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Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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Where have the PDS rice allocated for non-voters or non-card holders gone at some assembly constituency?

IT News

Imphal, May 25:

Lack of transparency in the distribution of the PDS rice and dal to the general public during the lockdown has drawn serious criticism from sections of people raising questions on where have all the PDS rice allocated for the non-voters or non-card holders gone at many of the assembly constituencies.

Report from the DIPR said that lifting of rice for distribution under National Food Security Act (NFSA), Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) and Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS), continues for different assembly constituencies in the state and two days back lifting of rice and dal under the said schemes for the constituencies in Imphal East district have been completed for the month of May and maximum rice for the remaining assembly constituencies have also been lifted. However, there is no report of proper distribution of the rice lifted for distribution to the general public till today for the month of May. There were complaints from some non-voters denying PDS rice at Sagolband Assembly constituency where PDS rice has been distributed at some places.

Imphal Times when enquired about how the distribution of PDS items was done, it has been found that there are various discrepancies in the distribution of PDS items.

According to source, rice under National Food Security Act (NFSA) should be distributed to Antyodaya Anna Yojana(AAY) and Priority House Holds (PHH)  card holders . Allocation of rice under NFSA for AAY is 35 kg  per card holder (house hold)  and allocation under NFSA for PHH card holder is 5 kg for each member of the family by payment of Rs. 3 per kg.  

Rice and dal under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) and Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) are supposed to be distributed at free of cost to every persons irrespective of whether the person is enrolled in the voter list of the assembly constituency that they stayed or not during this lockdown period. These include students, migrant workers, government employees who are staying at rent. While PMGKAY rice are allocated by the center for the respective constituency rice under OMSS are to be procured by the respective local MLA from the fund allocated to them for distribution to the people who are not enrolled in the voter lists.

There has been instruction from the government of India that PDS rice distribution by nominated PDS agents should be minimized.

For procurement of the rice under OMSS and maintenance of others to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the center has already sanctioned a sum of Rs. 25 lakhs each to all MLAs. In addition to this the state government too has sanctioned 10 lakhs from their Local Area Development fund for utilization for the purpose.

Under the PMGKAY, each voter is entitled to get 5 kg of rice plus 1 kg of Musori dal. And for those who are not in the voter list are also entitle to get the similar amount of rice and dal under the OMSS.

When there are adequate allocations and had already sanction to ensure food for all under the various scheme many people of the state are deprive of rice.

Many have started questioning on the whereabouts of the rice which are meant for the non-voters or non card holders. 

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Lockdown turn out to be a boon for infertile couple – Dr. James

IT News

Imphal, May 24 :

The prolonged lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic turns out to be a boon for infertile couple, report a news portal “Pothashang”, quoting gynecologist & infertility specialist Dr. James Elangbam.

“Many couples have naturally conceived during the lockdown period”, the news portal Pothashang quoted Dr. James Elangbam.

The report said that Dr. James found 8 of his patients have naturally conceived during the lockdown.  He said most of them were undergoing treatment for various infertility problems. Some of them have been trying to conceive a child for more than a year without success. The average age of these persons are 36/37 years. 

Dr. James Elangbam, who is running an infertility clinic in Imphal, said that the clinic was closed for more than one and half months due to the lockdown and his patients could not continue/complete their treatments. He found out that these couples got naturally conceive only after the clinic reopen due to the relaxations in lockdown norms. 

On asking the possible reasons for such development, Dr. James said that due lockdown people are confined in their homes and couples have more time to spend together. With no work load, people are less stressed and are free of anxiety and these could be the reasons for such development. 

In a similar incident, infertility experts in Pune were surprised to find out 9 patients getting conceived naturally during the lockdown. 

It may be mentioned that UNICEF has projected that 20 million children will be born in India in 9 months after the lockdown for COVID-19. 

Certainly, the COVID-19 lockdown has many benefits, particularly to our environment. We have heard so many stories on news and social media platforms where people across the globe sharing positive impact of lockdowns on environment and ecosystem. Flamingos were flocking in large numbers in Navi Mumbai and Bihar, Punjab, Delhi and many other North Indian states waking up in the morning with view of snow clad Himalayas and Mount Everest. 

Now, the lockdown has also become a boon in disguise for infertile couples who were longing for child as well.

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Fighting COVID-19: lockdown is not the best policy – RPF

IT News
Imphal, May 24:

In view of the inconveniences faced by the daily wage earners, proscribed group Revolutionary Peoples’  (RPF) questions the rationale behind the prolonged lockdown  to contain the COVID-19 pandemic  in Manipur.
A statement by Roben Khuman , Secretary Publicity of the RPF said that the COVID-19 which originated from Wuhan of China had spread to over 200 countries across the world. Considering the lockdown as the only means to contain the COVID-19 pandemic as no medicine has been invented so far. However, as the Lockdown entered 4 stages it is time to ponder on how long it will continue, the RPF said.
 The statement further said that in countries like South Korea, Japan, Spain, Singapore Cuba and Cambodia etc. proper health policy has been framed and relaxed the lockdown. Even in India too, certain areas mark as Red Zone has relaxed various sectors after the Lockdown 4 even as aviation, metro, mall, school, college, university and logistic has remain lockdown. Even the World health Organisation (WHO) has stated that we have to live with the virus.
The ongoing lockdown has created extreme suffering to the workers. Had the government of Manipur taken up appropriate measures when it was green zone some suffering could have been relived. Lack of proper screening and proper quarantine center at Mao and Jiribam has created apprehension to the people, the statement said.  Continuation of the lockdown without maintaining proper quarantine centre and conducting test is not a appropriate policy, the statement added.
The RPF said that following the lockdown for long will tarnish the work culture among the people of the state. It added that the COVID -19 pandemic should be taken as an opportunity to improve the economy of the state.  

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Legitimacy to the granting of Lhukhosei Zou on bail by Justice A. Noutuneshwari questioned

IT News

Imphal, May 23 :

The granting of bail to the former Chairman of ADC Chandel, Lhukhosei Zou, who was arrested with a huge consignment of drugs, by the Special Judge of ND & PS Aribam Noutuneshwari, has been seriously questioned from various legal practitioners as well as the investigation officer of the case.

Zou was released on bail on Medical ground on May 21 by the same court. While hearing the bail, Justice A. Noutuneshwari was quoted as saying “Everyone is innocent until one is proven guilty. Hence ADC, the undertrial prisoner is innocent to me until proven guilty,”. In her Facebook post Thounaojam Brinda Devi, Additional Superintendent of Police, NAB, who is also the Investigation Officer of the case wrote that Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act carries the reverse burden of proof with a culpable mental state of the accused. He is presumed to be guilty consequent to the recovery of contraband from him, and it is for the accused to establish his innocence unlike the normal rule of criminal jurisprudence that an accused is presumed to be innocent unless proved guilty. But that does not absolve the prosecution from establishing a prima facie case only whereafter the burden shifts to the accused. And she further wrote that drugs seized from his possession are prima facie case (prima facie case haibabu mashadei phabani drug mayamdoh).  

Talking to Imphal Times a legal practitioner said that the granting of bail on Medical ground to Lhokhosei Zou for undergoing treatment of Cholescystectomy as unreasonable as such treatment or surgery can be done while in custody. 

“Emergency or extraordinary surgery or treatment are arranged in the government hospital even at this time of COVID-19 pandemic and similar can be arranged for the drug kingpin”, a legal practitioner told Imphal Times in state of anonymity. 

Mentioned may be made that in 2018, Zou was released on bail under similar circumstances and disappeared from the hospital. He was pronounced as absconder until he surrendered in the court in 2020. 

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