Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

Union Minister State for External Affairs and Education Dr. RK Ranjan along with KV student Brahmacharimayum Nistha, KV Sangathan Commissioner Nishi Pandey and KV Sanghathan Joint Commissioner Ajeeta Longjam during the Pariksha Pe Charcha

No Talks Except on Sovereignty Says CorCom; 81 Myanmar Migrants Including 10 Minors Held Near Moreh; Rani Gaidinliu Birth Anniversary to be Made State Function: CM

81 Myanmar Migrants Including 10 Minors Held Near Moreh

At least 81 illegal Myanmar nationals including 10 minors were arrested in Moreh, Tengnoupal district, Manipur after conducting a verification drive for illegal immigrants by a team comprises of DC Tengnoupal, SP Tengnoupal, Addl. SP (L/O) Tengnoupa, SDC Moreh, OC Moreh PS, two sections of Moreh PS, six teams of CDO Moreh on January 26.

The arrested immigrants were settled in and around New Salbung village and H Lhangcham village, located 7km south from Moreh police station in Tengnoupal district bordering Myanmar. A suo-moto case has been filed under section 14 Foreigners Act for investigation. Following the case, Tengnoupal SP informed the Home Secretary of Government of Manipur that the arrested persons would be produced before the court for further legal process, reports said.

The State Home Secretary has notified the DGP, Manipur to open and activate a Foreigner Detention Centre, Sajiwa at the newly constructed unused building in Sajiwa prison complex. He also directed to provide vehicles to transport the Myanmar nationals and to transfer them, as soon as court proceedings allowing their transportation are obtained, to the Foreigner Detention Centre and hand them over to the prisons and correctional department officers, and to provide security enroute while transporting the Myanmar nationals.

Meanwhile, the State Home Secretary has declared ‘Foreigner Detention Centre’ at the southern side of Sajiwa complex, which is outside the Sajiwa prison, for detention of illegal immigrants with immediate effect and until further order.

Three Myanmar Nationals Escape CCpur Jail

Three Myanmar nationals, including a minor, have reportedly escaped from a temporary jail at Shavdan Mandap, Khominthang, New Lamka in Churachandpur on January 22 morning.

Reports said the escapees have been identified as Winmintay, 28, son of Tharcha from Myanmar; Win Naing Thon, 27, from Myanmar and Biaka, 17, son of Usawelh from Myanmar A/P Kawnpui. They were found missing at 8 am on January 22.

Winmintay and Win Naing Thon were admitted on April 7, 2021 while Biaka was admitted on March 29, 2021, reports added.

There are 45 inmates, including nine children in the temporary jail. Of this, two women died due to COVID-19. Most of the inmates were arrested after they entered Manipur illegally following the February 1 Military coup in Myanmar in 2021.

It may be mentioned that Manipur Police in June last year 2022 arrested around 80 Myanmar nationals, including women and children, who were illegally staying at different places in Churachandpur district. They were arrested during a massive operation for illegal immigrants. Those arrested include 25 men, 35 women and 20 minors.

Manipur Celebrates 74th R-Day

Manipur celebrated India’s 74th Republic Day with the state function held at Kangla with Governor La Ganesan, unfurling the national flag and taking salute from different march-past contingents on January 26.

Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren, Cabinet Ministers; Members of Lokayukta of Manipur; Members of Parliament; Members of Legislative Assembly Constituencies; Chief Secretary; Director General of Police and senior civil and police officials also took part in the celebration.

Reports said the celebration began with the governor inspecting the Guard of Honour accorded by a contingent of 6th Battalion of Manipur Rifles (MR) commanded by Additional Superintendent of Police (Central Motor Transport Workshop) T Bishwajit Singh.

Later, the Governor La Ganesan unfurled the national flag amid playing of the National Anthem by 1st Battalion of Manipur Rifles Band and then took salute from 76 march-past contingents, including different band contingents, commanded by Commandant of 2nd Battalion Manipur Rifles, Victoria Yengkhom. Apart from this, 20 different cultural troupes and tableaux of 14 different departments also took part in marching contingents following the march-past.

The Chief Minister Biren said that the Centre has included two personalities from the state, Thounaojam Chaoba Singh (public affairs) and K Shanathoiba Sharma (sports) from the State for Padma Shri award, which are awarded to personalities for their distinguished service in any field.

Further stating that India has assumed the presidency of the G-20 and that Manipur will also be hosting meetings as part of the presidency as in other parts of the country, the Chief Minister has urged support from the people for the successful hosting of the meetings, reports added.

CorCom and ASUK Boycotts R-Day, No ‘Talks’ Except on Sovereignty’: CorCom

As usual, the Coordination Committee (CorCom),  a conglomerate of major armed groups of Manipur like PREPAK, PREPAK (Pro), RPF and UNLF,  has called for an 18-hour total shutdown from January 25 midnight till 6 pm on January 26 against India’s Republic Day in Manipur. Along with the call for boycotting India’s Republic Day, January 26, the CorCom has also stated that there will no be any political negotiation or ‘talks’ except on the issue of “Sovereignty and Independence”.

CorCom in a statement issued by its Publicity Committee appealed to the public to cease work, stay indoors and boycott the Republic Day celebrations. Religious ceremonies, medical related, and other public emergencies have been exempted from the purview of the total shutdown.

Further, the CorCom statement said that India celebrates January 26 as Republic Day but for the people of Manipur, it should be considered as “Repressive Day”. The day as observed by India is to showcase the efforts to erase history of Manipur; transfer of power from Kangla to Delhi and changing of venue from London’s Whitehall to India’s Red Fort by exhibiting the power of the Indian Army, said the satement of the CorCom.

Moreover, the Alliance for Socialist Unity, Kangleipak (ASUK) of KYKL and KCP (Noyon) has announced a 12-hour total shutdown on January 26 Republic Day from 6am to 6pm. While seeking support from the public, ASUK said movement of people related to ritual ceremonies, medical service, media and other emergency services have been exempted from the purview of the shutdown.

Announcing the shutdown, ASUK also stressed the drug menace faced by Manipur as one of the low-points of contemporary times. ASUK claimed that are telltale signs of the involvement of political power in the current situation faced by people due to illegal drugs menace and poppy plantation, the release added.

MPCC Celebrates R-Day, Rani Gaidinliu

Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) on January 26 celebrated India’s 74th Republic Day and also commemorated the 108th birth anniversary of freedom fighter, Rani Gaidinliu, at the Congress Bhawan in Imphal.

Reports said the celebration was started with singing the national song “Vande Mataram” by the women karmi of MPCC and hoisting the tri-colour by MPPC President Keisham Meghachandra.

Moreover, candle lights and floral tributes were paid to the departed soul of the late freedom fighter, Rani Gaidinliu on her 108th birth anniversary observance, honouring her contribution and courage in the freedom movement.

Speaking on the occasion, President Meghachandra said that the day is indeed a proud moment for all the Indians where its citizens regained their rights after a long struggle against British imperialism. The celebration was also attended by Former Chief Minister and present CLP leader Okram Iboibi; CWC member Gaikhangam; MLA Thokchom Lokeshwor and MPCC office bearers among others, reports added.

Rani Gaidinliu Birth Anniversary to be State Function: CM

Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren has announced that the birth anniversary of Rani Gaidinliu will be observed as a state function from next year, 2024.

The Chief Minister made the announcement during the 108th birth anniversary of the freedom fighter, Rani Gaidinliu, which was commemorated on January 26 at Rani Gaidinliu Park at Mantripukhri in Imphal by the Ranima Birth Anniversary Organising Committee, 2023.

Floral tributes to the memorial statue of the late freedom fighter, led by Governor La Ganesan and Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren, marked the opening ceremony of the observance, reports said.

Various cultural dances were also performed by different troops as a part of the commemoration programme. The programme was also attended by ministers, MLAs, CSOs leaders among others.

Manipuri Girl Anchors PM Modi’s ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’

Union Minister State for External Affairs and Education Dr. RK Ranjan along with KV student Brahmacharimayum Nistha, KV Sangathan Commissioner Nishi Pandey and KV Sanghathan Joint Commissioner Ajeeta Longjam during the Pariksha Pe Charcha

A Manipuri girl student of Kendra Vidyalaya No. 1, Lamphelpat in Imphal West was given the honour of anchoring the ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha, 2023’ at the Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi on January 26. Brahmacharimayum Nistha, a Class XI Science student of Kendra Vidyalaya No. 1, Lamphelpat in Imphal West anchored the ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha, 2023’.

Pariksha Pe Charcha (Discussion on Examination) is an annual event held every year since 2018. During the event the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi interacts with students, teachers and parents from across the country, and shares valuable tips on how to take board and entrance exams in a relaxed and stress free manner.

The event held in New Delhi was also attended by Union Minister State for External Affairs and Education Dr. RK Ranjan, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan Commissioner Nishi Pandey and Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghathan Joint Commissioner Ajeeta Longjam.

 Committee Constituted to Appoint MHRC Chairperson & Members

Following the direction of the Manipur High Court to ensure that the Manipur State Human Rights Commission (MHRC) functions, the State Government has constituted a committee for appointing chairperson of MHRC and members on January 24.

The Manipur High Court on December 15, 2022, 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, i.e., on January 13, 2023, be it by appointing a regular Chairperson or by way of an interim arrangement.

At last, the Governor of Manipur on January 24, exercising the powers conferred by the proviso to sub-section (1) of section 22 of Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, constituted the committee to recommend persons for appointment of chairperson and members of MHRC.

The committee members are Chief Minister as chairperson, Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly, Minister in-charge of Law department, leader of opposition in Manipur Legislative Assembly as members of the committee.

The order of the Governor stated that the chairperson and members of MHRC will be announced by February 6.

It may be mentioned that The Manipur High Court was given the opportunity in connection with hearing of the public interest litigation filed by Urikhimbam Nobokishore for directing the state government and concern authorities for appointment of the chairperson and one member (Judicial) as mandated under the protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 and for appointment of the necessary officers and the staffs of the MHRC under the Manipur Human Rights Commission Service Rules, 2021.

Manipur to Impose Property Tax: CM

Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on January 23 said that the state government will soon start collecting property tax to boost the revenue generation of the state.

The Chief Minister was replying to a query raised by the media on the government’s effort to boost the state’s revenue during an inspection of an amusement park and recreational centre at Thenggu Ching, Awang Potshangbam Khunou in Imphal East, reports said.

Five Suspects Arrested for Attack on Police

At least five persons suspected to be involved in attacking police during a drug raid on January 21 at Kshetrigao Yumkhaibam Leirak in Imphal East district have been arrested late night on January 22.

Reports said the incident in the night at Kshetrigao, which began around 9.30 pm, was a follow up to the January 21 raid against drug sellers wherein the locals pelted stones against the police. In the process, five were arrested on Sunday for attacking police on duty. And the police said they will continue with the raid.

The five individuals arrested are Mohammad Helaluddin Khan (42), S/o Mohammad Herun of Yumkhaibam Makha Leikai, Kshetrigao; Md. Washim Khan (20), S/o Md Yusuf of Kshetru Awang Leikai; Md. Sajish Khan (35), S/o Md Bijan of Yumkhaibam Makha Leikai; Md Rafi (34), S/o Md Rahman of Sabal Leikai, Kshetrigao and Abdul Hanal, S/o (L) Abo, Mother- Thoibi of Yumkhaibam Makha Leikai, reports added.

MPCC Demands All NDPS Cases from 2012 to be Handed Over to CBI

Reacting to Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren’s charges against Congress President, MLA Keisham Meghachandra for visiting the Kakching SP office in connection with the arrest of CDO personnel with illicit drugs, Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) on January 22 termed the CM’s act as a “breach of privilege”.

“I visited the SP office to laud the police personnel for their great achievement in good faith. The allegation of threatening the SP is totally wrong”, clarified Meghachandra, who is also the president of MPCC, while speaking to the media at the Congress Bhawan in Imphal.

“Is there a law that an MLA cannot enter an SP office, take photos and videos?” he questioned, stating that the question of hampering the case is out of context. He further clarified that his statement made before the media on that particular day is not against the SP, but was a healthy suggestion to the state government.

Regarding the production of 28 police personnel who were involved in NDPS cases during the Congress regime by the Chief Minister, Meghachandra said, “We don’t stop the government from handing over those cases to the CBI. Please stop digging into history to cover a big issue.”

He said, in fact, the Congress party wants all those NDPS cases involving government functionaries from 2012 till date to be handed over to the CBI as hope has perished in the investigation taken up by the state government.

Citing the handing over of the old Pallel drug haul case involving a former Army PRO and the Tulihal drug haul case involving a relative of former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi to CBI while Ibobi himself was the CM, he said Congress never retreated in handling drug-related cases, reports added.

RD&PR Selected Candidates Hail Govt

Eighty-four candidates who were selected in four categories of posts of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department (RD&PR) have hailed the government and concerned minister, Yumnam Khemchand, for a corruption-free recruitment.

On December 15, 2022, the Manipur government had issued a recruitment notification to appoint 49 office assistants, seven stenographers, seven drivers, and 21 peons for the department on contractual basis.

The results of the recruitment for all the four different posts were declared on December 25, 2022, which is also the birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and observed as “Good Governance Day” across the country.

To appreciate the corruption-free recruitment, the 84 selected candidates presented a bouquet and stall to RD&PR Minister Yumnam Khemchand at his residence located at Singjamei Yumnam Leikai, Imphal West on January 23, reports said.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister Khemchand said the result of the recruitment was declared on the day of ‘Good Governance Day’ to contribute on the birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee under the guidance of Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren.

To encourage the talents of the educated youths, the recruitment was conducted corruption-free, the Minister said. Further he appealed to the upcoming youths to prepare for competition while applying for a job as the government has started a corruption-free recruitment from the RD&PR department, reports added.

120 Hectares of Poppy Plants Destroyed

A joint team of Manipur Police, Forest Department and NAB destroyed illegally planted poppy plants on 120 hectares of land in 11 villages of Chandel district. The team also set ablaze 30 huts used in the plantation. A total of 2,500 kgs of opium could have been produced from the destroyed plants.

According to a press release by AFC Chandel, N Munal Meitei, the mass destruction started after Consumer Affairs Minister L Sushindro, Meitei went on an aerial survey over 13 villages in Chandel District on January 12. Munal said that Lhangpikot and Leijang villages were found to be clean from the illegal plantation for the last three years. However, a large force will be required to destroy the mass poppy plantation in Phaisi area and will also take a lot of time, the release added.

The release further said that the villages will face water scarcity after a period of time, plants will fail to grow in the places where poppies were planted and use of chemicals is also not entertained. The release also warned that Manipur has a high chance of becoming a desert if poppy plantation is not prohibited in the hill districts mainly Chandel, Churachandpur and Kangpokpi district.

Now is the right time to destroy the poppy plants as it is the harvesting season. He also appealed to the people to cooperate in saving our state from becoming the second golden triangle, Munal stated in the release.

Meitei Pangals Demands ST Status

The Meetei-Pangal Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee (MPSTDC) on January 24 announced that a strong movement will be launched to raise the demand upon the state government to make Manipur an inclusive scheduled tribe state as a whole from January 27.

The MPSTDC announced the line of action to be taken up to fulfill the collective demand of the Meetei-Pangal community during a press meet held at MPSTDC office in Hatta, Imphal East. The move came after a resolution to leave the responsibilities and duties of demanding the ST status to MPSTDC was taken during a People’s Convention on January 22, reports said.

He further informed that the MPSTDC is always ready to go hand in hand with the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee Manipur (STDCM) if they intend to do so. “As a Meitei-Pangal who has bonds of brotherhood with the Meitei brethren, we will always follow the footsteps of the Meiteis. The Meitei-Pangal will always follow wherever the Meitei community moves. We will stick to the traditional inheritance of our fore-fathers and preserve their integrity,” he added.

Meanwhile, the MPSTDC on January 27 thronged to the residence of Mayang Imphal MLA K Robindro and Kshetrigao MLA Sheikh Noorul Hassan and submitted memorandums seeking their support in enlisting Meitei-Pangal in the ST list, reports said.

VDF Personnel Involved in Destruction of Poppy Plantation Missing

One personnel of a Village Defence Force (VDF) who went to destroy poppy cultivation on January 16 at Urantop hill of Chandel district have gone missing since January 21 and a search for the personnel is underway.

The All-Manipur VDF Welfare Association (VDFWA) has appealed to the state government to extend support in finding the missing VDF personnel, Ningombam Premananda Singh, son of Ningombam Dina of Thoubal Okram Maning Leikai.

Addressing the media on January 23 at the Manipur Press Club, Secretary of VDFWA, Md Idrish said that under Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren’s ‘War on Drugs.02’ campaign, the SP of Thoubal district ordered 49 VDF, 2 ASI, 5 Home Guard, 14 police constable, totalling 70 police personnel, to report to OC Chakpikarong on January 16. Following the order, the team reported on January 16 and stayed till January 20 at Chakpikarong PS and on January 20 itself, the team left for Phaisi village, Chandel district.

Idrish continued that they headed towards Urantop hill, near Indo-Myanmar border and around 10pm, after dinner, they went to sleep at a temporary tent. Then, around 2-3am, it was known that Ningombam Premananda was missing. A search is underway by the team of CDO, VDF, AR personnel along with the Narcotics and Forest Department under the supervision of SP Thoubal, he said.

Stating that Premananda’s family is in trauma, the association urged the state government to involve the NDRF or SDRF team while searching for him, reports added.

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