigated by any person to commit suicide nor was she subjected to physical or mental torture by the school authorities.
Protection Sought for Myanmar Citizens
The Civil Society Coalition for Human Rights in Manipur and the United Nations (CSCHR) has appealed to the Government of lndia as well as the Government of Manipur to take a principled position as a democratic country upholding the rule of law and universally recognised human rights and come out with an open policy or decision to deal with the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar.
Reports quoting CSCHR statement said that it will be in the long-term national interest of lndia as well as larger cause of humanity to respect the human rights of the persecuted Myanmar nationals by opening up temporary camps in the border areas and to provide food, shelter, basic health care and other amenities. “This noble gesture will be lauded by the world and lndia will prove itself as a matured democracy.”
Clause to Safeguard Territory
The United Front Manipur (UFM) reminded the BJP-led government that there is need of amending the Article 2 and 3 of the Indian Constitution and insert a special clause to safeguard the territorial integrity of Manipur.
Committee on Andro Incident
A fact finding committee has been constituted for submission of a report on the circumstances leading to the fire incident which had taken place on March 29 between Sandang Senba Maring, Kangpokpi district and Andro, Imphal East district.
Any person who desires to submit documents/evidence on the circumstances leading to the incidents among others is asked to submit the same at room No 210 of secretariat (south block) Imphal between 10 am to 12 noon, on all working days, by April 5.
Demand for Valley Foothill Areas
Manipur Valley Village Reserve Forest Right Protection Association (MVVRFRPA) reiterated its demand to include valley village reserve forest areas within the valley districts when realigning the district boundaries of state, in regards to the recent land dispute between Andro and Sandang Sengba Maring Khun.
Reports quoting MVVRFRPA advisor Mutum Churamani said on April 1 that a land of around 32,000 acres was endowed to the people settling around foothill areas to give access to livelihood as per Manipur State Durbar, 1932.
ATSUM Agitations from April 5
While Manipur cabinet in a meeting convened on March 27 gave its approval to conduct Autonomous District Council (ADC) elections in the state, including the four new districts of Kamjong, Tengnoupal, Pherzawl and Noney, the All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur (ATSUM) on March 31 said it will resume agitations from April 5 against the state government demanding issuance of election notification of the Autonomous District Council (ADC) election at the earliest.
Ambulance Attacked at Kangpokpi
An ambulance of Lamyanba Ambulance Service on its way back to Imphal with blue lights on after transferring patients to Guwahati was fired upon at Kangpokpi Bazar on April 1 night around 8.25 pm.
Zeliangrong Solidarity Day
The Zeliangrong Union-Tamenglong zone observed the 87th Zeliangrong Solidarity Day at the conference hall of Zeliangrong House Tamenglong on April 1.
Reports said the occasion is being held in remembrance of the bold step taken to stop the tradition of ‘head hunting’ when the Zeliangrong people took an oath called ‘Chuk Thoibe/Chuk Thoibo/Chuk sumei’ on April 1, 1934, said former president Zeliangrong Union Assam, Manipur and Nagaland Dm Nganthonang during the occasion.
Emphasising on the need for Zeme, Liangmai, Inpui and Rongmei tribes to stand united as ‘Zeliangrong’, he also narrated how the Zeliangrong Union was formed as apex civil organisations of Zeme tribe, Liangmai tribe, Rongmei and Inpui tribe.
Zomi Council Polls
General Assembly cum Election 2021 of the Zomi Council was held on April 1 at ZC Complex, Kuomintang, New Lamka, Churachandpur district. The incumbent chairman of Zomi Council (ZC), John K Ngaihte was re-elected unopposed for the second term (2021-24).
It may be mentioned that the Zomi Council is an apex body of its nine constituent tribes namely Mate, Gangte, Kom, Paite, Simte, Tedim Chin, Thangkhal, Zou and Vaiphei tribes, who accept Zomi as their common nomenclature.
Editor, Imphal Review of Arts and Politics and author