Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

June 18 uprising in which 18 people were killed in protest against what was perceived to be a threat to Manipur is commemorated with solemnity each year

Unity Day 2022 Observed; CM for Idea of Nationalism; Tangkhul CSOs Refuted CM on Land Ownership; 69 Houses in Waithou Reserve Forest Area Demolished

The 21st The Great June Uprising and Unity Day 2022 has been observed in Manipur on June 18 in commemoration of the 18 martyrs who sacrificed their lives during an agitation to save the territorial boundary of Manipur in June 2001. The day is observed under the theme “Let Manipur live and grow together” at Kekrupat in Imphal.

It may be mentioned that the Government of India (GOI) and the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland – NSCN(IM) signed a ceasefire agreement in Bangkok on June 14, 2001, which the ceasefire extends “without territorial limit”. Subsequently, a large number of people came out on the streets and agitated, demanding the withdrawal of the three words from the ceasefire agreement as it threats to the territorial integrity of Manipur. During the continued agitation on June 18, 2001, 18 people were killed by the security forces. The protestors also burnt down the Manipur Assembly building and attacked the CM bungalow.

In memory of those who sacrificed their lives, the United Committee Manipur (UCM) and the All Manipur United Club Organisation (AMUCO) have been observing the day annually as The Great June Uprising, Unity Day by paying floral tributes to tombs of the 18 patriots constructed at Kekrupat in Imphal.

CM for Idea of Nationalism

Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on June 15 appealed to the people of Manipur to inculcate the idea of nationalism and cooperation for building a peaceful and prosperous society, and stressed on the need to follow the path laid by the freedom fighters of Manipur.

CM Biren was speaking to the media during the unveiling of the statue of Manipur’s king Meidingu Narasingh in front of Kangla Western Gate on June 15. The contribution made by the freedom fighters of Manipur is highly valuable to the present generation and in their honour, the present BJP State Government has erected a brand new statue of Meidingu Narasingh, even bigger than the former statue that was put in the same place, he said.

Reports quoted Chief Minister as saying “The statue erected at the Western Gate of Kangla will let the tourists learn that Manipur was once a Kingdom before it was merged into India.”

Tangkhul CSOs Refuted CM on Land Ownership

Tangkhul civil society organisations on June 12 refuted Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren’s statement on land ownership in hill areas, stating that they are the sole owners of their land “which has been passed down to them by their forefathers.”

In a joint statement, the CSOs stated that land is the identity for tribal communities and they have a sacred connection with it since time immemorial. “We are indigenous to our land and thus are the sole owners,” the CSOs stated. “The British, having understood this right from the early days, created laws to honour the tribal communities’ relationship with their land. This birthright must be respected,” the statement added.

The remarks of Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on hills belonging to Mother Nature and not to any particular community is unacceptable and should be withdrawn immediately, the statement of the Tangkhul CSOs demanded.

69 Houses in Waithou Reserve Forest Area Demolished

At least 69 houses were completely demolished as eviction of illegal structures within Waithou Reserve Forest area under Thoubal Forest Division began June 12.

Reports said the first phase of eviction drive, conducted by the Thoubal Forest division with the support of security forces, started at 7 am and concluded at 11.30 am on June 12. Thoubal Forest division said the eviction was carried out following an eviction notice served by DFO Thoubal Th Lokendro to 71 illegal encroachers or illegal pattadars among all the encroachers of Waithou Protected Forest area.

The eviction notice states that the encroachers were served show cause notice under Rule number 73 of Manipur Forest Rules, 2021 to submit their replies why they should not be evicted from the forest land in Waithou Protected Reserved Forests and why the structures should not be dismantled on or before June 3, 2022.

Over 180 illegal encroachers have been found settling in Waithou Protected Forest Area only. Out of 71 illegal pattadars which were served show cause notice, 69 structures have been evicted on June 12, reports added.

Meanwhile, Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren has stated that the government never evicted anyone by force. The recent evictions of encroachers and illegal occupants of land were carried out by duly following legal and constitutional provisions.

The Chief Minister said this during the inauguration, launching and foundation laying of various projects and distribution of benefits to beneficiaries as a part of the 100-day action plan of the present BJP-led government on June 13 at City Convention Centre, Palace Gate in Imphal East, reports added.

Works Minister Halts Construction of RCC Drainage Alongside NH-37

Manipur Work Minister Govindas Konthoujam on June 12 instructed to immediately stop the construction work of Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) drainage on both sides from Oriental College Gate to Keithelmanbi stretch of National Highway – 37 for wasting about eight metres of land on either side of the National Highway.

During an inspection with MLA Sapam Kunjakeswor Singh and a team of media personnel, Works Minister Govindas instructed the workers to stop the ongoing work and told the workers to inform the authority concerned or in-charge of the construction work to personally meet him.

Speaking on the sidelines of the inspection, Works minister said land value here in Manipur is more expensive than that of Mumbai and wasting about eight metres of land on either side of the national highway would deliver a huge impact to the government as well as the public, reports added.

Two Accused in POCSO Case Get Bail

The Special Judge (POCSO), Imphal West on June 13 released two alleged accused in POCSO case on bail on furnishing PR Bond of Rs 1 lakh with one surety of the like amount as they were languishing in custody for more than 180 days and the chargesheet is yet to file before the court.

Dayananda Heigrujam Diya, 38 son of late Heigrujam Ibomcha and Shagolsem Sanahal, 38 son of Shagolsem Mani, both from Uchiwa Leirak Achouba, Imphal West district were arrested on December 10, 2021 in connection with a case of a 13-year-old minor girl who was sexually assaulted on September 1, 2021.

Both the accused have been in custody since December 11, 2021 after their arrest following the complaint from the victim’s mother on December 6, 2021, that the two accused persons sexually assaulted her daughter inside the departmental store located at Mayang Imphal Bazar where she was sleeping. Her daughter was threatened with dire consequences if she revealed to anybody about the incident, the mother had complained but she later came to know about the incident when her daughter told her about it. Due to lack of legal knowledge, she could not report the matter in time, the mother said.

34 Indigenous Houses To Be Displayed At Proposed Tourism Park

In an effort to boost tourism sector in Manipur, the state government is planning to display the indigenous housing model of 34 tribes of Manipur at the Ethnic and Eco-tourism Park which is proposed to be constructed before the commencement of the upcoming Sangai Festival, 2022.

The site of the proposed park at Moirang Khunou in Bishnupur district was inspected on Wednesday by MLA of Thanga Tongbram Robindro and managing director of MPHC, C Doungel, along with officials of other concerned departments.

The ethnic park will cover an area of 13.59 acres, as per data available from the official.

Following the inspection, a brain-storming session was held at the residence of the MLA at Kairenphabi in Bishnupur district along with the officials to ensure smooth construction and complete it in time..

Speaking to the media, Robindro said that the proposed Ethnic and Eco-tourism Park will be a great tourist attraction and will help in boosting the economy of the local villagers.

Once the construction is completed, Thanga AC will move in towards a new level of tourism as it already has the one and only floating lake (Loktak Lake) in the entire globe, he added.

Such a move is a great initiative of the state government to make Manipur a tourism hotspot, he said, lauding Chief Minister N Biren-led government for its immense dedication towards making a progressive Manipur.

Village Chief Abducted

The Zomi Chief Association, general headquarters on June 14 stated that the chief of MT Geltam village of Singhat Sub-division Kammuanpau has been abducted by unidentified armed persons who also threatened his family with dire consequences if the security forces were alerted.

Reports quoting a release of ZCA said they strongly condemn the kidnapping of the village chief on June 11 night from his residence. It said it could not accept such unlawful and inhuman acts and demanded that he be released unconditionally.

Meanwhile the vehicle of the village chief, bearing Registration no MN 02B 1120 was found abandoned near Kolhen Village of Henglep Sub-division by a team of Singhat police personnel, reports added.

‘Ghost Contractor’ in Police Custody

The Duty Magistrate, Imphal West on June 14 further remanded “ghost contractor” GG Rongmei into four more days of police custody. Contractor GG Rongmei was arrested based on an FIR registered by City police station regarding procurement of work order using fake documents and remanded him to six-day police custody after being produced in a court on June 9.

GG Rongmei, full name Gangmei Gaidon Rongmei, aged 41, son of late G Khamningam Rongmei of Tarung Thangmeiband, Imphal West was arrested by a team of City PS and produced before CJM Imphal West. He was arrested from Naoremtheng Samushang Lairembi.

GG Rongmei was elected as Councillor of Thangmeiband Ward No. 1 for the term of June 2016 – June 2021. During the period as a Councillor, he started works like construction of retaining walls of ponds, waiting shed, community halls and drainage etc under different contractors. A lot of inconveniences like delay of bills, inability to meet the contractors in time for necessary paperwork, etc. were met working under different contractors, reports added.

Churachandpur SP ‘Tenders Apology’

The Superintendent of Police Churachandpur district reportedly tendered his apology to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Churachandpur over clarification regarding the arrest of a 19-year-old whose FIR was cancelled without producing before the court.

Reports said one 19-year-old Paominthang Haokip a resident of Old Gelmol, Churachandpur was arrested in connection with a Facebook “comments against CM Biren”.

Subsequently, the police informed the duty magistrate, through the prosecution, for producing the arrested person and the remand prayer sought five days of police custody.

Interestingly, on May 29 the duty magistrate, Churachandpur waited for the accused to be produced before him, but the accused never arrived.

The duty magistrate learnt that the arrested person was freed by the police without following due process of law. But surprisingly, on May 30, there was a news story in the local newspaper that ‘SP Churachandpur clarified that no arrest was made and no FIR was registered.

Drug Lab Busted, Woman Arrested

A joint team of Thoubal district police busted an illegal brown sugar manufacturing unit at Moijing Mina Bazaar in Thoubal, seized 222.85 kg of brown sugar and arrested a woman drug smuggler on June 14.

Reports said the arrested woman has been identified as one Thoubalmayum Bibi, wife of Th Kadimur aka Kadim of Moijing Bazaar, Thoubal district. Acting on a tip-off about a brown sugar manufacturing unit at the residence of Bibi, a joint team of district commandos, including women police conducted a raid at the residence of Bibi at around 7 am, reports added.

The raid was carried out as a part of the ongoing ‘War on Drugs 2.0′ and the police said the accused person was found during the raid and upon conducting a house search, four large yellow plastic sacks; one blue plastic container and one red plastic container suspected to be containing brown sugar weighing a total of around 222.85 kg were also detected.

On further search of the house, one wooden crushing machine; one electric maxing machine; one weighing machine; two bottles containing a total of 1.5 litres of Aluminium Chloride; 134 litres of a chemical liquid solution; plastic containers; one aluminium container, gas burner and cooking gas cylinder were detected, reports said.

The arrested persons along with the seized items have been handed over to Thoubal police station, while an NDPS case has been registered for further investigation.

Manipur Cop Arrested with ‘Brown Sugar’

A police constable identified as Seilenthang Kilong, 31, son of one Thangkhosat Kilong of Thangkanphai Village under Saikul in Kangpokpi district who is posted at Reserve Line, Bishnupur district has been arrested and suspended from his service for possession of three kg suspected brown sugar in Manipur.

Reports said the NAB team arrested a man and seized three kg suspected brown sugar during a surprise frisking and checking operation conducted at Purum Likli area along Imphal-Saikul Road in Kangpokpi district on June 15, at around 3.40 pm.

The NAB team also recovered from his possession two mobile phone handsets, Poco, with a SIM card each, one Service Identity Card issued by SP Bishnupur and an Activa BS VIG Blue in colour without registration number, reports added.

Security Personnel Found Escorting Drug Traffickers

A havildar identified as one Ashangbam Keshorjit, 40, son of late A Setyabanta of Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai who has been found escorting three drug traffickers, was arrested while 10,000 WY tablets were seized from the possession of the traffickers by a team of Churachandpur district police on June 16.

Reports said that Keshorjit is posted as a havildar at 1st Manipur Rifles, presently attached at Kakching district commando unit. He has been arrested from Khudekpi area near Moirang Lamkhai and his car (Creta, registration number MN04A- 5099) has been seized.

The other three drug traffickers were also arrested. They have been identified as one Md Wahidur Rahman, 47, son of late Tayeb Ali of Lilong Tairen Makhong; Md Mujahid, 19, son of late Md Rafizuddin of Lilong Haoreibi Makha Leikai; and Sarita, 35, wife of Wahidur Rahman of Lilong Tairen Makhong.

During the operation, Wahudur along with his wife and Mujahid, who were coming in a silver coloured Alto car, bearing registration number MH14BK- 5448 were detained at around 7.40 pm, police said.

On examining the said vehicle, 15 cartons containing 10,000 WY tablets were detected from their possession, police said, adding that the seized WY tablets would worth around Rs 1.5 lakh in the local market and worth around Rs 75 lakh in the international market, reports added.

One Arrested with 61 Gold Bars

In yet another big bust by the Imphal Customs Division, as many as 61 gold biscuits of foreign origin were seized from an individual while allegedly smuggling in a van at Sekmai Bazar area in Imphal West on June 16 night.

Reports said the total weight of the confiscated gold bars is 10.126 kg and is worth around Rs 5,20,88,144. The individual has been arrested under the Customs Act and is identified as H Mani Singh, 21, son of H Roneshwar Singh of Elangkhangpokpi Mayai Leikai, Kakching district, reports added.

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