Friday, 24 January 2020 - Imphal Times

By Oken Jeet Sandham
Kohima , Jan 24

The Indo-Naga political negotiation has been successfully concluded on the 31st of October 2019 at Delhi. The Government, however, could not announce the outcome of it. But the biggest surprise was they announced that the final settlement of the Naga issue would only be arrived at after consulting with Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur and also after consulting with stakeholders.
Therefore, when Governor RN Ravi delivered his maiden Address to the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly on January 17, 2020, we expected that some fine-tuned modalities would be highlighted in the Address for resolving the protracted Indo-Naga political issue. Surprisingly, the Address has not laid out any progress of the status of consultation with Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur or stakeholders. It has been nearly three months since the conclusion of talk. The people have every right to know the progress of consultation as it will culminate in reaching a final settlement of the issue. But they are still kept in suspense.
However, if one carefully examines Governor Ravi’s remark in his Address, an early settlement to the Naga issue would depend on the unity of all the various organizations. Then the veiled warning has come, “If we fail this time, then we will be missing a golden opportunity.”
Will the Indo-Naga issue remain unresolved or will the Autonomous Councils be granted to the Nagas of Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur and then what will be the arrangement for the Nagas of Assam? What will the Government do with the demand of ENPO with regard to a separate frontier Nagaland State or instead grant them an Autonomous Council? Will there be an increase of a Lok Sabha Seat in Nagaland making a total of two or will a Bi-cameral system be given to the State? News has been appearing in mass media ever since the Indo-Naga political negotiation was over that the Government would be working out to grant the aforementioned demands as part of resolving the Naga issue.
Now the question is who has been doing the consultations with Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur and the stakeholders after the Indo-Naga political negotiation was over. It appears that there is no transparency in the process. One is still worried about the fate of the successfully concluded talk.
It is also interesting to see how Governor Ravi will remain as Interlocutor for the Naga talk after the successful conclusion of the talk. Technically, his job as Interlocutor for the Naga talk is over ever since the talk has been successfully concluded on the 31st of October 2019 at Delhi.
When Prime Minister Modi asked Ravi to conclude the talk within three months, he met NSCN (IM) collective leaderships. Later, he criticized them for adopting the procrastinating attitude over symbolic issues of a separate Naga Flag and constitution to prolong the issue. Whatever the case may be, after the talk has been successfully concluded, will the Government still blame NPGs if the solution to the Naga issue is not forthcoming?
Ravi, representing the Government of India, successfully signed the Framework Agreement with NSCN (IM) on August 3, 2015, in presence of Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and National Security Adviser, Ajit Doval among others at Delhi. He also successfully brought the WC of NNPGs to the negotiating table after signing an agreement with them in 2017. Finally, he successfully concluded the negotiation with them on the 31st of October 2019 at Delhi meeting the deadline set by Modi.
Therefore, with the unparalleled experience he had after dealing with the Naga issue and meeting with various Naga civil societies, tribal hohos, and other mass-based organizations, it is generally believed that he would be able to resolve the Naga issue. Unfortunately, his maiden Address to the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly has not reflected the timeframe for the solution.

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IT News

Thoubal, Jan. 24

A full dress rehearsal for the Republic Day 2020 was held today at Chaoyaima Hr. Sec. School, Thoubal.

Altogether 47 contingents took part in the rehearsal today.  Dy. SP, Thoubal Keisham Dhananjoy Singh, MPS will be the Republic Day  parade commander. 

The Republic Day Celebration will be held at Chaoyaima Hr. Sec. School, Thoubal. Deputy Commissioner, Thoubal N. Bandana will unfurl the National Flag. 

Cultural show, band display and prize distribution are the highlights of the Republic Day Celebration.

Published in News
Friday, 24 January 2020 18:50

AR shares meal with daily wage workers

IGAR (South)
Imphal Jan 24

In the spirit of bonhomie and comraderie, Moreh Battalion of 26 Sector Assam Rifles under the aegis of HQ IGAR (South) deployed at Integrated Check Post, Moreh decided to share their Mid Day meal with the poor daily wage workers who earns their livelihood by doing menial jobs everyday along the Indo Myanmar Border.  
The Integrated Check Post Commander decided to prepare a meal and have lunch with them to make their day a better one. During the meal the workers shared their experience and hardship faced on a daily basis for livelihood in the bordering town. Due to lack of organized industries and employment, majority of population depends on mere labour work and fall prey to drug smuggling activities.
A total of 20 daily wage workers and troops of Moreh battalion shared meal and camaraderie with each other assured them 24 x 7 vigil and security at International border.

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IT News

Imphal, Jan 24

Evening daily Kangleipakki Meira, published here in Imphal today celebrates its 38th Foundation day at Pillow Library ground Mongsangei Mayai Leikai Imphal.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Health Minister L Jayantakumar, Director IPR H Balkrishna , senior journalist Tombiraj and Chief Editor of Kangleipakki Meira graced the occasion as dignitaries.

Celebrating the 38 Foundation Day legendary singers Arambam Jamuna and Sh. Nabachandra (Naba Volcano) were conferred life time achievement awards. Journalists, news paper distributors were also honoured. On the occasion three times World record holder Yambem Tobin, Oinam Niranjan of The Peoples Chronicle, Asangbam Banyta Devi ISTV and Khumanthem Jayenta of TOM TV were honoured with best journalist awards .

Irungbam Prabinkumar , Information Assistant DIPR has been selected as best IPR person.

Hawkers including one Gyaneshwar were also honoured on the occasion.

Wangkhemcha Shamjai , in his key note speech said that Kangleipakki Meira began as a weekly paper in 1979. Publication crossed even 20 thousand even after it has been converted into daily paper.. But after the coming of web machine can’t compete with the new trend due to financial constraints.

He recount the hardship he faced during early days and also share his experience with Chief Minister N . Biren Singh when he started his newspaper Naharolgi Thoudang.

Shyamjai also appreciated the changing governance after Biren become Chief Minister.

He also drew the attention of the Chief Minister regarding the problem of the VDF. Urged for increase of the salary.

Speaking on the occasion P. Sonamani retd SP Nagaland Police said that CM Biren is one leader who bridge the gap between Manipur and Nagaland. He said that it was under his leadership that improves the law and order situation of Manipur.

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IT News
Chandel Jan 24

One month long Skill Training on Small Poultry Farmer was inaugurated today at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Chandel. The skill training on small poultry farmers is sponsored by Agriculture Skill Council of India (ASCI) and is to be from 24th January to 21st February, 2020. It is worth mentioning that the same training was also conducted last year for the farmers of Chandel. The Skill Training is for 20 Farmers. The Skill Training will includes Rearing of  the Poultry Birds, Maintaining the health of birds, Practicing Harvest and Post harvest and Becoming well versed with Environment Health & Safety. The programme was attended by  Dr. N. Prakash, Joint Director, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Manipur Centre; Dr. Khaidem Surchandra, Joint Director, Veterinary & Animal Husbandry Department, Chandel District and Dr. Deepak Singh, Head and Sr. Scientist, KVK Chandel as Chief Guest, Guest of Honour and Functional President respectively.  Dr. N. Prakash, during his speech informed the farmers to get benefit from the central sponsored scheme like Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM) and National Livestock Mission (NLM). He also encouraged the trainees to gather requisite information and experience from the skill training for establishing sustainable and profitable poultry farming in the future. Dr. Khaidem Surchandra also encouraged the trainees to develop entrepreneur skill from the training. He informed the trained farmer who possessed the certificate on skill training on Small Poultry farmer and Layer Farm Worker may approach the District Veterinary & Animal Husbandry Department for necessary assistant. Dr. Deepak Singh in his speech appreciated the farmer for showing enthusiasm and attending the skill training for doubling their income. The Keynote address was delivered by Dr. A. Ameeta Devi, SMS (Animal Science). The programme was also attended by Dr. Kl. Levish Chongloi, SMS (Agronomy) and Ts. Leenda Monsang, SMS (Plant Breeding), KVK Chandel and 40 trained farmers of 1st Batch, 2019 of Skill Training on Small Poultry Farmers and Layer Farm Worker.

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None of the telecom companies paid the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) as directed by the  Supreme Court, even as deadline to make payment of pending dues of Rs.1.47-lakh crore by over 15 companies expired on Thursday.
“ Bharti Airtel”, “ Vodafone Idea” and “Teleservices” have filed modification pleas in the court seeking negotiations and fixation of schedules for payment of statutory dues by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), which has sought immediate payment of dues including licence fees and spectrum usage charges (SUC) calculated on the basis of AGR. The state-owned RailTel Corp also has filed a petition in the SC.
In response to the pleas filed by the telecom operators, the SC on Tuesday said that it will take up the modification petitions filed by Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel, and Tata Teleservices, on giving them more time to pay off AGR related dues. The matter was mentioned before a bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde, who said it will list the fresh pleas “sometime in next week” before the same bench which had heard the earlier petition in the case.
The telecom operators in their pleas requested for an open court hearing with regard to working out fresh schedule of payment of their dues. Responding to the request, the Chief Justice of India, said that “open court or in-chamber hearing will be decided by the bench concerned”.
Earlier on January 16, a bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, S.Abdul Nazeer and M.R.Shah, had dismissed review petitions filed by these companies challenging SC’s order dated 24 October, 2019. Holding that interest and penalty have rightly been levied on the telecom companies, SC had specified that there should not be any further litigation on the matter.
As per the SC order of October 24, telecom operators were required to pay up their dues by January 23. For Bharti Airtel, dues are around Rs 35,586 crore (Rs 21,682 crore as license fee (LF) and Rs 13,904 crore as SUC) and for Vodafone Idea the dues amount to Rs 53,038 crore(Rs 28,309 crore in LF and Rs 24,730 crore in SUC). Tata Teleservices, which has sold its consumer mobility business to “Airtel”, faces dues of Rs.13,823 crore.
As per the affidavit filed earlier in the SC, by DOT, the amount is also due from:  Reliance Communications-Rs 16,456.47 crore, BSNL-Rs 2,098.72 crore, and MTNL-Rs 2,537.48 crore.
After the telecom sector was liberalised under the National Telecom Policy 1994, licenses were issued to companies in return for a fixed license fee. In 1999, the government
gave an option to the licensees to migrate to the revenue sharing fee model, under which the
they were required to share a percentage of their AGR with the government as LF and SUC. AGR is computed after allowing for certain deductions spelt out in these license agreements. The LF and SUC were set at 8 per cent and between 3-5 per cent of AGR respectively, based on the agreement.
However in 2005, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) challenged the government’s definition for AGR calculation and in 2015 and the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) stayed the case in favour of telecom companies and held that AGR includes all receipts, except capital receipts and revenue from non-core sources such as rent, profit on the sale of fixed assets, dividend, interest and miscellaneous income. However on 24 October, 2019, SC set aside TDSAT’s order and upheld the definition of AGR as stipulated by the DoT.
In the meanwhile DOT has served notices to some of the non-telecom companies with telecom licences, including public sector units such as GAIL India, Power Grid Corp. of India Ltd (PGCIL) and Oil India Ltd (OIL)(Rs. Rs 48,000 crore), demanding nearly Rs 3 lakh crore. They are also likely to file separate review petitions. OIL uses an optic fibre network for internal communications.

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Every high profile government employee should visit the border town Moreh to find out how the civilians are being harassed in the name of checking by Para Military troopers at Khudengthabi army check point.
Sharing a porous border with the neighbouring Myanmar and with incessant reports of drugs and arms smuggling being carried out in this route, the Assam Rifles have been given full authority to check the flow of illegal articles. Having said so, the kind of harassment meted out to small time traders and civilians visiting Moreh Town is extraneous. Moreh town is Just around hundred and five kilometres from Imphal and there is no reason for a vehicle to take more than 2 hours reaching the place, however, unnecessary detention in the name of checking and entry registrations delayed the journey for almost all common people. During checking there were reports of small time lady traders being harassed and even recently a middle aged lady was reportedly molested by the AR troops at Khudengthabi and the matter comes to light at the public domain only after she dared to challenge. There are several unreported cases of such harassment faced by common people due to fear of unwanted consequences and retaliations.
The recent incident involving a personnel of the 12 AR posted at Khudengthabi reportedly mishandling one lady IPS officer on January 19 afternoon when she was returning from duty at Moreh talks volumes. It suggested in more ways than one that the Para Military troops like the Assam Rifles are not here to assist the state police in controlling the law and order situation of the state. This is a clear sign of the state being run under the whim of the Assam Rifles or Army. It was fortunate that the lady IPS officer returned in civil dress along with her Manipur police escorts in civil dress , as she herself had seen herself how rude can be those at the check point at Khudenthabi.
One important point that people need to ponder on is why the Assam Rifles are providing specific timings and restrictions on when to come or go to Moreh by any individual. Home Minister of Manipur had stated that the law and order has improved and people are free to move any place any time without fear.
With the Indian government casting an expectant gage toward the South East Asia region, traffic along the Imphal Moreh route has been on the rise, and is expected to continue in the foreseeable future. Why is the Assam rifles not opening the road 24x7 to prevent bulk checking of vehicles which either comes towards Imphal from Moreh or from Moreh to Imphal. Congestion at the designated check point may be reduced and the AR trooper might find relaxing time while performing duty.
Inconveniences and harassment to civilians while travelling the Imphal-Moreh road has been a given since a very long time. But none dare to protest against it. Thanks to the lady IPS officer who put up the matter with extreme seriousness. The IPS Officers Association Manipur Chapter has extended its support to the lady IPS officer, the Women Commission has taken note of it and it is time that all travelers along this route either for business purpose or as tourist which had experienced the kind of harassment at Khudengthabi or any other check post should now come out with their story.
Meanwhile, the Assam Rifles’ attempt to cover up the event by trying to prove the action of their personnel as justified is meaningless. Instead they should have implemented a practice or process to make the travelers secure by formulating a mechanism. Perhaps opening of the road 24x7 is one way to reduce the long queue of vehicles for hours . For checking of the drugs and armed smuggling the AR should strengthen their intelligence network as well as implement available technology. Harassing people in the name of checking is not acceptable in a free country. Such authoritarian attitude can only be tolerated and accepted under a colonial regime and nowhere else, especially in this time and age.

Published in Editorial

IGAR (South)
Imphal Jan 24

Chassad Battalion of 10 Sector Assam Rifles under the aegis of IGAR (South) organized a security meet at Nampisha Company Operating Base on 22 January 2020.
In view of the recent developments with regard to Naga Peace talks and Pact between Kuki groups and Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs), there are apprehensions among the locals about the outcome of talks which would affect the prevailing security situation in the area. The security meet which was attended by village Authorities and Headmen from Ningchou, Kangpat Khullen and Skipe has significant importance in view of presence of Tangkhul and Kuki population in the Kamjong district. The meet was focused on issues related to security and Under Ground cadres activities in the run up to the Republic Day 2020. Locals were also sensitized about attempts of Under Ground groups to carry out subversive activities against Security Forces in the area.
Likewise, Mantripukhri Battalion of 9 Sector Assam Rifles under the aegis of IGAR (South) organised a security meet at Koirengei Company Operating Base (COB).
The security forum was attended by village Pradhans, ward members, councilors, members of village youth club and locals of the area. During the meet the locals were sensitised and updated on current security situation existing in the area of responsibility. There was also an interaction carried out on necessary measures required to be undertaken by locals in synergy with Assam Rifles for maintaining a strict vigil against illicit activities in the area.  In addition to the security issues, future action plan in respect of civic action projects like medical camps, recruitment in Assam Rifles and Army and career counseling for youth were also discussed during the meet.
The locals expressed their gratitude and appreciated the efforts of Assam Rifles for conduct of such security meetings and ensuring peace in the area and assured their commitment and assistance in maintaining the same. The security meet concluded with tea and refreshments for all the attendees.

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