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Items filtered by date: Friday, 21 December 2018 - Imphal Times

SP Sajiwa Jail clarifies, says Kishorechandra’s lawyer left while yet to complete formalities; Shreeji denied says he waited for 3 hours

IT News

Imphal, Dec 21,

In yet another topsy-turvy, Jail SP clarification stating that Kishorechandra’s advocate left early before completing formalities, Shreeji Bhavsar the Supreme Court lawyer who is fighting the case for Kishorechandra said that he waited for three hours to meet his client and as the Jail SP was not in the office and authority in charge denied to give permission for meeting his client and refuse to confirm when the SP will return.

This is what Shreeji Bhavsar, Advocate replied -

“It’s very satisfying to see that Superintendent of Manipur Central Jail, Sajiwa has very promptly within 24 hours issued a clarification in regard to the news published in several newspapers today that, the Jail authorities didn’t gave me permission for meeting with my client detenue Kishorechandra on 20th December, 2018, at least they have acknowledged.

“Although, I totally reject their claim that they were undergoing some formalities and I left early. I stayed at the Jail for almost 3 hours and the officer in charge on duty told me that the Jail Superintendent is not available and his wife can meet him but in case of meeting with the Advocate only the Jail Superintendent can give permission for meeting and I have to wait till he comes and he also cannot confirm me at what time the Jail Superintendent will come, on this, I told him that at first place I am the Advocate for Kishorechandra and his wife Ranjita is also present with me and I have all the right to meet my client in Jail, secondly even if the permission is needed, it has to be given by the Office of the Jail Superintendent and whosoever is in charge in absence of Jail Superintendent can give me permission to meet my client but he didn’t agreed with my request and kept me waiting for almost 3 hours, finally I had to come back without meeting my client Kishorechandra.

“If the Jail Authorities are now claiming that they were undergoing some formalities and in between I left, I challenge them to show any document of formality which contains my Name or Signature? For 3 hours the officer in charge didn’t even accepted my Application and said that he cannot accept my Application and I shall give it to the Jail Superintendent only whenever he come and therefore I say that for 3 hours the Jail authorities were not undergoing any formalities but only denying me access to meet my client Kishorechandra on one or other pretext. Lastly, there is at least one thing I can agree with the Respected Jail Superintendent clarification is that, PEN can be used as a weapon they must be aware of the fact that, “the Pen is mightier than the sword?”, Shreeji Bhavsar.

Earlier in his clarification the Jail SP, Touthang stated that the Counsel Advocate of Kishorechandra Wangkhem (Journalist) now detained under National Security Act (NSA) at Manipur Central Jail, Sajiwa namely Shreeji Bhavsar came to Manipur Central Jail, Sajiwa on 20/12/2018 but left early while formalities like entry of names, sorting out the prisoners from their sectors, etc were being conducted. The wife of the NSA detenue Shri Kishorechandra Wangkhem and her brother met the detenue after completion of formalities as can be seen in our jail Interview Register. Mrs Ranjita and her brother took the Vakalatnama signed by Mr. Kishorechandra with them.

The SP also stated that all sectors inside the prison are provided Local News papers (1) Sangai Express (Manipuri), (2) Poknapham (3) Hueiyen Lanpao and National paper (4) Telegraph.

“Pen and paper are provided as per request of the inmates only. This is because pen has been used as weapon in the past by inmates and provocative material written and sent out of the jail premises in the past by prisoners. Those who request for pen and writing materials are provided after proper confirmation. There is a library inside the Jail with a good numbers of books and this facility is open to all inmates. Many inmates who are interested are availing of this facility. NSA has its own diet scale and menu as prescribed by the Government. The above facts clearly show that all the allegations in the press release of Advocate Shreeji Bhavsar are false and baseless. All these matters can be confirmed from the Prison Authorities”, the SP added”

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“No sacrifice of land on the MoU signed with Angamese bodies over Dzuko Valley”, says Chief Minister

IT News

Imphal, Dec 21,

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh today said that there is no question of sacrificing even an inch of land while solving any issue of the state.

“There is no sacrifice of land while signing the Memorandum of Understanding with the Nagaland based Angamese bodies over the detention of MMTA trekkers in connection with the Sangai Festival at Dzuko Valley”, the Chief Minister said while replying to a calling attention motion by Congress MLA Md. Nasir.

Nasir while moving the call attention motion said that the MoU signed between the Southern Angamese Peoples’ Organization, (SAPO), Southern Angamese Youths’ Organization (SAYO) and Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association (MMTA) in the presence of a Minister of the Manipur Government mention that a part of the MoU said that SAPO and SAYO will be the legal custodian of the Dzuko Valley understanding the history of the Valley without mentioning ‘Nagaland part of the Valley’.

“The term “legal custodian of Dzuko valley” is nothing but surrendering of the Dzuko Valley to SAYO and SAPO”, Nashir said and added that even the MMTA had clarified that they have not seen the content of the MoU while singing as they are more anxious on saving their trekkers first.

Clarifying the Congress MLA, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said that the MMTA trekkers detained and later brought home, were arrested from the side of the Nagaland area in Dzuko valley after complaint by SAYO and SAPO to the Police Station regarding a wild fire at the valley on the day and naturally when it said Dzuko valley, it means the Dzuko Valley on the part of Nagaland.

The Chief Minister further said that the state boundary is clear and is with the Survey of India, however there has been a dispute over village boundary between Tunjoi and the Angami Village on the Nagaland side. The dispute began since 1985 and the government has every records of it.  N. Biren Singh added the government of Manipur has been urging the Central government and the Survey of India regarding the matter.

The Chief Minister also added that government is taking up all measures to build a Guest House at the foothills of Mount Isso and that it is on record that 1/3rd of the Dzuko Valley belongs to Manipur.

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NEFIS demands immediate release of Kishorechandra

IT News
Imphal, Dec 21,

North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) while terming the sentencing of Manipur journalist, Kishorechandra Wangkhem to 12-month custody as unfortunate demands the Supreme Court to take up the matter as an urgent Suo Moto case in order to restore the fundamental rights of the journalist. It should be noted that Wangkhem was arrested on November 27 on charges of sedition under the National Security Act (NSA) and sent to jail. Earlier he was granted bail in the case by a CJM court in Imphal (West), which had maintained that the remarks were an “expression of opinion against the Prime Minister of India and Chief Minister of Manipur” and couldn’t be termed as seditious. On December, the approval board of NSA constituted in the case sentenced the journalist to 12-month custody.
While not supporting the indecent language used by the journalist, NEFIS unequivocally stands by his right to freedom of expression. NEFIS considers this as a blatant attack on people’s rights and a clear sign of the use of dictatorial powers by the BJP governments in the state and at the centre. The approval board’s order to sentence Wangkhem to 12-month custody which reportedly said ‘after considering the proximate past activities of the [detainee] and potential danger of his activities which are prejudicial to the security of the state and maintenance of public order and there is apprehension of his continuing to act in [similarly] prejudicial activities, the moment he is released from detention, is further of the opinion that the said person should be detained for the maximum period of 12 months as provided under Section 13 of the said Act’,  is unfortunate.
It is very important at this juncture to preserve freedom of expression and right to dissent of the people. NEFIS believes that if the trend continues, no semblance of democracy would be left in the country. Moreover, it is time to repeal the undemocratic NSA Act which is used to curb and repress the voices of the opposition parties/forces. According to the 177th Law Commission Report of 2001 figures for persons arrested under preventive provisions in India including NSA- stands at a whopping 14,57,779 excluding the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

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5 Police personnel suspended over Lilong custodial killing case

IT News

Imphal, Dec 21,

State government has suspended 5 police commando personnel and taken up an FIR against the police personnel and the Assam Rifles troops involved in the death of one Abdul Gaffar. Replying to a calling attention motion by MLA Joykishan, the Chief Minister said that state government had also urged the union home ministry to hand over the Assam Rifles personnel to Manipur police. 

While appreciating the state government for assurance to provide a government job to the next kin besides ex-gratia to every victims of custodial death MLA Joykishan ask the Chief Minister if such could be a precedent of the House for every such incident. MLA Joykishan was asking the matter while moving his call attention motion regarding yesterday’s incident at Lilong which sparked out of the death of an auto driver after he was arrested by a combined team of Thoubal District Police Commando and the 26 Assam Rifle.

In his call attention motion Joykishan also draw the attention of the Chief minister on why actions are not proceeded against the AR personnel as who had equally committed the crime.

Replying the motion Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said that the FIR taken up was as per report of the wife of the deceased MD Abdul Gaffar and definitely it was against the involved police personnel and the ARs.

“We have suspended 5 police personnel in connection with the incident and also set up a magisterial enquiry committee”, said N. Biren Singh adding that while doing so it does not mean that we are favouring such victims without doing proper investigation. “The 5 police personnel were suspended to initiate investigation over the death and that he died in custody and custodial death is a crime”, Biren said.

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AMWJU writes to IJU not to release press statement on Kishorechandra detention

Says Kishorechandra was not a journalist, even as he uploaded the video soon after editing the news regarding Janshi Rani Birthday at ISTV

IT News

Imphal, Dec 21,

In a letter to the IJU, AMWJU had urged the parent body not to issue press statement regarding Kishorchandra. The letter address to the IJU President, Vice President and Secy General is being produced here.

“I write this representing the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU), Imphal as its President and as an Editor who has been in this profession for over 27 years that the issue of one Kishorechandra of Manipur having been incarcerated under the NSA is a non-issue at all in our State.

“Nobody wants to waste time talking about it, leave alone lifting a finger for him—except a few people of his like who always play patriots, rights activists, revolutionaries and warriors of freedom only in the social media but never bother to join a movement either in the street or on the public ground launched for any cause. There are a number of human rights defenders’ bodies, Civil Society Organisations, especially women’s organisations popularly known as Meira Paibi Lups, whose sensibility toward any incident of human rights violation need not mention any further, and so many writers, thinkers and intellects in our State who can’t remain silent and snug but just jump out of their complacency to shout and demand for justice whenever an incident of gross injustice takes place.  Besides there are armed rebel forces who don’t remain as silent spectators whenever there happens an incident of human rights violation in Manipur. All these organisations, proscribed rebel outfits and the intelligentsia of the State have not deemed it fit and necessary to raise their voice in relation to the arrest and subsequent detention of Kishorechandra under NSA. Because everyone knows that rule of law should prevail in the land and what he did was not a bit acceptable in a decent and democratic society, particularly in a society like ours where maintaining discipline is considered as the utmost moral obligation for everyone born and brought up here. In our society, a young person never calls an older person by name.

“On the other hand, there are many right thinking and sensible Editors who edit their respective newspapers, some of which have very large circulation and are very popular, and electronic media/private news channels, who just don’t usually keep mum on any issue worth their/public attention. They write editorials and comments on so many issues daily. All of them, except one or two self isolated from the mainstream, feel that the issue of NSA detention must be fought legally, not by creating a media hype, which some of the media outside Manipur seem to be interested in doing presently.

  “The Editors have a body exclusively for the Editors, namely Editors’ Guild, Manipur (EGM), affiliated to the Editors’ Guild, India. The State Guild extends its full solidarity to the stated taken by AMWJU. The EGM knows very well what Kishorechandra did was to the total opposite of AMWJU’s principles and not a bit ethical as far as the profession is concerned.

“Now coming to the point, Kishorechandra is/was not a member of AMWJU. He is/was not a journalist in the real sense. He was just a news reader and translator on the ISTV News. Working for the ISTV as a news anchor and translator was a front for his main profession of being the master of ceremony/ compare at public functions. So far, he has not written a single article or editorial or comment on his political ideology or concerns in the newspapers published in or outside the State.

“I, on behalf of AMWJU, once again submit this humble prayer to the leadership of IJU not to release any statement on this matter that, I’m sure, won’t be able to make the Government of Manipur budge a bit but will only tarnish the image of media fraternity of Manipur in general and AMWJU in particular. Previously, the IJU had acted unilaterally without considering and respecting the position of AMWJU which had ruffled the sentiments of the media fraternity here. If the IJU acts similarly again, we may be compelled to review our affiliation to the IJU as member. Many journalists have started talking about it openly” the letter read.

Source with the Imphal Times said that Kishorechandra Wangkhem was working as a sub editor and edited a news a day before his arrest after uploading the viral video.

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Bill to protect from mob violence – Will it work?

 Whether the passing of the Manipur Protection from Mob Violence Act 2018 by the state assembly secretariat- an appreciable a wise or appreciable one is a matter needs to be pondered. Even as the passing of the Bill is a good initiative that showed that this  government takes the mob violence with extreme seriousness after witnessing series of such violence in the state, the question which is still being asked is whether the newly passed bill will be able to serve its purpose.
If  one looks at the Bill passed by the state assembly today under the title – The Manipur Protection from Mob Violence Act 2018, it sound that earlier the government did not have any legal measures to punish criminal if the crime was committed in the form of mob by gathering large number of people.
Already there are various sections in the IPCs and CrPC , which have already incorporated the punishment for any violence if causes grievous hurt to any individuals. But none of the victim of mob violence in the state had ever got punished. It is a matter of time whether the newly passed act will be able to give justice to victims of mob mentality criminals.
But if the Bill passed today lacked various sociological perspective than giving a hand to give justice to victims of mob violence with any new legislation will be like a tiger without teethes.
Well, “Mob” from the sociological point of the view is a short gathering of people who got into involved in a sudden upheavals or upsurges. It probably seems to have more negative impacts rather than the positive ones. Contextualising the situation in Manipur society especially, mob justice is the dichotomy of the solidarity which instigates a sense of fear psychosis to the whole of the family members of the culprits rather than bears the heat of social justice by the culprits themselves alone. Dismantling houses, ravaging properties and destroying the belongings of the culprits are the major ways of punishing the culprits through mob justice. It is an exemplary type of repressive punishment to the culprits so that the other members in the society could learn a lesson. It warns other members of the society to forbid replicating the same act or other heinous crimes.

Once a policeman remarked, “a mob has no heads, we were being taught like that in our training.” The intrinsic meaning being very clear, people in a mob are irrational. This perspective may probably be the immediate cause for the time and again act of brutality of the state forces over the people who got involved in mobs or other types of sudden upsurges. Whenever there are social collectives or solidarity in movements, they might have interpreted it from the mob angle and so usually discharged with aggressive acts to subdue them. The traditional methods employed in controlling are arresting the trouble makers, using tear gas, lathi charge, deploying more military personnel creating an atmosphere of militarization etc. In a turbulent society like Manipur, sudden upheavals becomes very common and so mob control mechanisms also needed to become more strategic rather chaotic or inhuman.
Traditional societies are governed by strict social mores and sanctions. Customary laws provide ways of sanctioning against the anti-social acts. They stigmatised the culprits as an exemplary phenomena. Traditional ways of punishing culprits may be far from legal approval. And at some point of time such customary laws overreact and turn out to be destructive and disapproving.  ‘Mob Justice’ is a prominent traditional way of settling crimes and a violent way of punishing offenders. It justifies an anti-social act through another heinous act. It implies approval of the Hamurabi’s code “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”  Criminals are punished through another criminal act.
Mob justice doesn’t take into account the innocent dear and near ones of the accused. The dire consequence of the crime committed is made to bear by the whole family members of the culprit including the aged, women and children. When houses and belongings are burnt, dismantled, ravaged, ex-communicated or made to banished from the society, the fear psychosis that gripped the rest of the family member’s minds and has an intense negative impact. Children, in particular are traumatised. In the sole attempt to stabilise a criminal act, the whole family members, except for the culprit, again become victims of the trauma. The fear psychosis inflicted by s