Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

Students protesting Centre's intent to make Hindi compulsory in school education

Protest in Imphal Against Making Hindi Compulsory; Assembly Candidates Extends Fight in Court; CM Assures Justice in Custodial Death Case

Hundreds of students from various colleges and schools in Imphal on May 6 staged a protest against Government of India’s attempt making Hindi compulsory in all the states of the Northeast Region including Sikkim up to Class 10.

The students formed a “human chain” on the side of the road along the Tidim Road at Kwakeithel area and protested against the announcement of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the imposition of Hindi in the region.

Reports said hundreds of students of various colleges and schools participated in the protest staged under the joint initiative of six student bodies of Manipur – AMSU, MSF, DESAM, SUK, AIMS and KSA.

It may be mentioned that Amit Shah, in a statement at the 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee, had pitched to make Hindi compulsory in schools up to Class 10 in all the states of the Northeast. He also mentioned getting consent from the authorities of the eight states. The announcement of the Union Home Minister has drawn opposition not only from various civil society organizations and students’ bodies in Manipur and other states of the Northeast but also Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and other leaders.

During the protest, students held placards with “Making Hindi a compulsory subject will be a burden to the students”, “Make public the stand of the State Government on the issue” and “Respect indigenous languages” messages.

Speaking to media persons, DESAM president Leishangthem Lamyanba said that the students must be given the liberty to learn Hindi based on their preference and it should never be a compulsion.

Claiming that the Central Government is only attempting to abolish the languages of smaller groups by pushing Hindi, he claimed that the State Government remaining silent and not making its stand clear is wrong and regrettable, reports added.

Manipuri is included in the eighth schedule of the Constitution and as such the Government must promote the language. Unfortunately, the Central Government hasn’t done anything worthwhile to promote Manipuri, the six student bodies also urged the State Cabinet to pass State Language Policy in the Monsoon session of the State Assembly, reports added.

Assembly Candidates Continue To Fight In Court

Even after the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly Election is over candidates continue their fights in the court. The High Court of Manipur on May 4 admitted as many as 11 election petitions against 10 sitting MLAs and a Minister filed by different candidates who contested the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly election. With this, the total election petitions pending in the High Court have reached 36 involving 17 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs including two ministers.

Of the newly admitted 11 petitions, nine are against BJP MLAs and one each against Kuki People’s Alliance (KPA) and Janata Dal-United (JD-U) MLAs. Nevertheless, all the 36 petitions sought a directive from the High Court of Manipur to declare the election results of the respondents as null and void on the ground of providing wrong information in their respective election affidavits.

The petitions against BJP MLAs including minister Konthoujam Govindas was filed by his rival Oinam Nabakishore; Moirangthem Hemanta against Wangjing Tentha MLA Paonam Brojen; Okram Joy against Langthabal MLA Karam Shyam; Kshetrimayum Biren against Lamlai MLA Khongbantabam Ibomcha; Lourembam Sanjoy against Andro MLA Thounaojam Shyamkumar; Md Nasiruddin against Keirao MLA Lourembam Rameshwar; Soibam Subhaschandra against Naoriya Pakhanglakpa MLA Sagolsem Kebi; Ahanthem Sanjoy against Kumbi MLA Sanasam Premchandra; Langhu Paulring Anal against Chandel MLA SS Olish.

The petition against JD-U’s Thangmeiband MLA Khumukcham Joykisan was filed by Jotin Waikhom and the petition against KPA’s Singhat MLA Chinlunthang was filed by Ginsuanhau Zou.

Of the total 36 petitions, eight are yet to be listed till time of filing this story – Y Antas Khan against Lilong MLA Md Abdul Nasir, O Lukhoi against Wangoi MLA Khuraijam Loken, Chaltonlien Amo against Tipaimukh MLA Ngursanglur Sanate, Laishram Radhakishore against Irengbam Nalini Devi, Md Fajur Rahim against Wabgai MLA Usham Deven, Yumkham Erabot against Wangkhei MLA Thangjam Arunkumar and Lourembam Sanjoy against Andro MLA Thounaojam Shyamkumar.

It may be mentioned that in 2020 and 2021 the High Court of Manipur, in separate orders regarding election petitions filed by rival candidates of the MLAs on grounds of providing false information in election affidavits, declared the election results of Kakching MLA Yengkhom Surchandra, then Congress MLA and Wangkhei MLA Okram Henry who left Congress and joined BJP, as null and void. Since then, this is the first time in the state that a large-scale election petitions have been filed in the High Court of Manipur challenging election results.

CM Assures Justice in Nanao Case

Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on May 5 held a meeting with the ‘Joint Action Committee of the killing of Arambam Nanao’ at the Chief Minister’s office and assured to deliver justice at earliest.

The chief minister said that he is “deeply saddened” by the loss of life in the unfortunate incident, while assuring every possible assistance for the bereaved family.

“Had a meeting with the JAC against the death of Arambam Nanao at my office today. I’m deeply saddened by the loss of life in this unfortunate incident. I assure that we will get to the bottom of this case and deliver justice at earliest. Also, assured every possible assistance for the bereaved family,” CM Biren said in a Facebook post.

It may be mentioned that before the meeting, the JAC on May 4 submitted a four-point memorandum to the chief minister demanding to initiate a judicial inquiry against sub-inspector Jitendra and others allegedly involved in the death of Nanao. The memorandum also demanded that the police should disclose the identity of the person who lodged a complaint against Nanao at the police station. It also demanded that the government should provide a government job to the wife of the deceased so that she could take care of their three children, and warned the state government that the victim’s family and the JAC will not accept the body if the government fails to fulfil the demands.

MPCC Demands Stern Punishment in Custodial Death of Arambam Nanao

Condemning the death of Arambam Nanao, the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has demanded the authorities concerned to arrest all the police and whosoever is involved in the case along with the person who had filed a complaint against the deceased person in Imphal Police Station.

Addressing the media at its office on May 6, MPCC spokesperson Md Ravi Khan termed the death of Arambam Nanao after allegedly facing police brutality and torture as unfortunate. The MPCC strongly condemns the inhumane action of police personnel and whoever is involved in the case. The Congress shares grief and pain of the deceased family, Ravi said.

Congress spokesperson Ravi cited the custodial death case of Md Manjur Ahmed in March 2019, alleged murder of Athuan Abonmai in 2021 and recent arrest of MPCC spokesperson, S Shyamcharan and said that, contrary to these incidents, the state government has been claiming about improvement of law and order in the state. Since 2017, cases of custodial deaths and misuse of power by police personnel have been increasing and the concerned authorities haven’t even delivered justice even after submission of a judicial enquiry report. The state government should stop treating serious crime very lightly so as to prevent heinous crime in future, Ravi asserted.

The MPCC spokesperson said the party appreciates the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West for their swift action taken up as per an application filed by the deceased family (Nanao’s family). The state government must deal with the case until justice prevails, he said.

“The victim was death after facing alleged torture by a team of Imphal Police Station, Imphal West. The torture couldn’t be carried out without the knowledge of at least some police personnel of the said station. The authority concerned should also take action against police personnel and whosoever is involved in the case starting from OC to constable. Besides this, the person who had complained against the deceased person should also be revealed,” he demanded.

Biren Launches Direct Benefit Transfer to 18,000 Farmers

Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren May 5 launched the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) under ‘Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER)’ to 18,000 farmers at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat in Imphal.

“Delighted to launch the Direct Benefit Transfer under ‘Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER)’ to 18000 farmers today in presence of Hon’ble Minister Shri. Letpao Haokip Ji and senior Govt. Officials,” CM Biren tweeted.

Nongthombam Biren said in another tweet, “With the provision to provide direct benefit transfer of Rs 3,750 per farmer for on-farm input and Rs 3,750 per farmer for off-farms input for first and second year to every individual registered farmers account, this assistance will provide great relief for the organic farmers of the state.”

He added that the simple, faster and accurate targeting of fund flow through DBT will help the registered organic farmers in sustainable organic production and improve their livelihood prospects.

Manipur Over-All Team Champion

Manipur gets the overall team champion title, bagging 50 medals in the North East Regional Sports Week 2022 which concluded at Indoor Stadium, Khuman Lampak. The host team Manipur finished with 31 Gold, 12 Silver and seven Bronze medals for the top spot while Assam took the Runners Up title claiming 9 Gold, 12 Silver and 21 Bronze medals.

Reports said Nagaland settled for the third spot fetching 4 Gold, 4 Silver, 12 Bronze medals while Arunachal Pradesh bagged the fourth spot winning 3 Gold, 12 Silver, 12 Bronze medals, Mizoram got 1 Gold, 8 Silver, 14 Bronze medals; Sikkim grabbed 1 Gold, 1 Silver, 8 Bronze medals and Tripura took 1 Silver and 2 Bronze medals.

The lone gold medal for Sikkim came from Women football, after they had beaten the host team Manipur by 4-3 goals during tie break after the final match ended in a goalless draw. En route to the final, host Manipur beat Nagaland by 4-0 goals while Sikkim beat Assam by 2-0 goals, reports added.

Manipur won maximum medals from boxing events grabbing 16 Gold medals, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze medals. The Men’s and Women’s Team champion title was bagged by Manipur by collecting a total of 82 points while Arunachal Pradesh won Runners Up title in Men’s category with 22 points and Nagaland got the Runners Up title in Women’s category with 16 points.

Reports further said the host team also dominated the Badminton event winning seven medals including 5 Gold and 1 Silver and 1 Bronze. Manipur also won the Men’s football event.

Assam got maximum medals from the Archery event winning 6 Gold, 5 Silver, 1 Bronze medals while Manipur took 3 Gold, 5 Silver, 3 Bronze medals. Assam also dominated the Table Tennis event bagging 3 Gold, 4 Silver, 5 Bronze medals while Manipur got 3 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze medals, reports added.

Shija Hospitals Receives National Health Award

The Shija Hospitals and Research Institute (SHRI) was on May 2 awarded with the National Health Award by Double Helical for the services rendered by the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a release, SHRI stated that president of Consortium of Accredited Hospitals Organization (CAHO) Dr Vijay Agarwal and Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), Delhi Dr Shiv Kumar Sarin gave the award to CMD, SHRI Dr Palin Khundongbam during the Double Helical Health Conclave at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

Double Helical organised the conclave in collaboration with the Association of Healthcare Providers (India) and the Consortium of Accredited Hospitals Organisation, it added.

197.4 Kg Ganja Seized, Three Arrested

A team of district police, Jiribam seized around 197.4 kilograms of ganja from a goods truck and arrested three occupants of the vehicles at around 11.30 pm on May 3 along the National Highway-37 (Imphal-Jiribam Road).

Reports said the arrested persons have been identified as Pukhrambam Dipu, 37, son of P Kamdebo of Sagolband Moirang Hanuba Mamang Leirak Imphal West, who is the driver of the goods truck; Okram Sanatomba Meitei, 30, son of late Okram Ibocha Meitei of Keibi Heikak Mapal Awang Leikai, Imphal East who is the assistant driver and Pukhrambam James, 19, son of Pukhrambam Ibochouba of Sagolband Moirang Hanuba Mamang Leirak.

A team of Jiribam district police led by sub-inspector Umananda and assistant sub-inspector of Narcotic cell, Jiribam, Krishna under the supervision of SP, Jiribam district, Ksh Rabikumar while conducting frisking and checking as a part of ‘War on Drugs 2.0’ stopped a goods truck bearing registration number MN 05C- 1298 coming from Imphal towards Silchar and found the contraband ganja in the vehicle, reports added.

10 Years Prison Sentence For Possession of 3 Kg Opium

The Special Judge (ND&PS), Bishnupur on May 4 sentenced a 62-year-old man to 10 years in prison for unauthorised possession of three kg of opium.

Reports said Thangkhanhau Zou, son of late Tutzathang Zou, of P Kamdou Veng, Churachandpur district was arrested with three kilograms of opium on October 31, 2015 from Okshongbung Lairenjam Leirak Machin near Citizen Club under Moirang, Bishnupur district by NAB Police Station, Imphal. On April 29, 2022 he was convicted by the Special Judge under section 18 (b) of the NDPS Act, 1985.

After hearing the submission and considering the provision of section 18(b) of the NDPS Act, 1985, the court sentenced the convict to minimum 10 years with rigorous imprisonment and with a fine of Rs 1 lakh.

The court further stated that the convict should give the fine within a period of five years from the date of the sentence, failing which he has to undergo further rigorous imprisonment for another six months.

288 kg Ganja seized, one arrested

A team of Lamlai police station seized 288 kg of contraband Ganja and arrested a person from Keibi Heikak Mapal Village which falls under the jurisdiction of Sagolmang police station at around 4.30 pm on may 5.

Reports said the arrested person has been identified as Laishram Sudhir, 31, son of Laishram Maniram of Keibi Heikak Mapal Village, Imphal East district. Acting on information, a team of Lamlai police station led by SDPO, Lamlai conducted a search operation at the residence of Sudhir. During the operation 24 packets of contraband Ganja weighing 12 kilogram each were detected and seized from the residence of Sudhir.

IED Explods At Executive Engineer’s Gate

Miscreants exploded a powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at the gate of the residence of one executive engineer of Agriculture department in Khurai Thoidingjam Leikai under Porompat Police Station, Imphal East at around 3.50 am on May 6, causing heavy damages to properties. No casualties were reported in the blast. Condemning the blast, local groups staged sit-in protest against exploding bomb in residential area.

Reports said the house of executive engineer RK Virendra, 60, son of late RK Karnajit is located at a distance of around 2 kilometres towards North-West from Porompat Police Station. He is currently posted at the Agriculture Directorate’s office located at Sanjenthong.

From the footage available from a CCTV camera installed at a nearby jewellery shop showed that two unidentified persons came in a car at around 3.45 am and planted the suspected IED at the gate of Virendra and the two miscreants drove away towards Ukhrul road after planting the bomb. The bomb exploded at around 3. 50 am, reports added.

On receiving information of the blast, officials of Imphal East District Police along with a team of forensic science and Bomb Disposal Squad team arrived at the site and conducted an inspection.  As per the bomb experts, the bomb was a highly powerful IED. Due to the impact of the blast, a four-wheeler car (Brezza – MN01AK/7534) parked inside the gate suffered heavy damages. Another four-wheeler car (Maruti 800-MN01K/5172), which is owned by Virendra’s brother, RK Satendra, 50, parked in front of the gate as well as a four-wheeler (Maruti Van) belonging to their neighbour, Thoidingjam Biswajit ,45, suffered damages. The blast also blew apart the frames of two windows installed at Virendra’s porch. It also broke neighbours’ windows and damaged their tin roofs, reports added

According to police, Virendra had earlier received a monetary demand over a phone call from one UG group which sought money from the Agriculture department. Virendra had blocked the number. In 2021, another bomb was found at the gate of Virendra’s younger brother RK Surendra ,54 who works as an executive engineer at PHED Kakching, reports added.

UCM Urges Govt To Rejuvenate Redlands Shillong

The United Committee Manipur (UCM) on May 6 urged the Manipur government to rejuvenate the Manipur Rajbari (Redlands of Manipur) in Shillong into a historical living monument and also restore the Manipur State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) complex in Dimapur and establish a Manipur Guest House in its complex.

In this regard, the UCM had submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren. The Redlands is undoubtedly a heritage site of Manipur where Maharaja Boddhachandra was forced to sign the Manipur Merger Agreement, 1949 under duress, the UCM president said adding the historical significance of the land the people’s emotion in the post colonial mind will be always associated with the Redlands. Asserting that the land may lose its ownership right once again unless it is converted into a guest house and a new Manipur Bhavan is constructed for occupancy by Manipuri visitors to Shillong, the president appealed to the state government to preserve this Redlands as a historical living monument, reports added.

UCM president also said the MSRTC complex in Dimapur is in complete mess with literally no one to look after it and is also on the verge of losing its ownership rights. He stressed that the area measuring 4.241 acres has been renamed as Hong Kong Market and the Manipur guest house constructed by the then Dimapur Meetei Union now Dimapur Meetei Council and shrine build by Kangla Mei has been acquired by a group related with a UG group based on Nagaland.

Considering the facts, the UCM appealed to the government to restore the MSRTC and construct a Manipur guest house inside the complex for the convenience of the Manipur travellers, reports said.

Heirok MLA Distributes Donated Rice to Poor

Rice donated by the farmers and people of Heirok Assembly Constituency to Thokchom Radheshyam during the pre-poll of 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly Election was distributed to the poor sections of Heirok on May 6.

Reports said MLA Radheshyam distributed about 3,000 bags of rice, which were donated to him by the farmers and public during the last Assembly election, to the underprivileged households of Heirok. With the help of the respective polling booth committees, the MLA distributed six bags of rice for each household.

MLA Radheshyam said that the rice distribution had to be delayed from the initially anticipated date, owing to the electoral code of conduct and the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. He urged the public regardless of the political affiliations to contact the respective polling booth committees to avail the rice distribution benefit, reports added.

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