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Items filtered by date: Thursday, 18 April 2019 - Imphal Times

Voting ends; turn out percentage reaches over 69 % Fate of 11 candidates for Inner Manipur Parliamentary Poll sealed in EVMs

IT News

Imphal, April 19,

Voting for the Inner Manipur Parliamentary constituency ended at 4 pm today amidst report of booth rigging and poll related violence at many places particularly at Heingang, Kiyamgei and Andro Assembly constituency.

As per report, the poll percentage reached over 69 much lesser than last Lok Sabha Election.

Polling was held across 1300 polling stations under 32 Assembly constituencies in Manipur’s four valley districts after people, mostly men started to vote at their respective polling stations from 7 am onwards.

Interestingly a total of 138 polling stations including all polling stations under Yaiskul (38) and Bishnupur (40) Assembly constituencies besides two polling stations each in every 30 polling stations are being manned by women polling personnel. One polling station in Imphal east district is also manned by persons with disabilities.

Manipur is represented by two parliamentary constituencies – Inner Manipur and Outer Manipur (ST reserved). The first phase for Outer Manipur was held on April 11.

This time a total of 11 candidates: Dr R K Ranjan of BJP, O Nabakishore of Congress, Dr M Nara of CPI, G Tonsana of Manipur Democratic People’s Front, S Nandeshore of Rashtriya Janhit Sangarsh Party, RK Anand of North East India Development Party, O Jugindro of Manipur People’s Party, RK Somorendro, M Tomtomsana, W Pobitro Singh, Md Iliyash Khan, all Independent are contesting for the coveted Inner Manipur seat.

The fate of these candidates will be decided by the 9,28,626 electors including 4,47,843 males, 4,80,751 females and 32 third genders besides 4523 persons with disabilities.

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Dr. Heptulla is the first Governor of Manipur to cast vote in the state

IT News

Imphal, April 18,

Governor of Manipur, Dr. Najma Heptulla, who is the first governor to have her name included in the voters’ list of the state, today exercised her franchise in Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency for the 17th Lok Sabha Election.

Governor Dr Heptulla was earlier enrolled in New Delhi. She enrolled in the electoral roll of the state and cast the vote at all women polling personnel manned 11/34 Old Lambulane (B) polling station which have 436 voters including 231 males and 205 females, located in the heart of Imphal town at 7:15 am.

Dr Heptulla became the first voter to cast at the well decorated western wing of old lambulane Polling station.

Speaking to reporters after casting the vote, Dr Heptulla said one should cast their vote and that no one should waste their votes. On less participation of women in electoral politics, she said she had been fighting for this since she started to vote. After Beijing declaration, she said she had made a statement in Parliament for more representation of women in Parliament.

Chief electoral officer (CEO), of Manipur P K Singh who accompanied the Governor to the polling booth said that the Governor’s move can be considered a good sign of being a responsible citizen.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has even launched a national campaign recently titled ‘It’s so easy’ to encourage people to move their vote to their present place of residence.

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Congress candidate says- he was nearly assaulted by BJP workers

IT News

Imphal, April 18,

Congress Candidate of the Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency O Nabakishore today said that he was nearly assaulted by workers of the BJP at polling station No. 6/6 at Kiyamgei Mamang Leikai.

Nabakishore said that BJP workers at the polling station no. 6/6  - Kiyamgei Mamang Leikai tried to prevent him from entering the polling station. He also alleges that he didn’t see any of the election agents of other candidate including that of the Congress party. While he was inquiring on why an agent of the Congress was not allowed a person came posing as Congress agent. However he was later found out to be sent by BJP workers, Nabakishore said.

Congress supporter said they were not allowed to cast their vote but sent out after marking ink at their finger.

On the other hand an agent of the BJP while talking to media persons said that tension erupted among the voters after the Congress Candidate of the Inner Manipur O. Nabakishore  stayed at the polling station for over 15 minutes. The agent alleged that Nabakishore presence had disturbed the free and fair polling at the station. Another source said that the BJP workers had forced the local journalist from covering the events.

Meanwhile, O Nabakishore also said that in Andro Assembly Constituency polling station No. 7/10, 7/39 and 7/40 has been rigged by BJP workers. O Nabakishore demanded re-poll of the said polling station at Andro and also polling No 6/6 of  Kiyamgei Mamang Leikai.

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2 polling official injured; EVM, VVPAT destroyed in an IE polling station

IT News

Imphal, April 18,

Voting in the 6/10 – Kiyamgei High Madrasa polling station located at Kiyamgei Muslim Makha Leikai, in Imphal east district of Manipur has been sabotaged after voters turn violent over alleged misconduct of the Presiding officer of the polling station. Large number of voters ransacked the polling booth alleging foul play by the presiding officers. EVM, VVPAT and the CCTV camera installed in the polling station were destroyed.

In the uproar Presiding Officer L. Lovely Singh and Micro Observer P. Gunachandra sustained injury after they were assaulted and hit by stones pelted by the protestors.

Security personnel deployed in the polling station fire several round of gunshot and resorted lathi charge to put the situation under control. The incident happened at around 11 30 am. Tear gas were also fired to disperse the crowd. At least four civilians were reported injured in the police action.

According to report, the crisis erupted after some of the political workers started rigging the booth by allowing proxy voters. However, the Polling official said that the incident happened after they tried to stop proxy voters.

Workers of a political party also reportedly mishandled reporters who were covering the events.

Returning officer of Imphal East district rushed to the spot and took stock of the situation. Later the RO signaled re-poll on the said polling station.

At polling station 6/6 - Kiyamgei Mamang Leikai there were report of some incidents. One agent of the BJP while talking to media persons said that tension erupted among the voters after the Congress Candidate of the Inner Manipur O. Nabakishore stayed at the polling station for over 15 minutes. The Agent alleged that Nabakishore presence had disturbed the free and fair polling at the station. Another source said that the BJP workers had forced the local journalist from covering the events.

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Non locals spoil the sanctity of Khwairamband Ima Market

IT News

Imphal, April 18,

Around two to three non locals who were taking shelter as watchmen inside Ima Market were caught cooking meat near Keithel Ima Lairembi temple inside the Ima Keithel by some locals of Sagolband area yesterday evening.

Some locals of Sagolband while enjoying evening walk around the Khwairamband Keithel went to look after they sense smell of cooking meat from the site where Ima Lairembi temple stands inside the Ima Market. They were surprise to see those non local cooking meat without respecting the indigenous goddess of the women’s market. When asked whether they were permitted to cook meat inside the Ima market, the non locals said they didn’t ask about it.  

It may be mentioned that vendor ladies of the Khwairamband Keithel had conducted drive against the presence of male in the market complex to safeguard the sanctity of the Ima Keithel. Lately there were reports of non local male selling goods among the women vendors and authority concerned turn blind to the matter most of the time.

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PwD woman struggled hard to cast vote; no special facilities provided

IT News

Imphal, April 18,

Despite promises for special facilities for People with Disabilities (PWDs) at all polling stations, here in the Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency, no such facilities were made available at Polling station No. 20/6 – Young Men’s Development Association at Heirangoithong Maibam Leikai of Langthabal Assembly constituency. An aged disabled lady who had come to cast her vote have to struggle hard all alone in walking to the Polling booth. She came alone on her own expenses from her home which is about 3, 4 Km from the polling station.

During a press conference, CEO Manipur had stated that as per directives of the ECI, Election Machineries in the state has to provide special facilitation of all PWDs who come to cast his or her vote. They have to be assisted by volunteers who are below voting age. Besides transportation, the PwDs are to be awarded some gift and for the state of Manipur the CEO gifted wrist watch and key chain.

At some of the polling stations there are reports of PwDs receiving such facilities. However, Polling station No. 20/6 – Young Men’s Development Association at Heirangoithong Maibam Leikai of Langthabal Assembly constituency no such facilities were made available.


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Repoll concludes in 19 Polling station of Outer PC

From a correspondent
Imphal, April 18,

Re-polling in19 polling stations of Outer Manipur Parliamentary constituency in Manipur was held peacefully today.
Reports received from hill areas said that polling started few minutes after 7 am. At 49/10-Tadubi (A-1) polling station located at Mao Maram higher secondary school under Tadubi Assembly constituency in Manipur’s Senapati district, the repolling was started around 7.50 am due to malfunctioning of the voting machines, sources claimed.

Similarly re-poll was also held at 10 other polling stations in Senapati district, namely 47/37-Kdom Khavii, 47/1-Koide polling stations under Karong assembly constituency, eight stations namely 48/11-Chawainu, 48/20-Songsong (B), 48/32-Makhel Keibi (A), 48/33-Makhel Keibi (B), 48/40 Tungam Khullen (D), 48/53-Tungjoy (D), 48/65-Laii (A) and 48/68-Laii (C) under Mao assembly constituency,four polling stations in Ukhrul district namely 44/21-Shangshak, under Ukhrul assembly constituency 45/43-Kachai, 45/17 Poi-A and 45/18 Poi-B under Chingai assembly constituency while three polling stations namely 57/01-Sanglei, 57/03-Songkong and 57/18-Songphu under Henglep assembly constituency in Churachandpur district.
The re-poll is also held at 41/30 Mahoutera polling station in Chandel district.
Thus re-polling was concluded at 11 polling stations in Senapati district, four in Ukhrul district, three in Churachandpur district and one in Chandel district.
The re-poll was necessitated after the returning officer for the Outer Manipur parliamentary constituency recommended for the same following day-long scrutiny of the polling stations in the constituency.
Manipur which is represented by two parliamentary constituencies- Inner Manipur and Outer Manipur (ST reserved).The first phase for Outer Manipur was held on April 11 at 1562 polling stations under 28 Assembly constituencies in Manipur 12 districts.

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CPI Candidate Dr. Nara alleges foul play at 6 polling stations; demands re-poll

IT News

Imphal, April 19,

Dr. M. Nara, candidate of the Communist Party of India in the Inner Manipur Parliamentary constituency today alleges foul play at 6 polling stations of Andro Assembly constituency.

Talking to reporters Dr. Nara said that Minister Shyamkumar, used unfair means by not allowing any other supporters of other political parties inside the polling station. He urges immediate intervention of the Election Commission of India and demanded re-poll of the 6 polling stations. 

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Judgment day

This 17th Lok Sabha Election is important for the people of the state. For the people of Manipur it is not only a fight between political parties having different ideologies, but also a fight for the rights of the various ethnic communities and freedom from autocratic ideologues. In democracy, oratory skill matters, the one who can convince the voters with reasonable explanation of their stand on various contentious issues certainly gets peoples’ mandate. Does this really work when it comes to the election of the Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency is a matter whom some sensible citizens are asking. This has been asked as beside the oratory skill political parties are reported to use money and muscle powers to win this election. There are even rumours about fielding candidate by some political parties to minus the voters of candidate who played well by taking up public issues. Above this, exercising imposition to vote for the candidate of their choice, there are reports of distributing money to voters. Plus goons are alleged to have been interfering the election by supporting for a specific political party at some Assembly constituency of the Inner Manipur Parliamentary constituency. This is being stated as per the allegation by CPI at which their workers received death threat from taking part in the electoral practice at three assembly constituencies.
 Well, everything is fair in love and war. By 4 pm today fate of the 11 candidates will be locked in the EVMs and people have to wait and see who played well in getting best number of voters. In first-past-the- post electoral system, that is practice here in the country, the candidate who get highest number of vote win the election, no matters he is rejected by 70% of the voters. It is for this reason that the speculation about politicking the election by sending out some candidate who can minus the voters from aspirant candidate is being assumed.

Saying so, when result declared, no voters of the state need not to be frustrated. Those in the forefront are definitely the politicians who played better game and the winner is the best player. Each of these candidates has their own feeling of their motherland. The essence of patriotism runs in their blood in one way or the other remain similar, even though they ideology on the definition of patriotism differs.
The one who gets the best number of voters will be the representative of the Inner Manipur Parliamentary constituency. And the appeal from this newspaper to the one who will get elected is that – he should work for the people of Manipur and put out all his effort for protection of the Manipuri people. Else, the joy of getting peoples’ mandate may lost forever, not only for you but for the all the future generation.

Protective Thinking: The current status of Naga-Kuki relations in Manipur (Part-I)

By : Mr. Pakinrichapbo (Advocate)
Samziuram Village, Peren, Nagaland

The Nagas and Kukis in Manipur are in a state of political hangover thanks to intense contest for winning the outer Manipur Lok Sabha seat and may not want to be distracted by other topics except on election. Elections will come and go but will the Nagas and Kukis stays forever in Manipur deemed by them as temporary shelter house? Their relations will decide
their fate.
Beyond Ethnicity
To carry out meaningful debate in any topic, Nagas and Kukis have to think beyond ethnicity. I shall do my best to present my unbiased observations and my understanding of Naga-Kuki relations with concise reference to past, counting the present atmosphere for the sake of harmonious future
Turning History pages to understand current status of Naga-Kuki relations
To truly understand Naga-Kuki relations, one has to carefully start turning pages of history without any iota of biasness; here history implies under what circumstances, these two ethnic groups came into contact with each other for the first time in the distant past as consequences of past dealings still haunts them. And what really transpired after they came into contact, whether they first met as friends, well wishers or as enemy, one group trying to finish the other. Without clear understanding of the first phase of their encounter, history will be distorted uninterruptedly by certain interest groups.
Taking responsibility of Historical wrongs:
Making the matter worst, the concept of acknowledging historical wrongs done by predecessors has no takers; in fact they justify every wrong, which further strain today’s relations. Disastrous consequences unleashed in the distant past as these two ethnic groups came into contact for the first time and in recent past while pursuing extreme ethnic nationalist goals appears not to have taught any lesson to these fanatic ethnic groups. In fact, observing the attitudes of the current decision makers from both sides reveals a disturbing atmosphere.
What is this disturbing atmosphere?  The social atmosphere which originated because of unsettled past conflicts followed with intensifying war of words where a sane mind cannot guarantee permanent peace or recurring hostilities in the days to come is a disturbing atmosphere in the context of Naga-Kuki relations in Manipur. Taking the lead role in creating disturbing atmosphere are powerful civil society groups, nationalists’ armed groups from both sides not to forget numbers of press statements, articles published in media and war of words between battles hardened social media warriors in social media platforms.  
 Contested  Claim to Manipur Hills

 The endless debate on the claims and counter claims of being the traditional landowners of Manipur Hills has not find any consensus winner as both ethnic groups depends on their own source of history to be hundred percent accurate and its history beyond corrections. It is essential that historical truth need to be acknowledged duly to come to a permanent settlement but reaching a timely compromise between Nagas and Kuki in Manipur is unlikely as these two ethnic groups uses their distinct history to push forward the agenda of ethnic nationalism and therefore consciously chooses not to close the ongoing debate. As their claim to hills of Manipur is the life blood to their ethnic driven nationalist movement.
 And I shall not dwell deeply on the debate on who has the right claim to the Manipur Hills. Rather I shall add how the debates are carried out and present my short reviews on the debate:
Kukis Inputs
A Kuki writer wrote that the rich cultural heritage and neat administrative setup  which is the chieftainship system practiced by Kuki tribes enabled their predecessors to rule over  the Naga tribes in Manipur Hills, as a result the several Naga villages paid tribute to the Kuki chiefs. Based on these historical facts, he claimed that all the hills of Manipur belong to the Kukis. Based on accounts of colonial writers and traditional account, the writer is not exaggerating when he say that Kuki chiefs of the past could easily subdued and uprooted several Naga villages since Naga social set up was a village republic where inter village feud dominates their social, economic and political life, the main reason why Kuki chiefs could subdue them and captured their vast lands. But he will be exaggerating if he meant all Naga villages paid tributes. All that changed with the rise of AZ Phizo lead Naga movement, Phizo could gain solid support from fellow kindred Naga tribesman living in Manipur hills as they are of the same stock and had also suffered terribly for such a long time at the hands of powerful and well organized New Kuki groups and Meitei entity.  Had the Kukis and Meities been nice and cool to the Nagas, I feel the flames of Naga Nationalist Movement won’t have spread like a wildfire in the hills of Manipur. So now employing the rhetoric of Kacha Nagas or absence of Nagas in Manipur would not make up for the past dominance. In fact, Kukis must not forget that when Meiteis speak of Manipuri unity it include Kukis too.
Nagas inputs
That Kukis are refugees from Burma, arriving late and settling in the ancestral lands of the Nagas with British help. To support the Kukis refugees’ theory, apart from oral history, Naga writers would present hard evidences such as Government of Manipur reports on resettling Kuki Refugees, administrative reports of British Political Agents, extractions from history books by colonial writers and contemporary writers, order passed by then President of Manipur State Darbar.
My reviews on the debate
 Kuki and Nagas will not make any political gains in this generation by continuously engaging in meaningless debate on their history and yet failing to settle territorial disputes. Rather its time they should focus on taking equal responsibilities for the hurt caused to each other in the past and finds a way out before it’s too late. In the end, people cannot decide everything from historical point of view shutting our eyes to the present reality. And what I find disgusting is that both ethnic groups will cry victim after what they have done to each other. I again urged the readers to analyse how their predecessors treated each other when they first met and also count from the first year, they came into contact not starting from 1880, 1917 or 1992 onwards.
Nagas and Kukis in the same situation
Therefore the young minds must seriously learn to start thinking beyond ethnicity even if the current decisions makers are not in a mood to settle their differences in order to construct their relations for the sake of harmonious future before they replace the older generation not forgetting that past generations had hurt each other, more so, the present generation are in the same situation whether they like each other or not.
By:Mr. Pakinrichapbo (Advocate)
Samziuram Village, Peren, Nagaland

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