Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

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Nupi Samaj leaders demanded all political parties to unite to demand repeal of AFSPA
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Nupi Samaj Wants One Political Voice Against AFSPA; Okram Ibobi Lambasts Govt; Nadda Says BJP Govt Has Brought State Unity; CPI Observed 83rd Chinga Mipham

Speaking to the media during the ‘41st Meira Paibi Houdokpa Numit’ observance held at the community hall of Kanto Sabal, Imphal West on December 30, former president of All Manipur Women’s Social Reformation and Development Samaj (Nupi Samaj) Th Ramani urged the politicians to stand united to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) completely from the state if they have any love for Manipur.

Under the draconian Act, many innocents and women have been killed and many of them are still suffering for the rest of their lives. If the politicians love Manipur, then they should stand united against AFSPA in order to repeal it completely, Ramani asserted.

Ramani further said the ‘Meira Paibi ’movement was started during 1972-73 to protect the women from violence and fight against the anti-social drugs including alcohols. The ‘Nishaband Meira Paibi’ was formed as a part of the movement, she added.

In the following years, many innocents including daily wage workers were killed and victimised by the security forces under AFSPA by alleging them as insurgents or related to insurgents, she said.  Moreover, incidents had occurred during which the security forces raped innocent women by taking advantage of the Act.

Ramani continued, taking advantage of the Act, the security forces assaulted many farmers who were working at the paddy fields even students returning from schools were apprehended. Under the draconian Act, security forces have been torturing the people, and it has been imposed in the entire state other than Imphal Municipal Area.

Although the people of the state have been suffering since the past many years under the Act, no political leaders of the state are sincerely fighting against the Act, Ramani added.

First Omicron Case in Manipur

First Omicron case in Manipur has been confirmed by the Manipur Health Services Directorate on December 27.

“Omicron variant of SARSCOV2 has been detected in an international passenger coming from Tanzania to the state,” the Directorate of Health Services said in a release. The patient with travel history was tested COVID-19 positive on December 18 by RTPCR test on the 8th day of arrival in India. The test sample was sent for Whole Genome Sequencing to the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) Takyelpat, Imphal, the release added.

Soon after getting the genome sequencing report, the Health department immediately shifted him to a special isolation ward in a government hospital in Imphal. During the contact tracing, three of his close contacts are found to be positive during RTPCR testing conducted on December 22. The three persons are currently kept in isolation at RD Wing, the release said.

BJP Govt priority is publicity: Ibobi

Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader and Former Chief Minister of Manipur Okram Ibobi on December 30 said the era of dictatorial form of government by a king has ended and a democratic form of government has started but the present Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition government is giving priority to giving publicity instead of listening to the voice of the public.

Former Chief Minister Ibobi said this while he was speaking during a one-day block-level political conference held at Takyel Kolom Leikai ground, Imphal West. He continued that during the dictatorial form of government, a king had to rule in his own way but now, with the coming of democratic form of government, the people’s voice plays a great role in the formation of the government. Therefore, during the Congress rule in the state, being a chief minister, he was very cautious while giving any assurance at public platforms, Ibobi said.

Ibobi maintained that the Congress shied away to get political mileage by shouting about the contributions and achievements it made but that the present government has been shouting at every platform for the achievements brought during their tenure. The achievements of a government are to be heard from the public, he added.

EEVFAM, HRA wants state govt to take firm AFSPA stand

Extrajudicial Execution Victim Families Association, Manipur (EEVFAM) and Human Rights Alert (HRA) on December 29 urged the Manipur Government to take firm decisions on critical issues related to AFSPA as it would convince the people of Manipur of the government’s commitment to uphold the human rights of the victims of AFSPA and not playing “just another pre-poll political gimmick.”

EEVFAM and HRA in a release, warmly welcomed the media report that the Government of Manipur is likely to recommend revocation of the ‘Disturbed Area’ status under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA) soon.

A most pressing issue is the pending prosecution sanctions against all the police personnel indicted by the CB/SIT in pursuance EEVFAM v/s Union of India, SC WP (Cril) 129 of 2012. Even though prosecution sanctions against the lower ranking police personnel are readily issued, those against the higher ranking police personnel are not issued till date, the release said.

EEVFAM and HRA in the release urged the state government to strongly examine the matter with the Union of India to issue prosecution sanction against all the armed forces of the union found to be involved in the extra judicial killing the innocent citizens of Manipur, whose prima facie evidence have been already submitted to the Chief Judicial Magistrates of various districts of Manipur following the investigation of the CBI/SIT in pursuance EEVFAM V/s Union of India, SC WP (Cril) 129 of 2012, and recommend the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958.

Nadda praises state govt

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National President JP Nadda claimed that the Biren-led BJP government of the state is making progress towards strengthening the integrity of the state. He said this after arrival in Imphal on December 30 for few hours and joining a massive rally of youths at BASIC ground in Kakching district.

He further said, before the Biren-led government came to power, the people used to visit the homes of officers, but now the officers are making door-to-door visits of people, reports said.

“We do not want insurgency, we want stability. We do not want the politics of divide and rule. We want prosperity; we do not want drugs; we want sports and peace,” he said.

He further announced that under the national old age pension scheme, the state government has provided benefits to 1 lakh senior citizens. As many as 3.5 individuals have received benefits from Ayushman Bharat, he added.

Concerning the law and order situation in the state, he said that the state used to exist under year-long blockades but it is no longer the case now. Approximately, 1,309 youths gave up their arms and came to mainstream life; they are stepping towards a new Manipur. CM Biren’s ‘Miyamgi gi Numit’ (The Peoples’ Day) has brought the people of the state together, he added.

He said, the ministers, MLAs are also lending their ears to the peoples’ grievances. Reminding the youths about the ‘War against Drugs,’ undertaken by the government, he said that around 11,600 acres of illegal poppy farms have been destroyed.

Reports added, Nadda announced that the Loktak Development project has been approved that Manipur is heading towards economic development.  Development shall go hand in hand with integration. There is more closeness between the hills and the valley. The integrity of the state and its culture has been protected; ILP has been implemented with Biren-led government’s ideal of protecting the state’s integrity, he added.

Violence Against Doctors Flayed

Resident Doctors Association (RDA) Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences ( JNIMS) Imphal on December 30 organised a peaceful candle light march inside the JNIMS campus to show solidarity to all the protesting resident doctors of the nation in connection with the repeated postponement of NEET-PG counselling 2021.

A statement issued by RDA, JNIMS on December 30 stated that the RDA strongly condemned the brutal manhandling of the peacefully protesting doctors in the national capital on December 27, 2021.

The statement added that the existing resident doctors who are serving since the COVID-19 first wave, second wave and who will also be serving in this impending third wave are facing immense trouble and are totally exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally due to the shortage of manpower. Conducting the pending NEET-PG counselling will reinforce the nation with at least 40,000 to 50,000 resident doctors, it added.

The association requested the authorities concerned to conduct the NEET-PG 2021 counselling at the earliest possible.

Letpao Haokip Joins BJP

Manipur Sports Minister and National People’s Party (NPP) leader Letpao Haokip on December 29 joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the party headquarters in New Delhi in the presence of Union Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav and BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra.

“I joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by leaving the National People’s Party because under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah, development can be brought in the Northeastern states, including Manipur”, Haokip said.

Reports said he told the media on the sideline that Manipur does not have much resource and to bring development in the state it is needed to strengthen the BJP party. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Amit Shah give priority to bring development for Manipur. PM Modi was appreciated for establishing a Northeast cell in order to protect the Northeastern people from being bullied in mainland India, Haokip added.

It may be mentioned that Letpao Haokip was elected in the NPP seat from 41-Chandel Assembly Constituency in 2017 on NPP ticket. He is also one of the leaders of the NPP party. However, in the upcoming Manipur Legislative Assembly election, 2022 he will be contesting from 42-Tengnoupal Assembly Constituency against the sitting MLA D Korungthang of INC.

Govt Pressuring on Centre For AFSPA removal: Biren

Responding to the increasing demands from different corners of the state to remove AFSPA from Manipur, Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on December 29 said the state government has been mounting pressure on the Central government for the removal of the ‘Disturbed Area’ tag from Manipur.

He said this while briefing the media during the release of the Manipur government’s 2022 yearly calendar and diary by the Directorate of Information and Public Relation (DIPR) at the Chief Minister’s bungalow in Imphal West.

CM Biren explained that as there are various proscribed groups which are in suspension of operation (SoO) and some which are unwilling to indulge in a peace talk, the Central government might be closely monitoring the situation for any possibility, reports added.

Pioneer Journalist NK Sanajaoba Remembered

The 84th birth anniversary of NK Sanajaoba, pioneer investigative journalist of Manipur was held in a low key manner at Lamyanba Shanglen, Palace Compound, Imphal on December 30.

Offering floral tributes to the late journalist was the main event of the observance. Former Chairman of UNLF RK Sanayaima aka Meghen also attended the programme and paid his tribute to NK Sanajaoba.

Speaking to media persons, RK Meghen stated that NK Sanajaoba was also a founder of the same outfit he joined. Saying that NK Sanajaoba was a long time Editor of Pan Manipuri Youth League (PANMYL) monthly journal, Lamyanba, RK Meghan continued that investigative journalism was not prevalent in the whole WESEA region and rare in the Indian sub-continent when Sanajaoba introduced investigative journalism in Manipur. NK Sanajaoba also published several detailed research articles in Lamyanba under a pen name Thengra.

About the present condition of journalism in Manipur, RK Meghan said that journalists here face several issues as the State is in conflict. Despite the difficulties, the press here has been working dedicatedly to inform the happening of the State as well as that of other States and beyond.

However, the media seems to be losing its strength in India that the media fears reporting certain issues in fear of consequences, Meghen said.

He also appealed to every journalist in Manipur to work with ethics.

NK Sanajaoba was born on December 30, 1936 at Singjamei Wangma Kshetri Leikai and breathed his last on November 11, 1995. He was one of the seven founding Central Committee members of the UNLF.

Bomb Blast at Telipati

Miscreants detonated a powerful IED at Telipati, under Porompat Police Station, Imphal East district at around 3.35 am on December 30. No casualties were reported in the blast.

Reports said the explosion took place at an area owned by one Ramnath Sahu, 75, son of late Vishwanath Sahu, a resident of Telipati. A workshop that repairs stone crusher machines is located close to the gate which opens to his compound. The workshop is owned by one Dasarath Sahu, 66, son of (L) Ganga Ram of Telipati. A godown for storing potatoes and onions is located at some distance away from the workshop. Adjacent to the main road which passes before the compound, a kutcha house with people staying on rent is also located.

CPI Observed 83rd Chinga Mipham

The Communist Party of India (CPI), Manipur State Council observed 83rd Memorial Day of Chinga Meepham popularly known as Chinga Session, 1938 at Irawat Bhawan on December 30 wherein floral tributes were paid to the statue of Hijam Irabot by members of the communist party.

Speaking at the occasion, CPI State Secretary L. Sotinkumar said the day is an important day in the history of Manipur as many resolutions were taken to bring a change in the then political scenario of the State and the political decisions taken at that time gave birth to political parties in the State. He observed that there is a need to discuss the present political scenario by the present generation as wished by Hijam Irabot who sacrificed his life for the cause of the society.

The Nikhil Manipuri Hindu Mahasabha was set up to gather the Manipuris who were scattered due to the Seven Years Devastation (Awa Lan) in order to preserve the tradition and culture of the State. As a result of the successive sessions and resolutions held by the Mahasabha on December 29 and 30, 1938 at Chinga, the word “Hindu” from the name of the organisation was removed and it became Nikhil Manipuri Mahasabha, a turning point was brought in the history of Manipur.

CM Mulls Legal Action Against Poppy Cultivators

Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on the eve of New Year on December 31 extended his warm greetings to the people of the state and said that legal action will be taken against the land owner of poppy plantations in Manipur from 2022 onwards.

Speaking to the media at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat in Imphal Biren informed that the Government of India has given approval for initiating actions against the land owners of poppy farms in the state. A joint committee has been formed to check any illegal poppy farming mostly at the border areas of the state.

Reports said the war on drugs mission of the state government is going on successfully with the participation of the general public, where various villagers had even volunteered to destroy the poppy plantation, Biren said, adding that above 11,600 acres of poppy cultivation have been destroyed.

Sexual Assault Accused Released on ‘Default’ Bail

A man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a minor has been released on ‘default’ bail on December 31 by furnishing a PR bond of Rs 1 lakh, after being in judicial custody for more than the statutory period of 180 days, as the final report of the FIR has not been received by the Special Judge (POCSO), Imphal West till date.

Reports said, the accused, Rupesh Singh, 25, son of (L) Chandra Mohan Singh of South West Delhi, presently residing at Nagamapal Kangjabi was arrested on June 12, 2021. He has been in judicial custody since June 19, 2021, after completing nine days of police custody.

Rupesh was arrested in connection with the kidnapping and sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl. The investigating officer of the case had examined prosecution witnesses and interrogated him. During the interrogation, he admitted the offense charged against him.

The court while hearing the bail application, heard the submission by the counsel of the accused that the accused was arrested by the police on July 11, and remanded in judicial custody on July 19. Since then, the accused has been languishing in judicial custody for 199 days.

The court released the accused with the condition that he should cooperate with the investigation; he should make available before the investigation authority; should not influence prosecution witnesses, should not leave the state without prior permission of the court, and should report before the court on every first working day of every month until further order, reports added.

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