Monday, 13 January 2020 - Imphal Times

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Imphal, Jan 13

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said that the government would never encourage favoritism and nepotism. This was stated by him at the distribution of uniform items to Manipur Police personnel held at 1stBattalion Manipur Rifles Parade Ground today. 

Speaking as Chief Guest of the function, Chief Minister said that since its inception, the government is committed to deliver transparency and corruption free governance in the State. He appealed to the people of the State to support the government in curbing corruption in recruitment, promotion, transfer and postings of various departments. He maintained that law and order has also tremendously improved under the present regime.

The Chief Minister informed that today’s such programme is simple yet very meaningful. This programme provides an opportunity to give due respect to the police personnel for their remarkable duties towards safeguarding our lives and property and maintaining peace in the region. It is due to the commitment and hardwork of the police department, the government has been able to combat drug menace in the State, he added.

Recalling the paper belt scam of police department, Chief Minister said that earlier, the police personnel brought the uniforms by themselves as substandard uniforms were supplied them in the past. The present government would never let such scandal happen again and the government would provide branded and standard uniforms to all the police personnel, he added.

Chief Minister and his Cabinet Ministers distributed the uniform items to the respective SPs and COs of different districts and units during the function.

Deputy Chief Minister Y. Joykumar; Minister for PWD, Commerce and Industries and IPR Th. Biswajit; Minister for Health and Family Welfare L. Jayantakumar; Minister for CAF and PD Karam Shyam; Minister for PHED Losii Dikho; Minister for Fisheries N. Kayasii; MLAs; DGP and top civil and police officials also attended the function.


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IT News

Imphal, Jan 13

When there is much debate over the issue of secularism enshrined in the Constitution of India across the nation, when voices of dissents for protection of all citizen’s life as per article 14 and other provision of the Constitution of Indian, a village called Itam Nungoi Village in Imphal East district under Lamlai Police station which is around ten kilometres towards north from Imphal do not allow any of villagers to chose religion of their choice.

October 18, 2019, a local body of the village called Itam Nungoi Village Development Committee published a leaflet which contain which religion should be followed by the villagers of the village.

An interesting point written in the leaflet – “Any villagers who were found following religion like Islam, Christian, Bodha etc. Itam Nungoi Village other then the religion followed by ancestors including Meitei/Meetei and Hindu religion will not get support from the village at time of performing rituals in connection with death or any other event.” The committee said that those following other religion will not be allowed to cremate in the village. There are other strictures impose to the villagers on what to do and what not to do which are total violation of the provisions provided in the constitution of India.

What is more interesting is that a Church called ‘Itham Nungoi Babtish Church’ constructed at the village remain guarded by some police personnel as there are apprehension that the villager may demolish the church.

A Pastor of the Church who used to attend that church have also been driven out of the village recently and the villagers threaten to ostracize anybody who violate the restriction imposed by the Village Committee. Around 5 kilometerd from the village is Lamlai Police Station. And the provisions provided in the constitution of India seems to have no values in Itam Nungoi Village.    

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IT News

Imphal, Jan 13

Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU) had constituted a Development Committee headed by Kh. Nabakishwor Singh, Finance Secretary MUSU to restructure the crumbling academic atmosphere in the University by abiding the constitution of MUSU.

A statement of the MUSU said that some individuals violated the constitution of the MUSU and renders services at their own personnel interest which ultimately shattered the sanctity of the academic environment of the Manipur University. It said that if students are found violating the constitution while taking up works in the Manipur University in the own interest then the committee will urge the authority to take action against him or her.

This committee will have eye on every kind of works being taken up in the university to make sure that the wrongs committed inside the university could be corrected

The committee said that they will look into the matter of allege foul play during the recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff of various department in the Manipur University. It appealed the authority to be sincere while recruiting staffs. Qualification, experience and other eligible criteria advertised in mass media (newspaper) for the job should not be corrected in favour of students of their choice. The Committee also appeals the authority to hand over the recruitment process to the recruitment committee while appealing the members not to render their duty on personal interest.

The Committee further appealed the recruitment committee member not to go on pressure. It also urges the authority to investigate the misappropriation University fund. 

Published in News
Monday, 13 January 2020 17:57

Pro CAA demonstration staged at Khangabok

IT News

Thoubal, Jan.13

BJP Khangabok Mandal today stage a rally at Khangabok Assembly constitution as a part of Sampark Abhiyan Program Jana  in support of the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA).

The rally cum public meeting was attended by former Vice President of  BJP Manipur Pradesh Thokchom Jadumani Singh, Yumnam Kumarjit Singh, President, BJP Thoubal District L. Deven Singh, State Enrollment In-charge BJP and various others workers of  BJP Khangabok Mandal.

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Monday, 13 January 2020 17:55

Villagers extinguish forest fire

IT News

Thoubal, Jan.13

Villagers of Kairembikhok Awang Leikai in Thoubal district timely extinguished a forest fire at Gwarok Reserve Forest on Sunday night. Officials of Forest department also rushed the site soon after getting the news.

A team of Forest department official led by M.Biren under the supervision of Divisional Forest Officer of Thoubal district Debala Laiphrakpam today morning conducted an enquiry on the burnt site to find out the cause of the fire.

The Forest officials suspected miscreants hand in the burning of the forest. Biren appealed people to be cautious of such people and appealed to inform DFO Thoubal if any information about them is known.

Over 500 trees and saplings had been destroyed during last night fire.

The Forest officials said that even though they had been working whole heartedly to protect the environment and wild life, it would be next to impossible hadn’t they get support of the people.

Published in News
Monday, 13 January 2020 17:54

POCSO court convicts molester

IT News
Imphal, Jan 13

RK Memcha Special judge POCSO Imphal west today convicted Laishram Ratankumar @ Akash 40 s/o Nungshithoi of Thoubal. The convict is presently staying at Uripok Polem Leikai He is a biology teacher and is teaching at a Coaching center.
The POCSO judge convicted Ratankumar under section 12 of POCSO Act and fixed January 15 for sentence hearing to announced the quantum of punishment
The convict committed sexual crime to a minor victim taking advantage of isolation inside a room in his coaching center on September 6, 2017 .  
The incident took place September on 6, 2017 in a coaching institute by taking advantage of isolated room on pretext of giving medicine and committed the crime of sexual assault the minor victim.
The court judgment order was announced today after the final hearing of the case.

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At a time when people’s voices are constantly suppressed, Phamsak at The Foothill - A Community Art Space in Khongampat on 11th January, 2020, comes to the rescue as a breath of fresh air as two folk-rock bands - Pebet and Imphal Talkies - get together, bringing back the culture of Phamsak while the fear of losing the indigenous culture is taking its seat. According to the organizers: “Derived from “Pena Phamsak” which is a way of storytelling-performance we bring you back the culture of Phamsak for the new generation. Phamsak are by nature intimate. And here we plan to bridge the gap between artists and audience.” At a foothill, with fields and lush greenery on the outside, the space has a setting with indigenous cultural ambience. The interior has small yangkok on the windows as backdrop complemented with long and slender longup capped with yempak. Four low height tables form an arc for the artists to sit down and deliver, facing rows of phak for the audience to sit down and absorb. On the side, there is a memorabilia - a board from the age-old adult movie cinema hall Imphal Talkies - a reminiscence for many. Some letters from the board are missing yet its essence is intact, like how the cinema hall does not exist yet it does exist. The audience and artists all arrive and as the clock hits around 4 pm, Akhu Chingangbam of Imphal Talkies calls everyone to come inside as the storytelling-performance is about to begin.  
Opening the session, Pebet delivers stories of the working class life and struggle, just like what the organizers say “to give you an idea of contemporary music scene of Imphal and the politics within the bands.” Strumming their guitar strings, beating the pung and cajon drums, and teasing with pena and shakers, Pebet sings songs of their struggle for wanting to be artists yet being born in a poor family, experiences of police harassment as they go for their gigs (khut hekta thangatlo hairak-e, camera hekta kapke hai), wishes to continue singing and tell stories of indigenous class struggle that Lamyanba Hijam Irabot initiated (sur yaodrabasu sakke esei taru laowo), critique of the leaders (noidi houdong lamboiba olhoure, meeyanchana pebet ollaga paikhre), how family members have told them how good is chengi chabon among many stories of the working class. Every song has an echoing sing-along from the audience, making the story echo in all corners of the hall.
Following this act is Imphal Talkies with their seasoned performances. Apart from the pena, guitars, and drums, they also have a refreshing voice of Chaoba Thiyam with his folk singing. They narrate stories of Manipuri diaspora in Assam from their last visit and a different perspective of Manipuri patriotism.
With songs like Barak turel torband da Singerband gi khulda ningkhairaba torbanda khangpoksang sing leihou-e, Imphal Talkies tells stories of the lives on the river banks of Barak, their hardship, and how they still preserve the indigenous way of living. Picking up the beat and energy in the room, they revisit some of their songs like Qutub Minar, When the Home is Burning, Lullaby, etc. that speak volumes on the struggle and suffering of the people of Manipur because of mass militarization and killings. The audience cheers upon and echo along with the artists every word of the songs, which seems like syncing the emotions.
Another aspect that makes this Phamsak one of its kind is how friends and well-wishers lend their hands to volunteer in organizing the event. Some help in preparing snacks (kanghou, bora, changang), some in catering, some sponsor an electric generator for light. It gives a sense of community building with the common inspiration to build each other up, offering a safe space where everyone is free is express.
Words that people would have feared to voice out in public and on the streets, the audience sing-along those words with the artists in this space that is so enclosed, yet so free. There is dialogue, there is singing along, there is expression with no barrier, there are resisting voices, all coming together within the four walls, however, has it bridged the gap between the storytellers and the audience? - A question that lingered as people get up from the phamsak.

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Though the health care scheme Chief Minister Gi Haksel Tengbang (CMHT) is named after the chief minister but we should remember that the scheme has to do with public money and health care for the public.  Therefore, we, as a people, must be vigilant about how the scheme is doing. Health care schemes are always appreciated given that more than thirty-six percent of Manipur’s population live below the poverty line, according to the most recent poverty estimates.
First, we should look into how much information on the scheme is publicly and readily available on the scheme. For this, we can look into the website of the scheme. In the website, if we go to the details of the scheme, it is introduced as “ by producing the CMHT-Manipur Health card at the empanelled hospitals, a beneficiary can get cashless treatment without making any payment to the empanelled hospitals up to Rs. 2 lakhs for secondary and tertiary health care per year per enrolled family on floater basis.” So, the scheme is not for primary health care such as cough or cold, it has to do with specialised treatment and more serious illness given that scheme clearly mentions it is for secondary and tertiary health care.
It further adds that “the benefit will be applicable on hospitalization and certain day care procedures only. This capped benefit of Rs 2 Lakhs will include the capped travel and daily allowance. Maximum cover per family is of Rs 2 Lakhs. The total benefit will be admissible up to the ceiling amount of Rs 2 Lakhs per year per family including transport and daily allowances.” However, a recent Imphal Times news report on CMHT points out that there is a per day cap, even for serious illness. The news report states that CMHT’s counter in JNIMS informed the patient that there is a cap of one thousand five hundred rupees per day. She was informed that she could not buy the medicine as the cost of the medicine was way more than the per day cap. The patient later informed Imphal Times that the concerned doctor even requested that the medicine should be given to the patient. But, CMHT’s counter denied it. It is quite surprising that information on the per day cap is not mentioned in the government website for this scheme.  It does not seem to be  publicly and  readily available information.  More importantly, when we are dealing with secondary and tertiary care in this scheme.  Furthermore, there should be a health coordinator to help the patient in the whole process of treatment and coordinate with the medical officer for the good of the patient. However, it is quite evident that such assistance was not offered to the patient, as per the recent report on CMHT in Imphal Times.
The report also claimed that the doctor referred some basic tests to a private diagnostic centre. Whether a person who is already under economic duress and carrying a CMHT card should be asked to go to a private diagnostic centre, given that the government claims to have these facilities in the government hospitals.  What does the scheme say on this ? It is unclear on the matter. Further, the website mentions if the treatment happens within Manipur then there is a “transport allowance (Rs.300 per visit) subject to an annual ceiling of Rs.3000 included in the total coverage of Rs.2 Lakhs per family.”  If the claim that there is a cap of one thousand five hundred rupees per day then the question comes that whether the travel allowance for each  visit is included in this per day cap or not.There is a lot of confusion here.
These are the issues that we face when we look at this scheme. Though a scheme for healthcare, especially for the poor, is an excellent thing on its own but it should also be carried forward well. The actions should reflect the intentions. Therefore, we should do away with these issues and implement the scheme in its true spirit.

Published in Editorial

IT News
Mumbai Jan 13

As a sequel to the recent Iranian missile strike on United States-led forces in Iraq, 110 Indian pilgrims who were on their way to “Najaf”, were prevented from proceeding further by authorities at Mumbai international airport in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
The pilgrims belonged to the Bohra community were proceeding to Najaf and 5 of the passengers also had passed through immigration clearance. Others were in the process of obtaining boarding passes. They were board a 2.30 AM Iraqi Airways flight to Najaf on Saturday. However the police stopped the passengers and also asked airport authorities to stop issuing boarding passes to the Iraq bound passengers.
The Union External Affairs ministry vide notification issued on 8 January 2020 has already made it clear that no immigration clearance for Iraq will be given to ECR and ECNR passport holders, till further notice.  
Most of the pilgrims routinely visit Najaf and Karbala. Major airlines have cancelled flights to Iran and Iraq and have re-routed them from both countries’ airspace, following an Iranian missile strike on United States-led forces in Iraq. Germany’s Lufthansa, Dubai-based Emirates and low-cost flydubai are among that airlines who have cancelled flights. But several other carriers have continued operations over the affected airspace.
After Major General Qasim Suleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds army, was killed in the US attack, on 3 January, an Ukrainian passenger plane was shot down by Iranian forces killing all 176 people on board. Within hours, the FAA barred U.S. carriers from airspace over Iran, the Gulf of Oman and the waters between Iran and Saudi Arabia, citing “heightened military activities and increased political tensions in the Middle East, which present an inadvertent risk to U.S. civil aviation operations.
Non-U.S. operators are not bound by the FAA’s flight ban, but they and other regulators consider its advice carefully when deciding where to fly. Airlines have taken more steps to avoid flying over conflict zones since 2014, when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was downed by a missile fired from Ukraine, killing 298 people. But re-routing increases flight times and burns extra fuel.

Published in News
Monday, 13 January 2020 17:47

Feedback on Imphal Times News report

By -Seema Irom
Our CM and other concerned authorities of JNIMS need to look up on this matter seriously. I’m also a patient who happens to come from a medical background family, so I’m quite knowledgeable about the troubles which the patients and patient party have to undergo through on regular basis. The progressive index of a state has a lot to do with how the state actors care of the health sector. If you responsible decision-makers of this region keep on ignoring this fact that majority of the Manipuris cannot afford to go to the private hospitals and clinics for further critical medical treatment, then I’m very sorry to say but the pledge you took on day 1 in your respective office is just an apparent lie. Merely giving “assuring speeches” during medical functions, inaugurating rooms, cutting ribbons, getting photographs to put them in the newspapers “to let people know” won’t suffice the need of the hour. So Mr. CM sir and other concerned authorities of this health sector, I reiterate that the “politricks” you’re engaging in is a typical folly; politics should never come in between those who are already in pain (physically, psychologically and overall spiritually).

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