Covid-19 tests which had stopped since December 18 last year have resumed at the Imphal Airport, while five more accused in the Poknapham bomb attack case have been let off on bail by the court, and 311 projects were inaugurated by the state Chief Minister during this week.
Poknapham Attack Accused get Bail
The Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West on March 18 granted bail to five accused while another got 15 days judicial custody in connection with the lobbing of a hand grenade at the office of Poknapham daily at Keishampat.
Reports said that the court released Sirajuddin, 29, of Kwakta; Jamaruddin, 51, of Kwakta; Moijing Maulana Tajuddin, 34, of Kwakta; Moirangthem Ramesh, 24, of Moirang Khunou Makha Leikai; and Samir Khan, 36, of Kshetri Awang Leikai, Kshetrigao on the ground of not finding any solid prima facie materials against them of their direct involvement.
The court released them on bail after furnishing PR bond of Rs. 50,000 each with surety. However, the court said that they should not threaten, contact, or induce any of the prosecution witnesses, they should make themselves available for interrogation by the investigating officer as and when required, that they should not commit any offence in the future, they should not leave the state without prior permission of the court, till trial is over, and they should not tamper or threaten the witnesses or the complainant.
However, accused Md Abdul Hasan, 34, of Saiton Awang Leikai, Kwakta Bazar was remanded to 15 days police custody till April 1. He was re-arrested by Moirang Police under an alleged forgery case.
COVID Test for Air Passengers
In the wake of sudden surge of COVID-19 cases in some states of India, Manipur Government has announced on March 18 COVID-19 RTPCR Test mandatory for air passengers coming from eight states.
Reports said that the eight states are Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana. Passengers will be allowed to leave the airport after the collection of samples for RTPCR Test for COVID-19 and they are instructed to remain in home isolation or self-isolation till the test reports are communicated to them, State Health Directorate notification added.
COVID-19 Test for air passengers at Imphal Airport had been discontinued since December 18 last year.
311 Projects Inaugurated
Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh on March 15 inaugurated as many as 311 projects worth Rs. 1096.05 crore and laid the foundation stones of 39 new projects estimated to be Rs. 278.77 crore to mark the successful completion of four years of BJP-led coalition in the state.
Reports said that the event was held at the City Convention Centre, Imphal titled ‘Emerging Manipur – Celebration of 4 years of Achievement’. Nongthombam Biren-led coalition government was formed on March 15, 2017.
The present government has emerged as a citizen-centric government within a short span of time, Biren said. He appreciated his Cabinet colleagues, MLAs and bureaucrat officers for working as a strong team. He said whatever the present state government had achieved till date was due to the unflinching support of the Central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and co-operation from the people of Manipur.
MP Ranjan calls for Regular VC
Lok Sabha MP Dr. R K Ranjan has urged the Government in the parliament to appoint regular vice chancellor of Manipur University.
Reports said that Dr. R K Ranjan was himself involved in the movement of establishing a University in Manipur as a research scholar. Later, he worked in various capacities from being faculty member to director of College Development Council, Academic Staff College of the University and Registrar of Manipur University.
However, Manipur University being run for the last three-four years without a regular Vice Chancellor has deteriorated its academic atmosphere and lowered its ranking, he added.
RIMS Death Protest
‘Justice for Sanaton Athokpam’ a body formed in connection with the alleged murder of Sanaton Athokpam, a medical student at RIMS staged a sit-in-protest at Khurai Thangjam Leikai, Imphal East on March 18, demanding to book the culprits involved in the alleged murder.
Representatives of ‘Justice for Sanaton Athokpam’ met Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on March 18 but a response from the chief minister is yet to be received, reports said.
However, Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren posted on Facebook that he “met the family and relatives of Sanaton Athokpam, the medical student of RIMS who was found dead inside his hostel room on 15 March. I share the pain of the bereaved family and promise to make a speedy investigation on the sad incident.”
Archaeological Sites Protection
Rajya Sabha MP Leishemba Sanajaoba on March 15 drew the attention of the Upper House during the zero hour to set up a special task force to conserve and protect archaeological sites and historical monuments of Manipur. He said the archaeological sites and historical monuments of Manipur need to be protected.
Reports quoting MP Leishemba said that under the Manipur Ancient and Historical Monument and Archeological Sites and Remains Act 1976, Manipur State Archaeology (MSA) has been protecting a total of 63 archaeological sites and historical monuments.
Of the total archaeological sites and historical monuments, some are located at the international border areas, he added.
Leishemba mentioned the historical monuments of Maharaja Chandrakriti located at Behiang, and the megalith erected at Mao and others.
MPHC Locks down PWD Offices
The Manipur Hills and Plain Contractors’ Association (MHPC) on March 19 closed down the finance section and computer section of Public Works Department in protest against the alleged failure of the department to pay contract money, and declaring Works Minister Th Biswajit and Finance Minister, Deputy CM Y Joykumar as unfit, demanded their immediate resignation.
However, reports quoting the works minister Thongam Bishwajit said the revised estimated amount was reduced due to the pandemic and the contract amount will be sanctioned from April.
Children’s Home Takeover
A single bench of High Court of Manipur justice MV Muralidaran on March 18 directed the principal secretary (home), Government of Manipur to take over North Eastern Children Home (NECH) Churachandpur, which was formerly run by convict Timothy Changsan.
Reports said the NECH which was founded by convict Timothy Changsan is run from the funds donated by the public in India and abroad. However, citing the interest of the children staying at NECH, the court directed that the state should take over and run through the Social Welfare department.
Leishemba for IISER in Manipur
Manipur Rajya Sabha MP Leishemba Sanajaoba urged the Centre to establish Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Manipur, during the ongoing Rajya Sabha Parliament session on March 18.
Reports said that Leishemba mentioned in the House that IISER is a group of institutions of national importance which promotes high quality education in science and research activities in the country to meet and achieve the current global standard of scientific activities and research aptitude to compete in the global scenario of the research domain.
Kakching Drugs Arrests
A group of drug dealers were arrested on March 18 by a team of Kakching district police personnel led by OC/CDO-KCG Unit, inspector Md Abash Khan under the supervision of additional SP (Ops), Ksh Manihar Singh, and overall supervision of SP, Kakching district Victoria Yengkhom.
Combined teams of Narcotic Cell, Imphal East, 38 Assam Rifles Khurkhul and members of Yumkhaibam Athletic Development Association (YADA) also arrested three persons with Torvorex codeine cough syrup from Kyamgel Oinam Loukol on March 16 evening.
Reports said that 1,180 bottles of Torvirex’ codeine cough syrup (100ml) and one Chevrolet UVA car bearing registration no. ASOIAH-6396 were seized from the arrested persons.