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Items filtered by date: Friday, 20 November 2015 - Imphal Times - A Daily Eveninger

By-election and the ‘Framework agreement’

The bye-election scheduled to hold on November 21 at both Thangmeiband and Thongju Assembly constituency is perhaps one of the most important election which has the tendency to change the political theatre of this state. The verdict of the people in this election will be the reflection of the people of the state towards handing over the fate of the state to either BJP which is in power in the center or to the congress which is ruling the state for three consecutive terms. But the verdict which have the tendency to decide on which political party will come to power in the state, is also likely to be another factor that will decide the destiny of the ‘frame work’ agreement inked between the Government of India and the collective leadership of the NSCN-IM. This may be assumed as over estimation, but there are strong circumstances that make us believe that, the result of both the Thongju and Thangmeiband Assembly election will have impact to the ongoing framework agreement.
It is a fact that, the BJP is trying all its effort to establish a strong BJP in the state and every possible attempt is being made to make the party as peoples’ choice. After the last parliamentary constituency election at which the BJP under the leadership of Narendra Modi has swept overwhelm victory, the party has been targeting to build a strong base as it appeared as an insult to the party by not succeeding in sending a single representative in not even a single sit in both the parliamentary constituencies and the Assembly constituencies. But with the party leading the government in the center, the Manipur BJP unit act like a strong opposition since then.
They have learnt somehow, the party’s inability to win the heart of the people after the defeat of the Hiyanglam Assembly bye-election. Well that was when the BJP led government at the center hadn’t move ahead anything to the ongoing peace talk with the NSCN-IM.
It is not just saying, but a truth, that almost all mainstream political parties work to spread their arms far and wide. Regional problem are little consider as long as they have good numbers of their party men. The agenda of every political party is also to get maximum number of elected representatives. And if the said political party fails at one of the constituency it is a logic that the same party will try other alternatives to occupy at some other constituency.

At present BJP is not having any representative at any of the assembly constituency of the state. If they failed to find place in Valley area of the state, it is certain that the party may change its strategy towards the Hills.
This is the juncture that is needed to be discussed in depth. It is a common understanding that the NSCN-IM has the potential to influence the voters of some of the assembly constituencies based at Hill districts of the state. It is also an open secret that once a powerful armed group stands at the back of a political party it makes the political party easier to penetrate to the voters’ community here at some of the North East states of India particularly the state of Manipur. 
What is concern here is that if the second alternative has been put as a priority for the BJP then there is every possibility the government at the center which is being lead by the BJP may do any move to please the NSCN-IM.
This paper had reported about the 3 state formula charted out by the NSCN-IM by curving out portion of Manipur’s territory and Arunachal Pradesh Territory. May be if none of the BJP candidate contesting the election had succeeded to win a seat, the BJP will chose the option.
This is assumed so because BJP’s agenda is to have more MLAs or MPs of their party across the nation, no matter if it had to retell the history of an erstwhile nation now an Indian state. 

My search for the Manipur Lok Ayukta

By : Ringo Pebam

Corruption is a violation of human rights that leads to “systematic economic crimes”, and a “serious malady undermining the very health of the polity”.

Manipur's modern culture of corruption is the nexus of contractor-technocrat-bureaucrat-politician who steals public money in standardised percentages. This organised system of robbery loots our money. The public money meant for building infrastructures have turned into marble palaces, sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and expensive apartments owned by government employees and politicians in the metropolises of the country.

The current scenario gives us no guarantee that we won't lose many other opportunities to corrupt practices in regards to development of our state; whether be it in giving jobs to the deserving, or in implementation of laws and development programs/ schemes that directly or indirectly affects us (unknowingly).

The 'Let it be' disease has infected the eyes and minds of us all so much that we have developed a sense of immunity from any of the prevalent economics, cultural and political state of Manipur.

How many times do we remember discussing corruption with our friends over a drink? We come up with all the Utopian solutions and criticise the policy and opinion makers of the state and we forget the topic as we part.

Carrying along this guilt (inaction) with me, I roamed about the city few days ago enquiring the existence of a Lok Ayukta office, which many states of India has. I visited courts, met legal luminaries, and inquired for Lok Ayukta's office, but I was told that Manipur government has not appointed a Manipur Lok Ayukta yet.

What/ who is Lok Ayukta and Lok Pal?

The Lok Ayukta is an anti­corruption authority ombudsman (an ombudsman is an official, appointed by the government or by parliament to represent the interests of the public). It deals with abuse of administrative discretion, misuse of power, mal-administrative, inefficiency, administrative corruption, nepotism, discourtesy etc. Any citizen can make his/her complaints of corruption directly to the Lok ayukta against any government official or elected representative. The Lok Ayukta investigates allegations of corruption and mal­administration against public servants and is tasked with speedy redressal of public grievances. The Lok Ayukta is usually a former High Court Chief Justice or former Supreme Court judge and has a fixed tenure.

Lok Ayukta is at the state level, for the centre it's called 'Lok Pal'. Lok Pal would deal with complain against the Prime Minister, Ministers, Members of Parliament, officers of the Central Government (all levels) at the centre, while Lok Ayukta deals at state level.

The Administrative Reforms Commission of India 1966-70 (headed by Morarji Desai) after studying the ombudsman model in Scandanavian countries (who have had an ombudsman for over 200 years), recommended the setting up of two special authorities designated as Lok Pal and Lok Ayukta for the redressal of citizens' grievances. The first Jan Lokpal Bill was proposed by Shanti Bhushan in 1968 and passed in the 4th Lok Sabha in 1969, but did not pass through the Rajya Sabha. Subsequently, 'Lok Pal Bills' were introduced in 1971, 1977, 1985, again by Ashoke Kumar Sen, while serving as Law Minister in the Rajiv Gandhi cabinet, and again in 1989, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2005 and in 2008, yet they were never passed.

While the Central government was still debating the establishment of the institution of Lok Pal, many states had already set up the institution of Lok Ayuktas. Maharastra set up Lok Ayukta in 1971, Uttar Pradesh in 1975, Karnataka in 1985. By 2002, eighteen states had enacted Lok Ayukta.

Lok Pal and Lok Ayuktas Act, 2013

Finally, in 2011 anti­corruption crusader Anna Hazare fought to get the Jan Lok Pal bill passed, he went on hunger strike, it led to nationwide protests in support and the bill got passed. The Lok Pal and Lok Ayuktas Act 2013 came into force from 16 January 2014. The legislation envisages that the Lok Pal would receive complaints of corruption against the Prime Minister, Ministers, Members of Parliament, officers of the central government (all levels) and against functionaries of an entity that is wholly or partly financed by the government.

The Bill also made it mandatory for all states to set up Lok Ayuktas within one year of the passage of the bill.

Manipur Lok Ayukta Act, 2014

In March 2014, the Manipur Legislative Assembly passed the 'Manipur Lok Ayukta Bill, 2014', it received the assent of the President of India on 23rd October 2014 and it became and Act – ‘Manipur Lok Ayukta Act, 2014’.

The Manipur Lok Ayukta should consist of a Chairman and two members of whom one should be a Judicial Member. They have to be appointed by the Governor on the recommendations of the Selection Committee. The Selection Committee consists of 1) the Chief Minister, 2) the Speaker, 3) the Leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly, 4) the Chief Justice of High Court or a Judge of the High Court nominated by him and 5) an eminent Jurist recommended by the Chairman and the Members.

Jurisdiction of Lok Ayukta includes the Chief Minister of Manipur, Minister, Members of Manipur Legislative Assembly, officers and officials of State Government.

Chapter VI of the Manipur Lok Ayukta Act, 2014 states:

14. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Lok Ayukta shall inquire or cause an inquiry to be conducted into any matter involved in, or arising from, or complaint in respect of the following, namely:-

a) any person who is or has been a Chief Minister: [Provided that the Lok Ayukta shall not inquire into any allegation of corruption against the Chief Minister unless a full bench of the Lok Ayukta considers the initiation of inquiry and at least two-thirds of its members approve of such inquiry.]

b) any person who is or has been a Minister of the State;

c) any person who is or has been a Member of the Manipur Legislative Assembly;

d) all officers and employees of the State, from amongst the public servants defined in sub-clause (i) and (ii) of clause (c) of section 2 of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 when serving or who has served, in connection with the affairs of the State;

e) all officers and employees referred to in clause (d) or equivalent in any body or Board or corporation or authority or company or society or trust or autonomous body (by whatever means called) established by an Act of the state Legislature or wholly or partly financed by the State Government or controlled by it.

f) any person who is or has been a director, manager, secretary or other officer of every other society or association of persons or trust (whether registered under any law for the time being in force or not), by whatever name called, wholly, partly financed or aided by the State Government and the annual income of which exceeds such amount as the State Government may by notification specify;

g) any person who is or has been a director, manager, secretary or other officer of every other society or association of persons or trust (whether registered under any law for the time being in force or not) in receipt of any donation from the public and the annual income of which exceeds such amount as the State Government may by notification specify or from any foreign source under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 in excess of ten lakh rupees in a year or such higher amount as the Central Government may by notification specify;

(the rest of the clauses and sub-clauses are not included in this article due to lack of space)

Why do we need a Manipur Lok Ayukta?

The rot in Manipur's system has been exposed not by Lok Ayukta, but by Mother Nature. The serial collapses of Sekmai Dam and Chakpikarong Bridge recently exposed the nature of rot in the system.

The economic survey 2014-15 tabled in Parliament early this year exposed the 96% leakage (subsidized goods that do not reach any household) of rice is Manipur's Public Distribution System, the highest leakage in the country. Those are the food grains which should have been distributed to BPL families of M\anipur at subsidised rates.

The power elite – politicians and government officials are shamelessly unconcerned.

Huge wealth has come to accumulate in the hands of few, while the larger masses are driven increasingly to desperate poverty.

We need an ombudsman institution like Lok Ayukta to check the official corruption by the public servants.

Often in the mornings in Bangalore, I used to see reports in newspaper of investigation of cases of corruption by Santosh Hegde (former justice of the Supreme Court) who was the Lok Ayukta of Karnataka (from 2006-2011). (Santosh Hegde also headed the Supreme Court-appointed high-power commission, probing six cases of alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur, and the commission reported that those cases were not genuine encounters and the victims did not have any criminal records.)

As a Lok Ayukta of Karnataka, Santosh Hegde had exposed major irregularities, uncovered major violations and systemic corruption in mines in Bellary. Four former chief ministers of Karnataka presently have cases pending before the Karnatake state Lok Ayukta. Hegde's first report on illegal mining had indicted former chief minister N Dharam Singh and 11 government servants including one IPS and 6 IAS officials in the illegal mining scam. His report in the latter part of 2011 resulted in the dismissal of Chief Minister Yeddyurappa and being jailed for 21 days in October 2011.

Citizens in Karnataka reading such news felt good to see something being done to check corruption. But, here in Manipur, we do not get to see such news!

To the media fraternity, general public and civil society organisations

Our media can help in making the public aware of what is Lok Ayukta and how the public can be empowered against the corrupted politicians and government officials once we have a Lok Ayukta office set up.

We, the public, have lot of guts and courage to beat up petty thieves (nganu-huranbas, activa-huranbas etc), but hardly do we realise that there is a bigger picture before us that we all are unable to see - the bigger robberies of our money by the politicians and government officials. Our development is at the mercy of corruption which is rampant in the state.

It's high time that we as citizens of the state unite and raise our voice against corruption. On the part of our communal realders, a need to direct our energies for the common good of the people towards development, rather than building up tensions amongst communities. We have our rights, we are empowered with RTI (Right to Information), with PIL (Public Interest Litigation), but we hardly use them. Fear not, the politicians and government officials are beatable.

To the Honourable Governor and Chief Minister of Manipur

Sweden established Ombudsman in 1809; other Scandanavian countries followed suit two centuries ago. Maharastra set up their Lok Ayukta in 1971. The Lok Pal and Lok Ayuktas Act, 2013, which came into force from 16 January 2014, made it mandatory for all the states to set up Lok Ayuktas within one year of the passage of the Bill. It's been more than a year since we have the The Manipur Lok Ayukta Act, 2014. But our Manipur Government has not established the Manipur Lok Ayukta yet.

Dear Honourable Governor and Chief Minister of Manipur, why have you not appointed Manipur's Lok Ayukta so far? Is the ‘The Manipur Lok Ayukta Act, 2014’ just for name sake?

(The writer can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or facebook.com/ringo.pebam)

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2 and ½ years old minor boy sustains bullet wound in miscreants attack

A 2 and half years old minor boy sustains serious bullet injury at his back when unknown miscreants fired several round of gunshot while sleeping upon his father at Pheija Leiton Makha of Thongju Part 2 in Imphal west at around 20 minutes after midnight today. Report said the miscreants fired around 5/6 rounds of gunshots from a window towards the bed at which the minor boy was sleeping along with his father Chirom Sharat Meitei. The minor boy identified as Chirom Lanchenba Meitei sustain serious bullet injury at the left side of his back and is undergoing treatment at Shija Hospital and Research Centre Langol. The bullet missed his father but hit at his son sleeping upon him.
Identities of the miscreants who attack them could not be established at the moment but, Sharat expressed suspicious about the attack to be an election related one as he is now a hard core worker of BJP candidates.
Speaking to a group of media, Sharat said that their family returned back to their home on November 18, after staying 5 months at his wife’s maternal house located at Haoreibi Mayai Leikai. He said that a bullet hit at the coat right ahead of his head during the attack. He said he had no enmity with any of the individuals and wonder on why some persons could have attack him using gun in such a way. Singjamei police has registered a case in the connection.

Protest staged denouncing the attack
Denouncing the life attempt to Chirom Sharat Meitei which injures his 2 and ½ years old son, large number of people today staged a sit-in-protest at the community Hall of Pheija Leiton Makha, Thongju Part-2 in Imphal West. Security was beefed up as the code of conduct is presently ensuing for the upcoming by-election scheduled on November 21. Report reaching here said that election observers of the by-election had taken stock of the situation.
Placards denouncing the life attempt to Ch. Sharat and his minor son were placed at the site of the sit-in-protest. The protestor earlier planned a public meeting but as code - of Conduct is being enforced in the area they were barred. On the other hand, speaking to reporters the protestors demanded immediate clarification on the reason of firing. they said intense form of agitation might be launched if the culprits involved are not arrested by concern authority.

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Stage sets for Sangai festival; Foreign delegates line up to witness Manipur’s biggest tourism festival

Even though some portion of the beautification work are still yet to be finished almost everything is set ready to host the largest Tourism Festival of the state which is scheduled to kick off from tomorrow.
Chief Secretary of Manipur today said that Bhutan Ambassador to India has sent an email to confirm his presence in the Sangai festival. The delegate is visiting the Sangai festival on Novemebr 26 and will leave the state on November 28. Earlier, the Chief Secretary had stated that the Norwaygian Ambassador, delegates from Nepal, Japan,Thailand,  Myanmar and Cambodia had confirmed their presence in the Sangai Tourism festival.
Speaking to reporters at his office complex today, O Nabakishore said that like every year delegates from Myanmar will be visiting the state. “This time the state is expecting more tourists and government representatives from Myanmar side”, Nabakishore said.
He further added that the Golden Myanmar flight will land on the starting day of Sangai festival with officials from Myanmar. Security has also been tighten up to avoid unwanted incident.
Mentioning about tomorrow's election, The Chief Secretary said that movement of VIPs at both the constituencies of Thangmeiband and Thongju area has been banned from 4 pm of November 19. Flying squad, surveillance team has been deployed to check the movement of any faulty things in the election area by DCs and three election observers has also been posted where they are checking both the constituency. Voting will begin from 7 am till 4 pm of November 21 and all the eligible voters must bring an identification proofs while casting the vote. Counting of votes will commence on November 28, he added.

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Sand Art Workshop at Sangai Festival

Eighteen students of Shishu Nistha Niketan, Kwakeithel Mayai Koibi, Imphal West has been selected for participation in Sand Art Workshop during the Sangai Festival, 2015.
In a detail paper released by Shyam Lal Poonia, Director (Tourism), Manipur said that a Sand Art Workshop by Sudharsan Pattnaik, Padma Shree, International Sand Artist which is being held at Hapta Kangjeibung at 4 pm today as a part of Sangai Festival. For this workshop 18 students from Shishu Nistha Niketan, Kwakeithel Mayai Koibi, Imphal West, were selected for the participation at this Sand Art Workshop. This will the first of its kind to include this art work in the Sangai festival

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UTLA SK Thadou clarifies

Reacting to news item appeared at some of the newspapers published here in Imphal regarding the gun fight between UTLA (SK Thadou) group and UTLA (Kam Robert group), SK Thadou in a press clarification stated that the gun fight was among the cadres of UTLA(KNO) group. It said the UTLA (SK Thadou) group never involved in any violence since it entered tripartite talk with the State and the Central Government in 2013. Hence the allegation was totally false and baseless, the statement added. The statement further appealed all media persons not to publish any unconfirmed report in future. 

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The Nehruvian web portal launched in Imphal

A web portal called the www.thenehruvian.com, an online global platform to bring news, articles, opinions and writings related to the philosophy and ideas of the first Prime Minister of an independent India Jawaharlal Nehru and also of the Nehruvians from all over the world was launched here in Imphal under the initiative of Ningombam Bupendra Meitei. The web portal was launch on November 19, the birthday of former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi. Ningombam Bupendra Meitei, is an alumnus of St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi. He studied Physics and Philosophy. In a press statement, Bupendra said that the platform encourages the young minds, particularly from villages, hills and small towns of India, to express or share news related to Nehru and his ideals to make their voices heard across the globe. It aims to contribute the writings of scholars and thinkers of international repute on the life and work of Nehru in the context of today’s 21st century India and the world. It strongly encourages school students and specially-abled school students to write and express their views, opinions or articles so that the world comes to have a chance to read their writings too. School students can also write on their own handwriting in free style and send the photo scanned copy of their handwritten article/opinion to The Nehruvian.

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Karnajit conferred the ‘Pride of India Award’

Controversial youth activist Karnajit Kangujam, who was credited for becoming the first ever Manipuri youth of the state for organizing two successful global youth event in the state as well as for becoming the first youth who bring UNESCO office in the state, has once more prove a worthy iconic figure among the youth of the state by becoming the first Manipuri youths recognized by some of the International community for his service to promote youths across the Globe.
On November 17 this year, Karnajit was conferred the ‘Pride of India 2015’ International Award by the Union Minister of State for Education, Radha Krishnan in recognition to his selfless outstanding service to empower youth of the world during the Indo-Sri Lanka International Conference held at Colombo.      The award consists of a Gold Medal, a Plaque, a shawl and a certificate.
Karnajit Kangujam is currently an Advisory Board Member, Youth School of Social Entrepreneurs, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Honorary member of World Peace Mission & Human Rights Academy, Ukraine, Director in-charge of the United Nations Resource Centre (UNRC) Imphal office, Founder and General Secretary of Club 25 International Manipur among others. 

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Oja Gourahari architects education at Kakching

By Reena Nongmaithem
Kakching, Nov.20: Oja Phanjoubam Gourahari of Wangkhei Konsam Leikai, Imphal dedicated 39 years long (1952-1991) of his life not only in nurturing Kakching High School, now upgraded into Kakching Hr Secondary School but also took active role in setting up of the present Kha Manipur College (KMC), Kakching. He became founder member of the college.
Elders of Kakching told this reporter that Oja was a truly honest, kind hearted and purely dedicated person for the upliftment of education at Kakching. It was informed that during the process of setting up of the college, there was no qualified person to go to Gauhati (Guwahati). Oja boldly took the responsibility but due to shortage of money Oja even sold his wife’s gold earring for traveling expenses and gifts for the officers over there.
While interacting with Nongmaithem Ibochou (81), retired Assistant Teacher, Kakching High School and a resident of Mayanglambam Pareng, Kakching Makha Leikai who was once a student of Oja Gourahari and later taught with Oja in the same School for nearly 30 years shared that he was studying in class VIII when Oja joined the school in 1952.
He said besides teaching in the class, Oja had keen interest in farming, Cow rearing, sports and so on.
He initiated certain activities to inculcate work culture among students.
During that period under Oja’s leadership the whole student were divided into four groups led by one teacher each. Each group was assigned with 1 Lourak (1.05 acre) of School’s paddy field to compete in producing more yields. “I was one among the teachers leading the students in farming”, recalled the elderly teacher. Whole surrounding of the school campus was planted with varieties of trees and plants.
Most of the trees growing presently in the campus were planted during those days, reminded the teacher and said he was also SUPW (Socially Useful Productive Work) teacher incharge at that time.
Various inter as well as intra sporting events both for boys and girls were organized under Oja’s supervision. 
Oja Gourahari was actually like a messenger of God to the People of Kakching, he said when in 1952 the then School Committee was in search of a qualified teacher to be Head Master of the High School, school committee approached to a teacher from Kakching who was teaching in a school at Imphal before going to Oja Gourahari, but the teacher refused the committee’s request to come to Kaching. However Oja’s heart was big and bold enough to accept the request with the salary of Rs 120 only per month, Ibochou thankfully graced his teacher.
Still today people of Kakching gracefully and affectionately addresses the teacher as Oja Gourahari of Imphal.
In his remembrance, every year Library and Information Centre, Kakching conferred “Phanjoubam Gourahari Singh Awards” sponsored by Phanjoubam Trust, Imphal to two outstanding students in HSLC Examination, Manipur.

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