Thursday, 18 July 2019 - Imphal Times

Imphal, July 18,

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh inaugurated the newly constructed building of Directorate of Horticulture and Soil Conservation at Sanjenthong, Imphal East District today.
Speaking at the occasion as the chief guest, Shri N. Biren said that the State needs to focus on some specific items like pineapple, lemon, orange, ginger and yongchak etc., which are suitable to the soil of the State, for economic prosperity.
He informed that since 2015-16, Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) had been able to register 12,500 organic farmers covering 12,500 hectare in the State. Under this mission, the Chief Minister said, 10 Farmer Producer Companies (FPC) had been formed, and an additional five more FPCs are in the process of forming. As a marketing achievement, N. Biren informed, around 150 MT of organic pineapples was airlifted to Delhi and other cities last year which hugely benefitted the pineapple growers. Currently, consignment of organic Manipur pineapple to marketing platforms such as Big Basket and NE Agro Products through flight is taking place for sale at major cities in India, he added.
Stating that the Government had also been actively working for upliftment of ginger growers of Pherzawl District, the Chief Minister said that the Government had been able to link buyers with ginger growers this year. Around 4000 MT of ginger had been marketed outside the State fetching more than Rs. 12 crore this year. In 2018, sale of 1000 MT of ginger was made by MSTC Ltd., a Government of India company fetching Rs. 1.9 crore, he informed.
Saying that organic produce of Manipur had been exported to different countries, N. Biren said that organic U-morok had reached Australia, Canada and USA. Directorate of Horticulture and Soil Conservation had acquired Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Kachai lemon, he said and added that now Kachai lemon has become the only lemon variety of India to have a GI tag.
The Chief Minister said that MOMA was awarded with the prestigious Jaivik India Awards by International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture (ICCOA), Government of Karnataka and APEDA for efforts and achievements in promoting organic farming in the State.
Maintaining that the Government always welcomes agro-entrepreneurs, who are willing to invest efforts in horticulture opportunities, the Chief Minister said that Manipur State Co-operative Bank Ltd. had recently provided loan to an apple grower. Last year as well, financial assistance of around Rs. 95 lakh had been provided under StartUp Manipur to a strawberry grower, he informed.
N. Biren further said that cold storage infrastructures are being set up in various districts for the convenience of farmers. After amending the Indian Forest Act, 1927, bamboo is no more categorised as a tree. As such, bamboo can now be grown in private or homestead land for livelihood or sale, he added. Saying that large scale destruction of forest cover due to poppy cultivation leads to environment degradation and climate change, N. Biren said that the State Government is trying to provide alternative livelihood based on horticulture farming to poppy growers.
Regarding the inconvenience faced by the public due to potholes on different roads, the Chief Minister said that the Government is aware of the pressing need for immediate mending of potholes on the important roads in the district headquarters. To effectively implement the works, necessary directives had been given to upload photos of roads before and after repair, in the WhatsApp group of PWD, the Chief Minister said. Bills for these maintenance works would be cleared by Superintending Engineers concerned posted at different divisions of PWD, N. Biren said.
Speaking at the function as the guest of honour, Horticulture and Soil Conservation Minister Th. Shyamkumar said that development of horticulture sector can make Manipur an economically self-reliant State. For this, he said, experts of Directorate of Horticulture and Soil Conservation need to give proper training to farmers regularly.
Principal Secretary (Horticulture and Soil Conservation) J.C. Ramthanga was the functional president. Horticulture and Soil Conservation Director K. Kipgen, past Directors and other officials of the Directorate also attended the function.

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Imphal July 18,

A minor student studying only Class 7 was found hanged today early morning in her hostel room. The incident took place at the Girls’ Hostel of Standard Robarth Higher Secondary School Canchipur.

The deceased student identified as one Ningthoujam Babysana aged 14 years, daughter of Ningthoujam Tomchou from Thangmeiband Meisnam Leikai.

She was a student of Standard Robarth Higher Secondary School pursuing 7 standard and staying at the Girls’ Hostel of the said school. The dead body was taken away by the police for post mortem.

Reporters who went for coverage of the event were denied entry by the school authority in connivance with the so call parent’s body. No authority of the school comes out to brief the reporters on how the incident happened. The attitude of the school authority suggested that they were trying to cover up the incident just to protect the school image. And reporters now suspects false play in the incident as reporters are not allowed to cover news regarding the hanging of the class 7 going student.

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Imphal, July 18,

A bomb was found at the gate of the residence of Thingom Sukumar, age about 50 yrs , son of Th. Shanti at Yaiskul Hiruhanba Leikai in Imphal West at around 5.30 am today.

Thingom Sukumar is the Deputy Manager of Babina Diagnostic Center. Family members said that the explosive was found lying at the gate when Th. Shanti was cleaning the area as usual.

Police team which was informed by the family members rushed to the site and with the help of Bomb Disposal Squad picked up the bomb and defused it at around 8.30 am.

Speaking to media persons Sukumar said that he had never received any threat from any persons or armed group. He said it may be a mistake of those persons in placing the bomb. He however, said that such act is condemnable and should not repeat in future as it is residential area.

Meanwhile, source of the police said that the bomb was planted in such a way to explode as it was fitted with Agarbati and the lever was tied by a thread.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility but the police had started investigation over the placing of the bomb.

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Thursday, 18 July 2019 18:08

Vehicle fallen at Imphal River recovered

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Imphal, July 18,

After massive hunt by rescue team of the State Fire service, the Tata DI vehicle which had fallen into Imphal River by crushing the Lilong Bridge was recovered today afternoon. However, except for one person believe to be the driver no other companion who was believed to be inside the vehicle at the time of the incident was not found inside the vehicle.

Report said that the Tata DI vehicle coming from Imphal towards Thoubal side seems to went out of control while trying to divert possible accident with a four wheeler car coming from the opposite direction fall into the river by crushing the bar. Hectic search were conducted since early today morning by the rescue team of the state fire service.

Identity of the two persons is yet to be established. The registration number of the ill fated vehicle is MN01S1300. The owner of the vehicle is identified as one MD. Altaf Hussain.

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Imphal July 18,

Volunteers of Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee today staged sit-in-protest in front of Congress Bhavan against price hike. The protest was organised by Kishan Cell of MPCC.

Speaking to media persons President of MPCC Gaikhangam stressed that the people of the land has been facing tremendous problems because of the price rise of all items. He added that the rise of petroleum products rise to an unaffordable rate.

Denying that the reason of the price rise is not natural Gaikhangam said that it was because of the failure to manage properly.

He demanded to decrease the price hike of items to a more affordable rate for the welfare of the people.

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Imphal July 18,

Concerning about reservation violation of tribal in the notification for LDC of RIMS and also the seats of MBBS students All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) warned intense agitation if RIMS authority doesn’t rectify it at the earliest.

Addressing in a press meet held today at Administrative centre of ATSUM, Adimjati Complex Chingmeirong General Secretary of ATSUM Seiboi Haokip said that the notification for the post of LDC of RIMS violated the reservation system. He added that as per the guidelines of Department of Personnel and Training there is a clear cut policy to follow State Reservation Norms at the Central Institution which is around 34 percent for ST in our State.

Unfortunately according to the notification out of the nine posts for LDC, 5 were Unreserved, 2 reserved for SC, 1 reserved for ST and 1 reserved for OBC which completely violates the DOPT guidelines, Seiboi stressed.

He further said that they have given written application to the Director regarding the matter but no sign of rectification was done from the RIMS.

Seiboi urged the RIMS authority to rectify it under the State reservation norms.

Regarding 25 additional seats of MBBS he said that there is also a violation of reservation system where 11 seats are reserved for economically weaker section, 10 were unreserved seats and 4 for all India.

The economically weaker sections have 10 percent reservation for the General category.

The central institution should also follow state norms regarding reservation where 7 seats for SC, 4 seats for OBC, 1 seats for SC and 2/3 seats for Economically weaker section and 10 seats should be unreserved out of the 25 MBBS seats.

He also urged the authority to rectify it at the earliest.

Seiboi warned that ATSUM will launch agitation if the authorities fail to rectify it.

“We will fight for our right for our befitting share”, he concluded.

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Imphal, July 18,

United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF) today made a press statement terming the statement of the Kuki National Army by the name of T. Stephen Kuki on 14th July 2019 as false allegation regarding the gruesome murder of 2nd Lieutenant John Gangte by KNO/KNA on 13th July 2019.

Reacting the statement the UKLF said, “It is shocked to learn from the media report that the banned drug W.Y. packaged was recovered from the victim body. However, the Investigation Team of UKLF after thoroughly enquired and found some flaws on the reports. That, in the Seizure Memo of Moreh police signed by T. Paominlun Haokip, ASl of Moreh PS there is nothing mentioned about drugs being recovered from the body of Late 2nd Lieutenant John Gangte”. 

The statement added that the organisation have doubt upon the Investigation Officer to manipulate and change the seizure report in collusion with the culprits to tarnish the image of the organisation. Therefore, the media report made by KNO/KNA is baseless and just to mislead the investigation on the heinous crime they had committed.

“In fact, the organization suspected that there may be unholy nexus between T. Paominlun Haokip ASI (IO of the case) Moreh PS and that of KNO/KNA particularly Telsing Thangboi @ Thahpi Haokip of KNO/KNA Moreh Tactical OC who is the main culprit of the brutal killing of 2nd Lieutenant John Gangte”, the statement added.

The UKLF appealed the higher authority to intervene on these contradictory reports and urged to find out in whose nexus do KNO/KNA made such media reports. 

While stating that the UKLF always worked to eradicate the banned drugs substances and any form of anti social element in our operational area and never involved in such businesses and would never compromise on such matter, it questioned the concern government authority to why there had been no action taken against KNO/KNA whenever they committed heinous crimes repeatedly in Moreh when their involvement in the crime are visible from all corner or are they given a license to commit crimes and kill anyone at any time as they wish; If such is the case, then UKLF would be compelled to retaliate them on our own way and the concern government authority will be held responsible for it.

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Thursday, 18 July 2019 17:56

Blowing the gaff on greed

Perhaps the worst attribute that has debased saints and sinners alike is the almost unquenchable desire to have more regardless of the actual need hence the accepted concept that men’s greed knows no bound.
The urge to take in that bit more than what is rightfully ours has been the genesis of so much evils and ills in the society. Such a habit also infringes on other’s rights and privileges. Yet almost always, it turns out that it is those who are more knowledgeable and informed individuals who are doing the dirty deeds of infringing.
The issues of kickbacks and underhand deals in Government contracts and supplies are nothing new. It has been the bane of many otherwise respectful and well-meaning leaders and powerful figures. But when such issues do break out, it never fails to elicit amazement and anger from the public, and are also a source of amusement for many, given the efforts and thoughts that is being invested in pulling out such schemes and also the ingenious ways employed for the same- tactics, had these been utilized legally and for the good, would have definitely made a visible positive impact on the development of the society. For every act of misappropriation, favoritism and underhand dealings, a few in power and influence must have bypassed the law of the land went ahead- with an arrangement which would definitely have enriched them and their near ones who were privy to the whole operation. Handouts must have been made to ensure silence. It would not be possible to carry out such feats without the consent and collusion of minister/s and departmental heads.
The sheer audacity of inflating the cost, as is almost always the case, way above the market price also signals a deep and critical rot in the financial control and management that has been going on for years, if not decades. The public, which are left seething with anger are waiting and watching for the damage control exercises that is bound to follow suit eventually with or without the agitations, sit-in-protests and demonstrations, and it would be foolish and physically risky for the Government and the perpetrators to assume that they will continue to be mute spectators forever.
There had been instances when the public spontaneously decided to set things in the right order, unable to wait for the reluctant enforcers and judiciary to sit up and act. These instances clearly underline the inefficient and ineffective methods of reigning in its employees and controlling the affairs of the state. There has not been any exemplary punishment which only emboldens the unscrupulous people to commit bigger and more serious hoaxes and crimes given the uncomfortable fact that the risk of being found out can be negotiated. The onus to prove its honest intentions of bringing in better Governance should be put squarely on the Government. There had been enough promises and empty assurances. It is time to shut up and act out.
The public now will not have it any other way. Not when the time to choose their next representatives is just about a couple of months away.  

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Thursday, 18 July 2019 17:55

CM N. Biren shares pains of Assam  

Imphal, July 18,

Chief Minister of Manipur N. Biren Singh has expressed sadness at the loss of life, destruction of property and immense suffering caused to the people of Assam by the unprecedented flood.

In a letter to his Assam counterpart Sarbananda Sonowal, the Chief Minister said, “I offer my condolences to you and all those affected by the calamity and wish you a successful and smooth execution of relief efforts.”

In a press release issued to the media through DIPR, Biren said that it was really saddening that Assam had been hit by one of the worst floods of recent times.

He lamented, “Several lives have been lost or injured. Thousands are left homeless. Properties have been swept away by raging flows of water. Innumerable wildlife has been destroyed. My thoughts are with the people of Assam in these trying times.”

He further said, “I, on behalf of the people of Manipur express our deepest condolences to the people of Assam, who were affected by the unprecedented natural calamity. Manipur prays for early receding of water and speedy rehabilitation works. We stand with the people of Assam in these challenging times.”

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By- Sh. Ajit
India’s Union Minister of State for Home, G. Kishan Reddy, has expressed in Lok Sabha that since the talk with NSCN(IM) is yet to come to a conclusion, it is not the right time to clearly speak on the matter. What does it mean? Prime Minister has also expressed the signing of the Framework Agreement between the leader of NSCN(IM) and Government of India to be very historic. What does it mean? Does it mean that the talk, which has been in a confused state to continue, is now going to have further steps to proceed? Or is it because of the signing done on a simple, plain piece of paper with the so-called Naga leaders? Earlier, during his visit to Manipur for election campaign for BJP, central government’s former Minister of State (Home), Kiren Rijiju, said that the reason for not bringing the agreement to the public is because the Framework Agreement is not ripe yet and an incomplete agreement. On the other hand, on the day of signing, the Prime Minister said that the agreement was “historic”. Being a doubtful matter, it gave rise to some serious concerns. Was the agreement signed in a hurry with nothing good to come out of it for naga people, but just to portray that Isak Chishi Swu, who was ill for a long time, did something when he was alive? Since (IM)’s political agenda had failed to make a proper mark in Nagaland, was it done as an initiation of a future agreement following Isak Chishi Swu’s Framework Agreement without any substance? After Isak’s demise, was there an attempt to allow the implementation of the final agreement in Nagaland on August 3? Was it an attempt to trick people of Nagaland into celebration for no reason with such an agreement that has no substance in it and put an end to their movement? Is the reason for keeping such an agreement hidden behind closed doors its irrelevance to the toils and troubles of nagas and its agenda being unrelated to bringing a fully democratic life to the people? It is a framework agreement with a lot of questionable matters.
Saying that the agreement has nothing harmful, yet keeping it as a secret, makes people of the neighbouring states of Nagaland extremely worried. The worry is also regarding the concern that it might disturb their historical and political structure. Their concern is also that the attempt to settle a movement by a Naga revolutionary group might bring about the disintegration of the relationships amongst various communities in their own states rooted in a historical line, which took thousands of years to build
On top of the confusion and the doubt, what needs to look into is the idea strongly enforced onto the people of Nagaland by (IM) to create an independent Nagalim and form a new Naga community. But there is no word for independence and the idea of Nagalim seems impossible. Thus, (IM) is planning for a new strategy by sending out a message of a united Nagalim in Nagaland and land and power for nagas in Manipur. Keeping this in mind, since United Naga Council (UNC)’s attempt of trying to not allow Manipur government administer in the hills of Manipur and to divide the land in the name of communities, is by itself exposing (IM)’s new dream. This politics that does not affect much to the people of Nagaland, is becoming a reason to create chaos amongst the communities in Manipur. Ever since this (IM) disease has started spreading in the hills of Manipur, there has been various communal thoughts coming forth. Not only this, the disease seems to have affected communities other than the Manipuri nagas in the last one decade. As a result, meiteis are starting to worry of losing their land while kukis are demanding for a home land just for themselves. As the disease starts to spread far and wide, there is an attempt to portray Manipur as a mere junction of the nagas, kukis, and the lands of nagas. When the land starts to be divided on the basis of community, the political legitimation of all the movements of Manipur is going to disappear. It is thus going to portray in history that Manipur never have had unity of various communities.
We need to look into the politics of engineering issues, like never seen in any part of the world, on creating community-based districts and an independent Nagalim only for nagas. Manipuris are saying that the communities were not just mere neighbours. Those who want the land to be divided on community basis are trying to cover up the fact that these communities collectively lived together under a ruler. In the name of “Unique history,” there is an attempt to erase this history. In this matter, India is not paying any heed to this. In India’s context, division of land based on communities can also be seen in 1947 when India and Pakistan got separated. It was divided on the basis of religious communities. This politics of dividing land on community basis can be seen in India until 1951. Thus, a time came to create a nation on the basis of language. But even India realised that it does not work to try to divide on community basis, especially after the uprisings in Kashmir and other reasons. However, in this crucial time, it is necessary to understand the motive behind India’s recent attempt in the north-eastern region to bring in the politics to create a community-based Manipur, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh. By painting a picture that the communities that do not agree with this politics are Manipuris and Assamese, nagas’ politics of thousand years of struggle to make a better living is turned into a conflict between Manipur and Assam. This can be viewed as India’s success in conflict transformation.
 By creating doubts on both sides, are India and (IM) making a fool of the people, is what various organizations of Manipur are wondering. If we look at it from this point of view, then, it is not a hollow agreement with no purpose. It is performing various political purposes. Creating specific doubts on both sides itself is the purpose of this politics. To strengthen the politics, NSCN(IM) is saying something while Indian government is saying something else. Providing different narratives itself can be considered as the fruition of the politics of this framework.
Knowing that the idea of Nagalim cannot be successful for now, NSCN(IM) wants to mark certain areas within Manipur to be of nagas. India does not see any problem in this. Because it does not go against India’s constitution like how an independent Nagalim does. Thus, India supports (IM)’s attempt to mark certain areas in Manipur as only for nagas. (IM) is trying to snatch land, only for nagas, from Manipur by creating an organisation to take the role of a negotiator, making it all look like a civil movement. On top of that, in order to create a separate government only for nagas, there is a great attempt, ranging from demanding for an alternative arrangement to trying to make Manipur look like a communal group. To this, India is not bothered for it does not majorly affect its image and integrity.
 (IM) is also trying to politicise and create a communal narrative out of the tradition around purity of meitei Hindus. It is usual for any religion to have such tradition. However, there is no attempt to provide a narrative of the secular events, with no relation to religion, that Manipuri kings, deeply religious for Hinduism, and hill leaders collectively performed. Instead, there have been attempts to put the blame on meiteis by turning the pages from history on how other communities are not allowed to enter Hindu places. Since such politics could not last for long, a new tactic has been implemented to fabricate various events just to show that meiteis are torturing the nagas. Not just this, it has also been constantly claimed that the history of Manipur is limited only to the valley. There is an attempt to construct a historiography with its foundation on shallow viewpoints.
All of this is just a dream of (IM), constructed beyond the historical details, but could not successfully establish in Nagaland. The very fact that there is a huge conflict on whether Rongmei and Kabui are socially accepted communities or not in Nagaland, clearly proves that (IM)’s dream of a new Nagalim is not a means to bring welfare to all of naga communities. Nagas have a lot of hardships, there are more disappointing matters even after Shillong Accord. All of this is not related to the religion of meiteis. It is brought by the current political economy. Therefore, in order to overcome these hardships, whether it is of nagas, meiteis, kukis, or all the other communities that meiteis call Manipuris, it is necessary to bring a change in this political economy. This is what we call the historical ethos. When (IM) asks for a means unrelated to this ethos, India is going to easily agree to it because there is a difference between the ethos of India and that of the people of north-east.
 This being the reason, even if it is said that the Framework Agreement does not have any harmful elements, the people of this region cannot trust it. Even if it is concerning only the nagas, the attempt to compensate and overcome the historical hardships of nagas by signing an agreement with no substance, is nothing but (IM) deceiving the historical process. Even the nagas of Nagaland are asking to bring forth the Framework Agreement for the same reason. On the other hand, the reason behind people asking for the agreement to bring forth in public eye is because of the doubt that are Assam and Manipur trying to fool (IM) or is India trying to break Manipur, who usually keeps quiet in (IM) asking for its demands that are not problematic.
In today’s time, it is hard to agree to believe on something that is not visible. In a time when even the existence of unseen god is questionable, people of Manipur and Nagaland cannot blindly trust either (IM) or Narendra Modi, since they are not even god. Therefore, what people of Manipur now want is to bring forth the Framework Agreement, analyse it, and take people’s opinion. If not, it will be forced to bring to public, analyse every bits and pieces in detail, and make a strong decision. It is then that the people of Manipur will show their duty.

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