Patriots’ Day Observed
Manipuris inside and outside of Manipur observed Patriots Day on August 13 in honour of those known and unknown who laid their lives to defend the sovereignty of Manipur in the Anglo-Manipur War of 1891 against the British imperialists.
Bir Tikendrajit (Koireng Yubaraj) and Thangal General were hanged on this day in public in 1891 at Pheidapung, which is now known as Bir Tikendrajit Park near Imphal Pologround.
Pukhramba Kajao, Chirai Thangal and Niranjan Subedar were also hanged while many unknown soldiers laid down their lives gracefully in order to save the Manipuri nation from colonisation by the mighty British imperial forces.
As part of the Patriots’ Day this year in addition to the usual rituals, a memorial monolith alongside the Saheed Minar (Patriots’ Pillar) dedicated to those who were exiled to Kala Pani (Andaman and Nicobar Island) was inaugurated by Manipur Governor designate Ganga Prasad on August 13 at Bir Tikendrajit Park in Imphal.
A plaque engraved with the names of the martyrs who fought valiantly against the British forces and later exiled to Andaman and Nicobar Islands and hanged after the Anglo-Manipur War of 1891 was also unveiled on the occasion.
Governor of Manipur Ganga Prasad Chaurasia and Chief Minister N Biren Singh led others in paying floral tributes at Kangla Utra and Shaheed Minar, Bir Tikendrajit Park in Imphal.
A contingent of Manipur Rifles sounded the last post and offered gun salutes to the martyrs. The chief minister, cabinet ministers, MLAs and others also paid their floral tributes at Hicham Yaichampat, Moirangkhom, where Bir Tikendrajit was cremated and at Thangal General Temple Complex, Palace Compound.
The monolith engraved with the names of the 21 exiled and five war heroes who were hanged was unveiled on August 13 during the inauguration of the Memorial Complex of Exiled Heroes of Anglo-Manipur War.
The height of the Exiled War Heroes memorial stone is 20 feet, while the height and width of the monolith is 10.5 feet (from the back) and 16 feet respectively.
However, there are inconsistencies in the names of the exiled war heroes listed. While the state Arts and Culture department has recognised 21 unsung heroes, experts and researchers said that there were 23 exiled war heroes of the Anglo-Manipur War, reports added.
The names of the 21 exiled war heroes encrypted on the monolith are Kulachandra Dhaja Singh, Ex-Regent; Prince Angou Singh, Senapati; Lokendra Birjit Singh, Wangkheirakpa; Shamu Singh, Colonel alias Luwang Ningthou; Chongtha Mia Singh, Menjor; Chaoba Hidar Machahal; Guna Singh Khongbram; Kumba Singh Laishraba; Dhojo Singh Mayengba and Noni Singh Nepra, Machahal.
Others include Trilok Singh,Nongthonba Satwal; Dhono Singh Sagolsemba; Ghuna Singh alias Chingsuba; Thouba Singh alias Mangsataba; Chaobaton Singh Heigrujamba, Subedar; Pradhumba Singh alias Ashangbam Kut; Ghowkami Naga; Gowho Naga; Ningthouba Singh alias Chingsubay; Chongtham Nilamani Singh (Ayapurel Major) and Tonjao Singh alias Mangsataba.
Earlier in a greeting on the Patriots’ Day, the Governor Ganga Prasad said: “This day also reminds us that we only succeed when we stand united, a lesson learnt the hard way when the British so effectively used their craft of ‘Divide and Rule’ to their advantage. While observing the Patriots’ Day, let us all take a pledge to stand as one against all challenges to the freedom and integrity of our country rising above caste, creed or religion.
“I am privileged to join the people of Manipur in observing the Patriots’ Day and wish the observations in the state and also outside the state all success”, he added.
Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren said, “Let us all take a pledge to stand as one and work together towards inclusive development of the State and welfare of the people.”
Former Chairman of the United National Liberation Front (UNLF), R. K. Meghen also known as Sanayaima also paid floral tributes to the patriots. Bir Tikendrajit was his great grandfather.
Ganga Prasad Chaurasia Sworn-in as New Manipur of Governor
Sikkim Governor Ganga Prasad Chaurasia was sworn-in as governor-designate of Manipur on August 12 at Raj Bhawan, Imphal in the presence of Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren, MLAs and officials of the state. The oath of office and secrecy was administered by Manipur High Court Chief Justice P V Sanjay Kumar. The appointment letter of Prasad as the governor of Manipur given by President Ram Nath Kovind was read out by state chief secretary Rajesh Kumar during the oath-taking ceremony.
Ganga Prasad, who is also the present governor of Sikkim, will now be taking the additional charge of the Manipur governor during the absence of the governor of Manipur Najma Heptulla, who is presently on leave.
After the oath-taking ceremony, the new governor inspected the guard of honour inside the Raj Bhawan and interacted with Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren and his cabinet colleagues and other officials, reports said.
MHRC Tells DGP to Provide Security to RTI Activists
The Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) on August 12 directed the Director General of Police (DGP) and Special Secretary (Home), Government of Manipur to provide police protection to RTI activists and also provide them a secure place.
The MHRC gave the directive in connection with a suo-moto case taken up on the basis of news reports published in various media and social media platforms. The reports stated that two RTI activists reportedly faced reprisal after they filed RTI applications in respect to development works of Senapati district.
It has been alleged that the NSCN (I-M) mounted pressure on the two RTI activists to withdraw their RTI applications; otherwise, they may faced dire consequence, including death penalty. It is also stated that the two activists are in hiding and they have sought police protection.
After registering the case, the MHRC has asked the DGP, Manipur and special secretary (Home), government of Manipur to look into the matter and submit their respective replies by August 16, MHRC statement said.
Andro CVOs Seek Clarification on COVID-19 Test Results
Various civil voluntary organisations of Andro village condemned the contradictory COVID-19 test results of one late Phanjoubam Bheigo and demanded JNIMS authority to provide clarification on the different test results.
Andro Youth Club Association General Secretary Asoibam Nandakumar Meitei, in an audio release, said that as per decision taken by locals of Andro to ascertain the cause of death of Phanjoubam Bheigo, a post-mortem was done at JNIMS on August 9.
The JNIMS authority handed over the body to the family members after the completion of autopsy. Later, the last rite of Bheigo was carried out in the presence of many locals on the day itself with the belief that the deceased was free from COVID-19. The body was tested for COVID-19 and the result was negative, he added.
But in the list of COVID-19 positive cases that was issued on August 10, Bheigo’s name was found. Such contradictory results have given unnecessary trouble to the family members as well as locals, Nandakumar said while questioning JNIMS authority whether it will give compensation to the people who took part in the last rite of the deceased if any eventuality happens.
He further said that the JNIMS authority must provide clarification on whether the COVID-19 test result of the deceased during the time of autopsy on August 9 was correct or the second one on August 10 which was listed as COVID-19 positive.
Nandakumar recalled that the 50-year-old Phanjoubam Bheigo from Andro Mamang Leikai died a few days after he took the COVID-19 vaccine on August 3 he had undergone self-medication for a few days after having some mild fever. However, as his health condition got severe, he was taken to JNIMS but due to unavailability of bed, he was shifted to RIMS where doctors declared that Bheigo was brought dead, the release added.
18 New Posts in Sports Department Reserved for Olympians
Manipur Government has created 18 posts reserved for Olympians of the State in Youth Affairs and Sports (YAS) Department, Government of Manipur.
Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren stated this while attending the reception ceremony of the hockey player and Tokyo Olympics Bronze Medallist Shanglakpam Nilakanta Sharma organised at Kontha Ahallup, Imphal East on August 11. This was decided by the state cabinet in its recent meeting, he added.
The posts created included 10 posts of assistant director for participants, five deputy directors for medal winners and three joint directors for gold medal winners at Olympic Games, reports quoting the Chief Minister said.
Financial Aid Extended to 80 School Van Drivers in Sagolband AC
A financial assistance of Rs 3,000 each was provided to 80 registered school van drivers under Sagolband Assembly Constituency.
Distribution of the COVID-19 relief was carried out as extending support to the people whose livelihood have been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by Sagolband Constituency Progressive Committee (SCPC) under the leadership of local MLA, R. K. Imo.
MLA Imo said that the step was taken as a token gesture to help the van drivers who are financially affected due to prolonged curfew or lockdown imposed as a measure to combat the pandemic. Many people have lost their livelihoods during this period, as such it is imperative to take certain measures to help them, reports said.
Imo recalled that COVID-19 relief consisting of Rs 20,000 was distributed to the family members of those who have lost their lives due to the pandemic second wave. He further stated that essential and edible items will be distributed for the month of August from August 11 onwards to 8,500 members of the Women Wing of Sagolband Constituency Progressive Committee. Sagolband has women voters of around 12,500, of which 8,500 women are registered with SCPC Women Wing, reports added.
Police Must Not Infringe Upon Right to Privacy: MHRC
The Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) on August 10 stated that the state police must not infringe upon the right to privacy and dignity of citizens and ensure that the rights are protected at all times.
The MHRC asked the director general of police to respond to the suo-moto case by August 31. The Commission made the statement of a suo-moto case taken up in connection with showing of video coverage of the frisking and checking of people, who are allegedly suspected, as well as the house-to-house search operation in various electronic media and social media platforms in view of the security measures for the Indian Independence Day celebrations.
The commission appreciated the activities being taken up by the state police to ensure safety and security of the state and citizens. However, such activities cannot infringe upon the right to privacy and dignity of the citizen, the statement added.
5 PSA Oxygen Plants Inaugurated in Manipur
In an effort to improve the medical infrastructure in the fight against COVID-19, Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren inaugurated five Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) Oxygen plants in different districts of Manipur this week.
After inaugurating three PSA Oxygen Plants one each in Chandel District, Ukhrul District and Senapati District on August 9, Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on August 10 inaugurated another PSA Oxygen Plant with 1,000 LPM capacity at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) in Imphal.
The Chief Minister also inaugurated a 20 KL Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) Plant installed at Veterinary Complex, Porompat and a PSA Oxygen Plant at Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), Imphal on August 10.
The 20 KL Liquid Medical Oxygen Cryogenic Storage Tank inaugurated has the storage capacity of 2,600 D-type oxygen cylinders and refilling capacity of 40 D-type cylinders per minute.
Reports said the Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren announced that each of the PSA plants inaugurated at Chandel, Senapati and Ukhrul districts would produce 1,000 litres of oxygen per minute (LPM). Around 200 D-type oxygen cylinders could be refilled daily at each PSA plant, he said. He further said that another 5,000 LPM PSA Oxygen plant under PM CARES Fund would be installed in Chandel district very soon.
The 15th Finance Commission had sanctioned for the installation of eight PSA oxygen plants in the state i.e. two PSA plants at JNIMS, Imphal and one each at Chandel, Ukhrul, Senapati, Tamenglong, Churachandpur and Kangpokpi district. Of the eight PSA plants, the ones at Tamenglong, Churachandpur and Kangpokpi are yet to be inaugurated, reports added.
Cattle Feed Plant Inaugurated at Porompat
Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on August 10 inaugurated a Cattle Feed Plant of Manipur Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union Ltd being set up at the Veterinary Complex, Porompat in Imphal East district.
The Cattle Feed Plant had been set up at the total cost of Rs 80.43 lakh, including civil works, equipment and electric power connection. The fund for the same was provided by the department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, the Government of India under the central scheme of the National Programme for Dairy Development. The Feed Mixing Plant has a capacity to produce 3 MT of cattle feed per hour. The Feed Plant would cater to the demands of compound cattle feed for the dairy farmers of the state, reports said.
Mobile COVID-19 Testing Unit Launched
The Manipur government on August 13 launched a mobile COVID-19 Testing Unit based on RTPCR-CRISPR technology, at Modern College, Porompat in Imphal East district. The mobile testing unit was launched by Dr. Sapam Ranjan, Health Advisor to Chief Minister of Manipur in presence of State Health Director Dr. K Rajo.
Reports said the mobile COVID-19 Testing Unit was launched under the initiative of the Manipur government in collaboration with the Viswanath Cancer Care Foundation (VCCF) and in technical partnership with the Tata Medical and Diagnostic (TataMD).
The testing unit, which is a lab installed on a small truck, will be stationed at Modern College and it will conduct RTPCR-CRISPR tests, charging Rs 450 per test, reports added.
Resumption of Imphal-Silchar Flight
Manipur Rajya Sabha MP Leishemba Sanajaoba on August 10 morning met Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia and urged to resume the Imphal-Silchar flight service that had been suspended for about 9 years.
During the discussion with the Union Minister, Sanajaoba demanded to resume the to and fro flight service of Imphal and Silchar that was suspended in 2013. He told the minister that students of Manipur and Assam Barak valley are studying in the institutions and universities of both the states. However, due to lack of flight service, the students of the states have been facing problems since 2013. He demanded to resume the flight service after considering the future career of both the students of Manipur and Assam. The Union Minister for Civil aviation gave a positive response, reports added.
It may be mentioned that earlier on July 16; the All Assam Manipur Students’ Union (AAMSU) Central Committee had submitted a memorandum to Rajya Sabha MP, Leishemba Sanajaoba demanding to initiate all necessary steps for restoration of pending demand for flight service between Silchar and Imphal.
Chak-Hao Exported to Europe
Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on August 12 flagged off a consignment of 1 MT of organic Chak-Hao (black rice) to Europe in a function held at the western gate of Chief Minister’s Secretariat.
On the occasion, speaking to the media, Nongthombam Biren said that Chak-Hao had got the Geographical Indication (GI) tag and it had good demands from different parts of the country as well. He said that for the first time, 1 MT of this highly nutritious rice variety was being exported officially to different European countries.