The 72nd Republic Day celebrations went ahead without any hitches in the state though the by now under control armed movement in the state as always momentarily reared its head through conveniently conveyed calls of boycott in the media. Elsewhere there was violence at the sports university site over ownership claims, even as the frontal organisation MEELAL issued an ultimatum for Bengali script newspapers in the state to start publishing in Meitei Mayek script. An Assembly committee also went around some SC brewing units in Sekmai and Phayeng on a proposal to turn them into exporting units.
72nd R-Day celebrated, Meitei Boycott
Amidst the boycott call against the celebration of India’s Republic Day and a total shutdown by Manipur’s armed group CORCOM, the 72nd Republic Day of India was celebrated with fanfare in Imphal.
Reports said the State level celebration was held at the historic Kangla with Governor Dr. Najma Heptulla unfurling the National flag and receiving salute from different march-past contingents. The Governor inspected the guard of honour by a contingent of 8th IRB under Deputy Commandant of 7th Manipur Rifles, Reena Haobam.
During the celebrations, 20 different government departments exhibited tableaux. A cultural troupe was also part of the celebration where different government departments erected giant gates at different parts of Imphal city.
The boycott call by armed group CORCOM could not have much effect in the state and life was normal in Imphal city and the districts.
Gandhi Martyr’s Day
Martyr’s day in memory of Mahatma Gandhi who was assassinated by Hindu nationalist Nathuram Godse on January 30, 1948 after India attained independence on August 15, 1947 was observed in the state.
The state function was held GM Hall in Imphal where Governor Dr. Najma Heptulla and Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren led the ministers, MLAs and top officers of civil and police of the state in paying floral tributes to the leader at GM Hall. A two-minute silence was also observed announced by a siren as mark of respect to the father of the nation.
The Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) also observed the Martyr’s Day at Congress Bhavan in Imphal. Manipur Congress President Govindas Konthoujam, Congress Legislature Party leader former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi and Congress Working Committee member former Deputy Chief Minister Gangmei Gaikhangam led other Congress MLAs, leaders and members in paying floral tribute to the well known leader at Congress Bhavan.
Violence over NSU
In a violent confrontation, six villagers of Konsakhul village and five police personnel including SDPO, Lamphel Thomas Thokchom and four commandos sustained injuries at a face off at the National Sports University site. The protesters pelted stones at the police who fired tear gas shells to disperse them.
Reports said during the incident, one excavator and one Maruti 800 car were vandalised by the protestors. Agitators also torched the temporary huts belonging to the construction workers.
Earlier, Konsakhul Area Joint Action Committee (KAJAC) volunteers snatched away the keys of the JCB and other machines/vehicles used in construction of the university to draw the government’s attention claiming that the land belongs to them, not to other communities or the government, and the construction should have the consent of Konsakhul.
Tml Projects inaugurated
The newly inaugurated Tamenglong Water Supply project, at Hangoipat. Photo Twitter
Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on his 6th visit to Tamenglong district under Go to Hills mission inaugurated on January 29 several development projects in Tamenglong district and announced Rs. 18 crore for eight new development projects in the district.
The development projects inaugurated include drinking water supply scheme, Carpentry area Khoupilong, Science and Commerce New Campus of Tamenglong College, and road from L025- Oktan to Nurathen.
Even as the state is almost 100% safe from underground elements, a combined team of Manipur police and 26 Assam Rifles further apprehended a member of proscribed National Revolutionary Front-Manipur (NRF-M) from Mantripukhri Chumbreithong, Imphal East near NRL pump.
Reports said the arrested person is Phuritshabam Sonish Singh alias Surjit, 37, son of Ph Manglem Singh of Uripok Bashaspati Maning Leikai, Imphal West presently staying at Langol Lairembi Leikai, Zone IV, Imphal West.
Kuki Oppose Poppy Drive
As a part of the government’s War on Drugs, a joint team of Churachandpur District Police along with NAB, 1st IRB and district administration conducted an ‘anti-poppy cultivation drive’ at Sangaikot sub-division and destroyed approximately 10 acres of poppy cultivated lands.
Meanwhile in Kangpokpi, non-SoO Kuki militant outfit, Socialist Democratic Front of Kukiland (SDFK) strongly opposed the destruction of poppy cultivation in the hill districts, without providing suitable alternative to the cultivators.
Reports quoting SDFK statement said, poppy cultivation is the last resort for economic sustainability in hills because of the untold negligence of the hills.
Assembly Plan to Legalise Liquor
In a bid to legalise brewing and selling of countrymade liquor in Manipur and outside, the Select Committee comprising Congress MLAs, K Meghachandra Singh, Fajur Rahim and H Dingo Singh and led by its chairman, Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar have started inspecting local distilleries and brewing units in the state.
Reports said the team inspected distilleries at Sekmai Awang Leikai and Phayeng.
The state Assembly Committee is examining the Manipur Liquor Prohibition (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018 for manufacture of alcohol for sale outside the state.
Bomb Attack on Ex-MLA
Locals of Sagolband Tera Sapam Leirak and its surrounding areas formed a human chain at Sagolband Tera Sapam Leirak, Imphal West, decrying the bomb and gun attack at the residence of former MLA Sapam Kunjakeswor alias Keba.
Reports said the miscreants shot three rounds and hurled a grenade at the main gate of Keba at about 8 pm on January 26, pointing at a connection between underground and political ambitions.
MEELAL Ultimatum on Script
Meetei Erol Eyek Loinasillon Apunba Lup (MEELAL) which is a frontal organisation that forced the state government to shift to Meitei Mayek script in the past decade, in a convention held at GM Hall, Imphal has decided to take necessary steps to make all the newspapers of Manipuri-Bengali script to start publishing in Meitei script by an ultimatum of February 5, 2022.
Reports said it has also decided to make the state government take up a policy for teaching Meitei Mayek to all the people settling in Manipur, and to media houses, to take up necessary steps to enforce teaching of Meitei Mayek to the readers. Indications are it may go uncontested due to the various support it enjoys in Manipur.
The convention also resolved to make the state government translate all Manipuri books written in Bengali script into Meitei Mayek script within a certain period of time and that the state government’s Department of Information and Public Relations, DIPR, begin publishing a daily newspaper in Meitei Mayek.
88.50 Cr for Rural Bodies
A grant of Rs. 88.50 crore has been released for Manipur Rural Local Bodies. The grants to RLBs are released as per the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission to create community assets and improve financial viability of the RLBs. The grants are provided to all the three tiers of Panchayati Raj- Village, Block and District to enable pooling of resources across villages and blocks.
Imp-Thangal Bus Service
In a historic event, Imphal-Thangal (via Bishnupur) and Zoujangtek Manipur State Transport (MST) bus service was launched at Manipur State Transport Office Complex, Moirangkhom, Imphal.