Wednesday, 25 September 2019 - Imphal Times

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Imphal, Sept. 25

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has said that an official team would be sent to Shillong to inspect the present condition of Manipur Rajbari. He was speaking to media persons on the sideline of joint Meeyamgi Numit and Hill Leaders’ Day at Durbar Hall of Chief Minister’s Secretariat today.

The Chief Minister said that there are some issues due to encroachments on Rajbari complex. As such, he had talked to Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma adding that development of the place associated with the history of Manipur would begin soon with funds from the State budget once this issue is sorted out.

Stating that activities regarding Green Manipur Mission are going on in full swing, he said that mass tree plantation would be done at Koubru range. On the other hand, DGP L.M. Khaute had been entrusted to discuss with different Civil Society Organisations to chalk out a plan to replace poppy plantation by an alternative livelihood and mass tree plantation, he said. N. Biren Singh further informed that CSOs of Senapati district had approached him to join hand in mass destruction of poppy plants. He further informed that the State Government would ink an MoU with 207 villages of Ukhrul district which are to ready to reserve 5 to 10 acres of their village land for forest development under Chief Minister’s Green Manipur Mission.

Responding to a query regarding Nambul Rejuvenation Project, the Chief Minister said that the Centre had sanctioned Rs. 15 crore for the second phase of the project, which would be taken up at an estimated cost of around Rs. 500 crores.

During today’s joint Meeyamgi Numit and Hill Leaders’ Day, Brand Ambassador for CM’s Green Manipur Mission Valentina Elangbam along with her parents met the Chief Minister for the first time. The Chief Minister welcomed the nine-year-old girl and encouraged her to keep on encouraging people to plant more and more trees. Valentina and her parents also expressed their profound thanks to the Chief Minister for acknowledging her love for trees. N. Biren along with Valentina also distributed saplings to visitors.

The Chief Minister heard around 360 complaints and met around 1000 people from 9:15 am to 1 pm. Around 1500 tree saplings were distributed to the people who turned up to highlight their grievances on joint Meeyamgi Numit and Hill Leaders’ Day. The saplings included Champaka (Leihao), Jackfruit (Theibong), Indian Olive (Chorphon), Yellow Myrobalan (Manahi), Arjuna (Mayokpha), Indian Gooseberry (Heikru) and Tree Bean (Yongchak). Chief Minister appealed the people to plant more trees and nurture them in their vicinity.

The Chief Minister also presented a wheel-chair to a 23-year-old differently-abled person hailing from Wangjing Cherapur. He also directed the officials to enroll him under Chief Ministergi Sotharabashing-gi Tengbang, which entitles a monthly pension of Rs. 1500 per month. Later, N. Biren also handed over CMHT card to a couple from Noney, whose all four children are deaf and mute. He also asked the officials concerned to admit all the four children at Government Deaf and Mute School, Takyel.

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Imphal, Sept 25

In a setback to the dissident MLAs, who are camping for over 3 months demanding change of Chief Minister N. Biren Singh , MLA of Thanlon Assembly Constituency  Vungzagin Valte today said that there is no possibility of leadership change of the State government as the present Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has been chosen as leader of the Party and patronized by the BJP Central leaders.

Talking to media persons at Manipur Press Club today Vungzagin Valte said, “I have been told by some MLAs that there will be change of leadership of the State government. I tried to confirm from the central leaders, but could not. It has been realized that there is no possibility of leadership change of the State Government”.

Valte said that Chief Minister N.Biren Singh has been performing well and the example is that he has been awarded the best Chief Minister of BJP-ruled states in the country.

“The economic growth, infrastructure development and revenue collection in the State are remarkable achievements under his leadership with a short span of his term as Chief Minister. It will be at the best interest of the Party and BJP-led government in Manipur to fully support and cooperate in the leadership of N.Biren to make his hand strong to serve the state with more energy. Also I am one of the best performers in the Lok Sabha Election, 2019 and Membership mobilization”, Valte said.

He further added that he has full confidence to the central leaders of BJP and added that he will go by the decision of the party leaders as a loyal Karyakarta of the party. The central leaders of the party have full confidence in the leadership of N.Biren Singh, he said.

He further said that the present political crisis is just wastage of valuable time of the elected leaders and it will bring no good for the state.

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Imphal Sept 24

Kangla Inat Yokhat Lup (Kangla Facebook group) today welcomes Athokpam Right Kumari Devi for entering in the infinity book of World record of pencil lead carving of the 27 letters of Meetei Mayek alphabet.

The event was held today at Yum and Hills Luwangshangbam.

Athokpam Right Kumari wife of Soibam James from Lamshang Thong Maning created her record on September 10, 2019 for pencil lead carving of English alphabets in 7mm and 1mm breadth, number 1 to 100 in 3.2 cm length with 0.2 cm diameter and 27 letters of Manipuri language Meetei Mayek in 14mm length and 2mm breadth.

Right Kumari also holds record in future Kalam’s Books of record for the same pencil carving on 25 August 2019. 

Further the Facebook group also wishes and encourages Haobijam Surjit meetei who will participate in the Global Peace March to Geneva.

Speaking to media persons member of Kangla Inat Yokhat lup Yumkhaibam Ibomcha said that the group congratulated and appreciated the two for their works in bringing forth the name of land to the global world.

He further urged to keep inspiring the people with their tremendous works for the people.

Later an appreciation certificate was also handed to Athokpam Right Kumari.

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Imphal, Sept 25,

8 rented rooms at Sagolband Ingudam Leikai, Imphal West, were burnt to ashes destroying properties worth around Rs. 10 lakhs.

The fire broke out at around 1:45 pm today. The root of the fire is expected from a short circuit or gas cylinder leakage. 2 LPG cylinders exploded one after another.

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Wednesday, 25 September 2019 17:39

RIMS X-Ray equipment sealed; 10 others warned

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Imphal, Sept 25

In an embarrassment to the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), one Medical Diagnostic X-Ray equipment of the Institution has been sealed by a team of Atomic Energy Regularity Board (AERB) after inspection today. 10 other  Medical Diagnostic X-Ray equipments have been warned to seal if the RIMS authority failed to procure license for operation within 30 days from today.

The AERB team yesterday paid a surprise visit to 3 private run hospitals which have the Medical Diagnostic X-Ray. Of the three only one run by the Babina Clinic was found following regulations, but two others including the one at Langol View Clinic were warned to seal if they fail to procure license.

“For violation of Rule 3 of the Atomic Energy (Radiation Protection) Rules, 2004 under Section 16 & 17 of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, This Medical Diagnostic X-Ray facility is sealed till further order”, this was paste at one of the ray room at RIMS which was sealed by the team.

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Ambition and passion are the main reason for one to start a new establishment. Some people are lucky and others are not so, for this profession we are on our way, is not everybody’s cup of tea. A desire for a change and perhaps to show the capitalists class – that we are no difference from you people ; we will no longer be your puppet or an earning machine is one reason among many others why we stuck to this profession even by sacrificing what we could have earn serving them. Among us, some are privileged enough to get their rightful share in the form of remuneration, but this privileged is only for the lucky chaps in the profession at which the boss considered best. But many who has been already utilized and used for years remain the same without any improvement. However their love and passion for the profession compelled them to remain with frustration.

Every arrogant rich man or influential persons considered media as tool to earn money with great reputation. And it is for this reason we have seen some people who had earn enough money by either hook or crook wanted to enter the field and do business by hiring labour who can write and do work for them. The attitude of this class of people is clear. Sometime they forgot that the kind of labour is an intellectual labour. 

The journalists who had been working days and night voicing against the venality of the politicians or criticizing the violation of rights for the workers in term of their pay/ salary were put to silence when it comes to their turn.

It is at this juncture that we who are working in the media house have reason to appreciate the team AMWJU for their endless effort to implement the journalists’ wage board. More appreciable is the response of the government . Increase of the pension for journalist and granting of sites for setting up of press colony at Langol shows their concern for those in the profession.

It is a fact we in the state which has been reeling under various form of violence has been face various form of threats and obstacles. But these challenges are no real threats as people who choose this profession finds it interesting to deal such situation.

However, the people in this profession are really deprived by the insufficient pay and facilities  that they have been provided. We hope government will certainly look into the matter and take up some immediate action after due consultation with the publishing houses owners to make a change to the living conditions of the journalists.

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Wednesday, 25 September 2019 17:35

AFSPA and Rule of Law

Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1958 is an act of the Parliament of India that grant Special Powers to the Indian Armed Forces, the power to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”. According to the Disturbed Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1976, once declared “disturbed”, the area has to maintain status quo for a minimum of three months. One such Act passed on 11th September 1958 was applicable to the Naga Hills, then part of Assam. In the following decades it spread one by one, to the other seven sisters states in India’s north east. At present it is in force in Assam, Nagaland and Manipur(excludingImphal Municipal council area),Changlang, Longding and Tirap districts of Arunachal Pradesh. Another one passed in 1983 and applicable to Punjab and Chandigarh was withdrawn in 1997, roughly 14 years after it came to force. An Act passed in 1990 was applied to Jamu and Kashmir and has been in force since. Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act 1999(MCOCA), the provisions of which are more draconian than AFSPA (according to legal experts), though stillalive, seems to be like an extinct volcano.
      The AFSPA, have received criticism from several sections for alleged concerns about human rights violations in the regions of its enforcement alleged to have happened. National politicians like P.Chidambaram and SaifuddinSoz of Congress have advocated revocation of AFSPA, while some like Amarinder Singh are against its revocation. The Armed Forces Special Powers Ordinance of 1942 was promulgated by the British on 15th August 1942 to suppress the Quit India Movement. Modeled on these lines four Ordinances—the Bengal Disturbed Areas (Special Powers of Armed Forces) Ordinance; the Assam Disturbed Areas (special Powers of Armed Forces) Ordinance; the East Bengal Disturbed Areas (Special Powers of Armed Forces) Ordinance; the United Provinces Disturbed Areas (Special Powers of Armed Forces) Ordinance, were invoked by the Central Government to deal with the internal security situation in the country in 1947, which emerged due to the partition of India. The article 355 of the Indian Constitution, confers power to the Central Government to protect every state from internal disturbances. In 1951, the Naga National Council Nation was formed and there was a boycott of the first general election of 1952 which later extended to a boycott of government schools and officials. In order to deal with the situation, the Assam Government imposed the Assam Maintenance of Public Order (Autonomous District) Act in the Naga Hills in 1953 and intensified police action against the rebels. When the situation worsened, Assam deployed the Assam Rifles in the Naga Hills and enacted the Assam Disturbed Areas Act of 1955, providing legal framework for the paramilitary forces and the armed state police to combat insurgency in the region. But the Assam Rifles and the state armed police could not contain the Naga rebellion and the rebel Naga National Council (NNC) formed a parallel government “The Federal Government of Nagaland” on 23rd march 1956. The Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Ordinance 1958 was promulgated by the President DrRajendra Prasad on 22nd May 1958. It was replaced by the Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Act 1958 on 11th September 1958. This Act was invoked in Manipur for suppressing separatistinsurgencies in Manipur who demanded independence from India as Manipur was an independent Kingdom and forced to merge to India. However in the Naxalite hit mainland India, the problem is much more serious than what is here in Manipur & North-East region but no any stringent Act or Ordinance is enacted in these area. The question is, why and what is the logic behind it?
    The Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Act, 1958empowered only the Governors of the state and Administrators of the Union Territories to declare areas in the concerned state or the Union Territory as disturbed. The reason for conferring such a power as per “objects and Reasons” appended to the Bill was that “Keeping in view the duty of the Union under article 355 of the Constitution, Interalia, to protect every state against internal disturbances. It is considered desirable that the Central Government should also have power to declare areas as “disturbed “to enable its armed forces to exercise the special powers. The territorial scope of Act also expanded to all the states of the North-East: Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram. In addition the words “The Armed Forces( Assam and Manipur) Special Powers  Act 1958” were substituted by Armed Forces (Special Powers ) Act 1958" getting the acronym of AFSPA,1958. Recently the Tripura State Government has decided to withdraw the controversial Act, citing significant reduction in the extent of terrorist activities in the state.  The three districts of Arunachal Pradesh— Tirap,Chanlang and Longdinghave been declared as” disturbed area” under section 3 of AFSPA. In these districts Naga underground factions including NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) are involved in extortion, recruitment of locals and rivalry.
    The Act has been criticized by Human Rights Watch as a “tool of the state abuse oppression and discrimination”. The South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre argues that the Government call for increased force is part of the problem. Human rights abuse in Manipur have been an ongoing issue. The Indian security forces have committed several human rights violation in the state. A report by the Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis points to multiple occurrences of violence by security forces against civilians also in Manipur since the passage of the Act. The report states that the residents believe that the provision for immunity of security forces urge them to act more brutally. The article however, goes on to say that repeal or withering away of the Act will encourage insurgency. IromChanuSharmila,also known as “Iron Ladyof Manipur” or Mengoubiis a civil right activist, political activist and poet began hunger strike on 2nd November 2000 which ended on 9th August 2016,after 16 years. On 2nd November 2000, in Malom, a small town in Imphal valley, ten civilian were shot and killed while waiting at a bus stop. The incident known as the “Malom Massacre” was allegedly committed by Assam Rifles, one of the Indian Paramilitary forces operating in the state. People’s movement to repeal the AFSPA after Manorama incident and movement of mothers (Emas) in naked in front ofKANGLA are all against the Human Rights violation under AFSPA.Ema’s movement resulted the removal of Assam Rifles from KANGLA and repealed of AFSPA from seven Assembly segment of Imphal Municipal area.Movement of ApunbaLup after khwairamband shooting incident was also a movement against the AFSPA.Not only this many Human Rights Organizations are fighting to get the justice for so call fake encounter/extra judicial killings which is also the outcome of invoking AFSPA in Manipur.  AFSPA grants the military wide powers of arrest, the right to shot to kill and to occupy or destroy property in counterinsurgency operations. Indian Officials claims that troops need such powers because the army is only deployed when national security is at risk from armed combatants. Such circumstances, theysay, call for extraordinary measures. Human Rights Organizations have also asked Indian Government to repeal the public safety Act, since, a detainee may be held in Administrative detention for a maximum of two years without Court order. The Wikileaks Diplomatic Cableshave disclosed that Indian government employees agree to acts of human rights violations on part of Indian armed forces and various paramilitary forces deployed in the north –east parts of India, especially Manipur. The violations have been carried out under the cover of this very act. Governor S.S.Sidhu admitted to the American Consul General in Kolkota, HenryJardine, that the Assam Rifles in particular are perpetrators of violation in Manipur, which the very same cables described as a state that appeared more of a colony and less of an Indian state. But the contrary to expectations, Indian general elections of 2014 and 2019, recorded more than 80% voters turn out in Manipur.
A high-power commission headed by the retired Supreme Court Judge N.SantoshHegde was constituted in January 2013 to probe six encounter deaths in Manipur. The Committee, comprising former Supreme Court Judge Santosh Hegde, ex-CEC JM Lyngdoh and a senior police officer has said in its report that the probe showed that none of the victims had any criminal records. The Judicial commission set up by the Supreme Court is trying to make the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) more humane and the security forces more accountable. The committee has suggested fixing a time frame of three months for the Central government to decide whether to prosecute security personnel engaged in extrajudicial killing or unruly behavior in insurgency-hit regions. The commission noted that AFSPA was an impediment to achieving peace in regions such as Jamu& Kashmir and North-East states. The Commission also said the Laws needs to be reviewed every six months to see whether its implementation is actually necessary in states where it is being enforced. About section 6 of the Act which guarantees protection against prosecution to the armed forces, the report said “It is not that no action can be taken at all”. Action can be taken but with prior sanction of the Central Government. The Commission recommended to repeal AFSPA as “the Act is a symbol of hate, oppression and instrument of high handedness”. It had submitted its report on 6th June 2005. After 10 years Government of India rejected the recommendation made by Justice Jeevan Reddy Commission to repeal AFSPA. The second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARO) in its fifth report on “Public order” recommended to repeal AFSPA. It commented that its scrapping would remove sentiments of discriminations and alienation among the people of the North –East India. The Commission recommended to amend the unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, inserting a new chapter to deploy the armed forces of the Union in the North-Eastern states. Yes ,it has been amended and passed in the Loksabha in the ongoing parliament session., but amended provisions have many apprehensions among general public.It supported a new doctrine of policing and criminal justice inherent in an inclusive approach to governance. Supreme Court said that any encounter carried out by armed forces in the grab of AFSPA should be subjected to through inquiry. In the words of Supreme Court” It does not matter whether the victim was a common person or a militant or terrorist nor does it matter whether the aggressor was a common man or the state. The Law is the same for both and is equally applicable to both. This is the requirement of preservation of the Rule of Law and preservation of individual liberties.

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