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Saturday, 18 April 2020 - Imphal Times

24 foreigners Tablighi event attendees arrested

IT News

Mumbai, April 18

24 foreigners who had come to attend  the recent Markaz congregation of Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi, were arrested on charges of overstaying in India, after expiry of visa by the Ahmednagar police (Maharashtra) on Friday. 

They were arrested after they were discharged from civil hospital where they were quarantined. Besides, 5 Indians who were functioning as their interpreters, were also arrested. Five more foreigners will be arrested after they are discharged from the hospital. 

The arrested foreigners are from different countries including Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, Brunei, Djibouti, Benin and Decota. They have been shifting their places and were residing at  different religious places, including Mukund Nagar, Jamkhed and Newasa. These places are known for Hindu shrines as well as Muslim places of worship. 

Initially four of the foreigners were found to be infected by COVID 19. As such they were admitted to the hospital and others accompanying them were isolated and were quarantined, Police Inspector Dilip Pawar said. 

Till now Maharashtra Police have arrested 172 Tablighi event attendees, while 50 are still incommunicado. The congregation organised by Tablighi Jamaat at Nizamuddin in New Delhi, was attended by nearly 4,000 people. Several of these attendees later tested positive for coronavirus, while some of them have died of the disease. The congregation was attended by 1,400 people from Maharashtra. 

Maharashtra Home Minister Amit Deshmukh said that the state government has till now traced and quarantined 1,350 of them. The remaining 50 have kept their mobiles (phones) switched off. Hence, we urge them to voluntarily approach the government. The government is already taking steps to quarantine such people to ensure that the coronavirus does not spread in other parts of the state.

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PDS rice lifting continues for distribution to people

IT News
Imphal, April 18

Following the State Government’s initiative to ensure that the people of the State are provided uninterrupted supply of foodgrains especially rice under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana(PMGKAY), Open Market Sales Scheme (OMSS) allocated for Public Distribution in certain Assembly constituencies of the State were lifted from various FCI godown on Friday.
A total of 3356.55 quintal of rice (Keishamthong AC 1462 quintal, Sekmai, Saitu AC 1587.30 quintal and Mayang Imphal AC 307.25 quintal)  and 1092 quintal for Yaiskul AC of Imphal West district were lifted today under PMGKAY.
For Andro AC of Imphal East district 1828.05 quintal of rice under PMGKAY were lifted from FCI godown Sawombung.
For Moreh Block of Tengnoupal district a total of 565 quintal of rice under PMGKAY were lifted from FSD godown, Thoubal (Tangjeng). Another 50 quintal of rice under OMSS for Jiribam were lifted from FCi godown, Jiribam.
In Imphal West district,  rice were sold to the public under Open Market Sales Scheme (OMSS) at 8(eight) different places which includes PDA quarter, National Game Village, Grace Colony, Langol Tarung, Langol Game Village Zone IV, Phaipijang Village Authority, MU campus, KBS Brick field, Patsoi Lamkhai, HVS Brick field and Lamphel IB quarters.
25 quintal of rice under OMSS were sold in Pherzawl district and another 4 quintal of rice under OMSS were sold in Thoubal district  whereas, 6 quintal of rice were distributed in Kangpokpi today.
It may be mentioned that the State Government has been distributing PDS items under NFSA, PMGKAY and OMSS to every household in all the districts of Manipur to ensure none to suffer on account of non-availability of foodgrains on the backdrop of the outbreak of COVID-19 and the ongoing lockdown in the State.

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Suangdoh villagers donate 1 day wage of MGNREGS to CM COVID-19 Relief Fund

IT News
CCpur, April 18

The Chief of Suangdoh, Pu Paukhenkhup Guite today handed over a sum of Rs.40,000/- to Pu Pawan Yadav IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Churachandpur for further submission to the CM Covid-19 Relief Fund.
According to Mr. Guite, while the financial contribution of the hill people to the nation is meagre, the Government of India has over the years developed the hill areas, especially remote villages along the Indo-Myanmar border in many spheres. In terms of connectivity, the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) recently completed rehabilitation of Guite Road (NH-102B) in high quality and standard. The Government of Manipur further introduced Manipur State Transport (MST) bus service on this road and won the hearts of the people and restored their faith in the Government.
At a time when the whole world is crippled by the on-going pandemic, covid-19 and villagers are unable to tend to their fields thereby resulting in shortage of daily essential commodities, the villagers received free ration of rice and other materials. This is a clear testament of the commitment and care of Pu Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister and Pu N. Biren Singh, Hon’ble Chief Minister to the hill people of Manipur, he said.
A public meeting was held on the 10th of April, 2020 at Hausa Innpi, Suangdoh in which the villagers had unanimously decided to contribute 1 day wage of MGNREGS to the CM Covid-19 Relief Fund. Various individuals and social organisations within the village also contributed. Stating it to be their humble contribution to the Government, the Chief today handed over the sum of Rs.40,000/- to the Deputy Commissioner, Churachandpur for further submission to the CM Covid-19 Relief Fund.
It may be noted here that Suangdoh is a Sub-Divisional Headquarter located about 65kms south of Churachandpur district headquarters and 8kms from the Indo-Myanmar border.

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NSF condemns harassment to migrant labourers

IT News
Imphal, April 18

Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) has condemn the physical and mental harassment to poor migrant labourers and daily wagers cause by some mischievous element from within the Naga family that is being circulated through social media.
“It is truly unfortunate that incidents like these have come to the forefront during difficult hour of the entire human race coming together and fighting the COVID-19”, a statement signed by the President of NSF, Ninoto Awaomi and Asst. Gen. Secy of the Federation Siipuni Ng Philo stated.
The statement further said that Naga society treats every human being with dignity and provide no space for those who indulges in dehumanize activities to others. It added that the Naga Society does not promote discrimination on communal racial lines as the principle of equity and justice has been the basic ethos of Naga people since time immemorial.
The NSF while appealing the Naga public to exercise outmost retrain in dealing with fellow being appealed authorities concern to take cognizance of such acts and ensure that strict action be initiated against the perpetrators of such unwanted act. 

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UPF appeals CM to ensure food for people who are not in voter list

IT News
Imphal, April 18

United Peoples’ Front (UPF) Manipur has appealed the Chief Minister of Manipur to ensure food for those who are not in the voter list but staying at rent to earn livelihood.
A statement by the front said that rice that are being distributed by the MLAs skipped those people living on rent on the ground that they are not listed in the voter list of the constituency they are staying. Several complaints have been made through media but still no measures seem to be taken by the authority to ensure food for those people, the UP statement said.
Meanwhile, a lady staying at Grace Colony Langol had stated that they cannot return to their villages due to the lockdown to battle the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. They were neither allowed to return to their village as they COVID-19 fear had prevented them to return besides having no food. The lady said that now they have no works and no money and besides all shops have been shut down and they have not get food as they are not in the voter list.

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Over 8 lakh PACL investors get back their money

IT Correspondent
Imphal, April 18

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has refunded Rs 204.85 crore to 8,31,018 duped investors of the ”Pearls Agrotech Corporation Limited (PACL)”, which had collected over Rs 60,000 crore from nearly 6 crore investors across the country, through illegal collective investment schemes (CISs) over a period of 23 years.
The Justice (Retd.) R.M. Lodha Committee, set up by SEBI as directed by Supreme Court,  initiated the process of payment to investors in PACL Ltd and as on date, payment aggregating Rs 204.85 crore has been effected to 8,31,018 investors, with claims up to Rs. 7,000/- a release issued by the SEBI stated.
Over 6 crore investors were cheated on the pretext of sale and development of agriculture land by PACL and Pearls Golden Forest Ltd (PGFL), under the ponzy scheme floated by Nirmal Singh Bhangoo and his three colleagues. They collected money from investors with a false promise of giving them agriculture land within 90 to 270 days and if not, handsome return on their investment. They also made fake allotments of land, although they never owned them.
The mobilisation of funds by PACL dates back to the year 1997, when based on a complaint, SEBI on 30 November 1999 and 10 December 1999, issued letters to PACL directing it to comply with the provisions of the collective investment scheme (CIS) regulations. However in response to PACL’s petition the Rajasthan High Court on 28 November 2003, quashed  SEBI’s order and ruled that PACL’s schemes were not CIS as defined under Section 11AA of the SEBI Act. In response to SEBI’s appeal, the SC quashed the Rajasthan HC order and on  25 February 2013, directed SEBI to investigate the matter and take appropriate action. 
Based on Supreme Court(SC)’s directives, the Justice (retd.) R.M. Lodha Committee was formed to recover the money of the duped investors. The committee initiated the process of refunds in two phases — during the period January 2, 2018, to March 31, 2018, and February 8, 2019 to July 31, 2019.
In the first phase, refunds were effected in respect of 189103 investors having claim amount up to Rs.2500/-. Under the second refund process, 2,77,544 investors having a claim amount up to Rs 5,000 were paid in December last year.
In 2014, SEBI attached all bank, demat accounts and mutual fund portfolios of PACL and its eight directors and promoters, for its failure to comply with its order dated 22 August 2014 directing it to wind up the schemes and refund Rs 49,100 crore to the investors within three months from the date of the order. PACL filed an appeal before the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT), which was dismissed on 12 August 2015.
In December 2015, SEBI ordered attachment of all assets of PACL and its nine promoters and directors for their failure to refund the money to the investors.
SEBI  had asked PACL to refund the money by its order dated August 22, 2014.
Subsequently, the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) registered a case against PACL and based on the CBI complaint, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) lodged an first information report (FIR) in 2015. Bhangoo and his three colleagues were arrested by CBI in 2016. In September 2018, the ED filed a charge-sheet against PACL and attached Australia-based assets of the Pearls Group worth Rs.472 crore.

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Partial resumption of work from April 20 in Maharashtra

IT Correspondent
Mumbai, April 18

The Maharashtra Government has decided to resume work partially, including industrial activity in special economic zones (SEZs) and Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) areas in 20 districts, (which have recorded few or no COVID-19 cases) from April 20 onwards.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that the partial resumption will be subject to strict implementation of lock down rules which will be in force till 3 May,2020. The Government offices will function with 10 per cent staff. The arrangement of buses will be made for the staff.
The partial resumption includes: farming including orchids, coconut, cashew, spices cultivation, poultry, agro-industries, E Commerce companies, community kitchens, employment generation under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Health services and construction.
Maharashtra has about 230 industrial zones developed by the MIDC. The relaxation will not apply to 12 municipal corporations, which have been declared as red zone. Twenty districts have been identified as posing “least danger” to economic activity because the number of COVID-19 cases are the lowest in these districts.
The government hopes that by relaxing lockdown guidelines, it could facilitate opening up at least 60% of the total 4.5 lakh micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in the State by the end of this month. “As per our information, six districts in the State have zero COVID-19 cases and rest have only one or two cases. There is no harm in keeping all the protocols in place to open up businesses and economic activity here as per the Centre’s guidelines,” Industries Minister Subhash Desai said.
Although district borders will remain closed, arrangements will be made to allow raw material to come in and out of the industrial zones. Industries will be asked to make special arrangement for food and accommodation of the labour while ensuring social distancing needs and passes for them.
Officials of the State Industry Department said it is up to the owners to provide facilities at the plants and factories. “We will help with one time transportation but the owners will have to make arrangements for sanitisers and masks at the site. Various guidelines have been issued, for example, in the bus the workers will have to sit far from each other and follow other protocol during breaks,”..
The government has already announced incentives for the industries, including directives to impose a moratorium on penalties and interests on power bills pending during the lockdown. The lockdown period will not be taken into account while calculating penalties for pending power dues of MSMEs.
In the meanwhile the number of active COVID-19 cases rose to 3320 with 201 deaths in Maharashtra. This included 121 deaths in Mumbai. The number of cured patients stood at  331 patients in the state.

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CRPF organises awareness programme on COVID-19 at aged home

IT News
Imphal, April 18

109 BN CRPF under the aegis of IGP  Manipur and Nagaland sector conducted a civic action programme on Friday at Old age Home Mongsangei in Imphal West. Safety items like  Face Masks, Hand sanitizers, 9000 litres drinking water and cooked meals were provided to the aged residents of    Old Age Home during the programme. The programme was conducted  to provide assistance to senior citizens and to spread awareness about preventive measures against COVID-19.
During the programme brief lecture on Covid-19 was delivered by Dr. Th. Bidhyalaxmi, (Medical Officer) of 109 Bn CRPF. Dr. Th. Bidhyalaxmi informed that Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). She advised the residents to wear a protective face masks  and maintain utmost hygiene in their day to day affairs. They should seek medical advice in case they feel unwell by calling a doctor.
Narayan Balai, 2I/C, (Commandant-109 Bn AOL) also shared his view on above issue and said that in view of prevailing emergency in the country due to  COVID-19,  people should  take all preventive measures in view of  complete lock down and follow all instructions issued by the Government as well as local administration. He  informed  that 109 Bn has established 24X7 Hrs help line to help the needy with respect to  queries/contingencies emerging out of COVID - 19, where locals may get immediate guidance and assistance from 109 BN. Senior Citizens of Old Age Home appreciated the noble cause and given blessings to CRPF jawans.

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Covid-19 a curse?

By- Jr Amo

I have been closely following the Coronavirus outbreak, which is a pandemic now,  and lately named as Covid-19 by the World Health Organisation.
Since the widely accepted outbreak of the Coronavirus in China’s Hubei province Wuhan city around around mid December till date, Covid-19 cases has surged to 598,000+ with 27, 370+ deaths, from different nations around the globe. And more than 133,390 people infected with the virus have recovered so far.
It has affected Africa, Asia, America, Europe & Oceania continents in large numbers. The magnitude of the danger posed by the the Covid-19 is underestimated by Political leaders around the world, and  there is no cure or vaccination for persons infected with the virus and is easily transmitted person-to-person. Moreover, experts are saying, cure for this dreadful disease will hopefully be found only by next year -2021. Which means, the struggle is just about to begin.
The epicenter of Coronavirus - China claimed there are no more new local cases while imported cases are still on the rise. Meanwhile, to make matters worse, Spain & Italy has surpassed the death rate of China with a daily fatality rate nearing a thousand counts.
A country with one of the best health-care systems in the world - Italy is right now experiencing a hopeless situation. Hospitals overflowing with Covid-19 patients, roadside ICUs and the list goes on. Spain’s Madrid too is facing a crisis with patients skyrocketing, and inadequate medical equipments forcing doctors to find which patient would die sooner, to take care of the other who would have a better chance of survival, various reports claimed.
These things, I have mentioned above are taking place in right now in developed nations who have the best world class medical facilities.
India with a population of 132.42 crores, the majority of which live in the rural areas are still dependent primarily on agriculture and around 21 per cent of the total population still live below poverty line.
With the unbalanced health-care system and its exploding population, India is still lucky to be at stage 2 of the pandemic. Meanwhile, if India is only depending on the lockdown, this will only mean a slowdown in transmission and the later stages could turn out to be an explosion, like the case we have witnessed at first in China.
If the pandemic explodes and reaches stage 4 in India, I don’t really think this government will win the fight. Which will in turn lead to a great recession or famine, that will be unimaginable for all.
Okay! Cutting it short, Manipur with a population of around 27 lacs people have reported a confirmed Coronavirus case earlier this week. A 23 year old medical student from UK’s Bristol is currently undergoing treatment at JNIMS isolation ward and doctors believe her condition is stable. Thank God, and I wish her a speedy recovery,  and pray that there will be no more Covid-19 cases in our state.
As Imphal is the state capital, the Chief Minister recently announced procurement of 20 ventilators - 10 each for JNIMS and RIMS respectively. Ventilators, in combating Covid-19 case is a very important medical equipment as patients infected with the Coronavirus experience respiratory problems, and their lungs cannot supply enough oxygen that their body needs. In any event, the government is ready only with 20 ventilators based on the CMs report. And to make the matter worse, the second largest and quickly developing district - Churachandpur, is right now without a single ventilator.
Very recently, I heard from one of the doctors with the district Covid-19 team, that no Personal Protection Equipments (PPE) are being supplied to the medical workers who are at the frontline of the fight to tackle, combat and contain the Virus, in case the need arises to save the lives of the common men. It is truly unfortunate that the concerned authorities & the administration couldn’t provide the required gear & equipment to the Health Care Professionals who are risking their lives for the people of the district.
Churachandpur district got less medical supplies, no ventilators, no PPE. Rather Doctors, Nurses and Health Care Professionals are told to provide protective gear for themselves!!!
If the outbreak unfortunately turns out uncontrollable in Manipur, than what measures does the government have for that next step. Are we all gonna die? Or are we just gonna stare at our families and dear ones choking and dying?
I feel the government must not waste this 21-day national lockdown, instead it should push forward and see what it can achieve during this period. Put up all its might and wisdom and be prepared to face any eventuality like our neighboring state of Assam.
I would also take this time and request my fellow denizens of the district to please follow the restriction measures put in place for the safety of all. I have asked  my friends, brothers and sisters who are returning home from abroad or other parts of the country not to hide their travel history and report to the concernd authority. All of us must also restrain  from discriminating of suspects, infected and their families as it could lead to a very dangerous situation where suspects or likely cases are ashamed and afraid to report themselves to the authority, which could lead to a cross-contamination that in turn could lead to a deadly situation for the whole district - an outbreak - say like the Patient 31 in South Korea. It can happen!
Finally, I urge the competent authority, please take this Covid-19  more seriously, as it is direct or indirectly a “Do or Die” situation that we are just starting to face and deal with.
I would also like to request everyone - community or tribe, to put aside political goals and differences, to work as one for the poor and the needy who are already facing the brunt of the problems caused by this Covid-19 pandemic.
At this challenging times, I humbly ask - ‘Where are our elected representatives? Are they watching us dying? We can’t just live only on rice like this!’. Of course distribution of rice was a very important thing. Meanwhile, essential commodity prices are rising unchecked. The scarcity a problem, the price and the virus, how are we going to win in this challenging situation?
Our medical workers need their protective gears too, common men and the people of this district want the authorities to act swiftly, we want disinfectants to be sprayed at our localities, our law enforcing agencies need their protective gears too. They aren’t robots or virus proof human beings, but they are guarding  us with their lives. This virus is killing people, affecting the economy more than post the two wars that the world have witnessed.
Let us join hands and work together and save humanity or  let us at least die trying. If not, God save our land.
Only time will tell - is Covid-19 a curse? With the death toll rising around the globe, it is by far a blessing in any form.

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