Tuesday, 02 July 2019 - Imphal Times

IT News

Imphal, July 2,

At what could be term as a mockery to the Manipur Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act, a construction is being taken place at cultivation site located at Shamurou under Imphal West district locally called ‘Shamurou Awang Leikai Loukol’ amidst protest by the people for protection of Paddy land.

Owner of the set up, who is converting the paddy field into a factory in violation of the Manipur Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act could not be confirmed as Sub Divisional Officer of Wangoi Block, Y. Nelson was not available when Imphal Times reporter tried to contact him three times. However, while talking to local club and Meira Paibi of Shamurou Awang Leikai, Imphal Times reporter had been informed that the construction going on by destroying the paddy land is being taken up by a relative of a high profile Cabinet Minister.

“Earlier after we heard about procuring the paddy land for establishing some kind factory we the people of Shamurou have been opposing it” , Bijoy , a local club President told Imphal Times. He added that the objection for protection of the paddy land have not been listened by the SDO Wangoi as the owner is a close relative of a Cabinet Minister.

The paddy land site where the alleged relative of a high profile Minister is converting into an industrial site is at the back site of the MI road close to the Machu Cinema Hall, Shamurou.

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Imphal, July 2,

A school van carrying 20 Students of Pari Imom Sindam Shang, Imphal West, met an accident after colliding with a Bolero vehicle of the Railway service at Salam Thongkhong at around 12:30 pm today.

At least 10 students were injured in the accident, condition of two students are stated to be critical. Report said that the school van was carrying 20 students at the time of the accident. Those injured in the accident have been identified as Loshina, M.Sapana, M.Monish, W.Merenika, Banita, Luxmi, Molina, Roshni and the 2 students whose condition are stated critical have been identified as  Nongthombam Yohenba Singh, C/o. N.Sunita and Mayengbam Sapana D/o. M. Romeo Meitei. All the injured are undergoing treatment at RIMS while the two students whose condition are stated to be critical have been referred to Shija Hospital.

The ill fated School van bears registration number SO1AA 8791 and the Bolero no. MN05A 3072. A case has been taken up by Patsoi police station.

Published in News
Tuesday, 02 July 2019 17:02

‘Agent loots NFSA rice’

IT News
Imphal July 2,

Rice agent of polling station 36/16 of Khangabok Part 1 has looted the rice which was to be distributed to the beneficiaries under the scheme of National Food Security Act.
Speaking to media persons in a press meet held today at Manipur Press Club Social Worker of Khangabok Part 1 Awang Leikai Moirangthem Kunjeshwar said that the agent Khudrakpam Bordin has looted the rice by not giving the required quantity which was needed to give to the beneficiaries. He added that from January 2018 till May 2019 Bordin has looted the rice for 4 months and this was known by the reply of RTI which was filed by Kunjeshwar on 25 June this year.
He said that various complaints to the Thoubal DC and MLA were done but it was all neglected.
Highlighting the reply of the RTI Kunjeshwar said that 52.35 quintal of rice was supplied to the agent every month out of the two-third of the rice was looted by the agent.
 Kunjeshwar further accused that the Pradhan without organising any Gram Sabha selected 21 AAY card beneficiaries out of which 5 can be considered as AAY beneficiaries. 
He further said that only three days were given by the agents to the beneficiaries to collect the rice given by the NFSA.
Kunjeshwar said that the actual quantity to be given to AAY card holders was 35kg but the agent has given only 20 and for priority household only 4kg was given where it should be 5kg to every beneficiary.
Upon enquiring the issue by the people Kunjeshwar said that the agent told them that underground outfit has taken the share and so they didn’t get the appropriate quantity.
A memorandum was submitted to the DC and MLA on 29 June 2019 to remove the agent and give appropriate punishment to the agent but unfortunately the same agent Bordin was again selected to be the agent.
He demanded the authority to take appropriate action against Bordin and also to give back the same quantity of rice he have looted from the people.

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Imphal July 2,

Highlighting the need for many Civil Society Organisations to check and fight the policies of India where many of it tries against the will of the people General Secretary of UCM Athouba Khuraijam said that not only hundred CSO there is a need to have thousands of CSO.
This was said in 19th foundation day of ACOAM Lup held today at Laishram Khulem Leikai Community Hall, Naoremthong Laishram Leikai D.C road.
Athouba stressed that the policy, programs of India always hamper and destruct the society of the land. Various wars were waged in terms of drug, military, cultural, religious of the land.
To fight against war CSO were there, Athouba added.
He also said that government machineries were more of functionless and their duty were also done and being checked by the CSO. In a dry state like Manipur there is abundance of alcohol where it was checked by the CSO.
He also said that the role of civil society will still be there until the relationship between India and Manipur is clear.
Secretary General of ACOAM Lup Telheiba Mangang in his key note speech highlight the activities done by the organisation. He said that ACOAM Lup has been working for the welfare of the people and to have a strong relationship between the hills and the valley and also to build the integrity of the land.
He said that the organisation has observed 27 July as Integrity protection day remembering the fight of the people against the Bangkok Cease Fire Agreement signed by Government of India and NSCN IM where it shackles the integrity of the state.
He appealed the people to support the activities done by ACOAM Lup for the welfare of the public.
President of Houmi Federation S. Jadumani remided the history of ACOAM Lup and how it was formed. He reminded that the organisation was formed to save the integrity of the land where Government of India and NSCN IM tries to destroy it with the Bangkok cease fire agreement.
Highlighting the reason behind the trust issues which the people have towards government, Jadumani said that the way how CSO declared their programs and were not put into actions.
He added that their are two types of CSO one being help with financial aid by the government and other being help by the people.
President of UCM Sunil Karam said that the only was to save the small indigenous groups of people in this globalisation era was to fight unitedly.
President in charge of ACOAM Lup Sanjit Soraisam shows gratitude to the people who help in the activities done by the organisation. He further said after Manipur was merged with India the land has faced many problems and the land was degraded to a great extent because of the unequal treatment by the Indian government.
Previously the land was self sufficient but now it became dependent one, he added.
Sanjit stressed that the organisation will focus to uplift the society and will take vital role in making a self sufficient one.
The function was attended by International and national awarded H. Ibotombi Khuman, Founder President of ACOAM Lup RK Chandrakumar, Former President of ACOAM Lup Indrakumar Ningombam ans Vice President of UCM Ksh Somorendro as presidium members.

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Tuesday, 02 July 2019 16:59

Slow Loris Rescued

IT News

Thoubal, July 2,

A slow Loris, zoological name, Nycticebus Bengalansis which wandered into the Uyal Makha Leikai in Thoubal District on Sunday night has been rescued.

The Slow Loris rescued by Brothers of Heisnam Manichandra Pradhan Wangbal GP and his family of Uyal Makha Leikai has been handed over to members of Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation Committee (WBCC) Manipur yesterday. The animal will be released on a safe place today.

WBCC Secretary N.Romes said Slow Loris, a small but lovely primate, is now endangered in all its natural habitats including Manipur. Using the animal as traditional medicine is one of the greatest cause for decrease in the population of the animal.

He further repealed to the general public not to kill the animal but to save it and hand it over to the Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation Committee (WBCC) Manipur otherwise, Slow Loris may become extinct from the Earth.

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Tuesday, 02 July 2019 16:57

Are our Journalists Safe & Secured?

The safety and security of Journalist has never been a matter of serious concern for both Indian Academy and media industries. Despite several journalists associations, serving Journalists deployed in the areas of conflict and crisis across borders (North-East or Kashmir or North-West across the borders of Pakistan and Afghanistan) repeatedly demanding for the removal of impunity to the military, armed police and special armed constabulary, the government’s apathy continued unabated. Recently International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in its report on “End Impunity in India” has written that the journalists association in India including IFJ affiliates, the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) and national Union of Journalists (India) have been expressing deep concern at the slow progress of investigation on killings of Journalists. They have been demanding a separate law for the protection of Journalists and speedy prosecution in case of murder. In 2015, the press Council of India (PCI) recommended that the Central Bureau of Investigation, an independent body, conduct investigation into the killings of Journalists in 2016.The report also added that Journalists in rural areas and small towns, especially those working for regional language medias apparent to be more vulnerable to intimidation and attack and even being killed for their works. Many take grave risks to expose crime and nexus between the law enforcing agencies and politicians. Geographical locations, class, caste and social network are as significant as job security and backing by the employer. Freelancers’ stringers and those on precarious contract were more at risk and their killers more likely to get away with murder. Ironically, it is these intrepid freelance Journalists’ and stringers who uncover major scams and corruption where corporate-backed media house fear to tread.
The recent spate of killings of reputed Indian journalist, GauriLankesh of Bengaluru, K.J Singh (Punjab), BhaumikSantanu and SudipDattaBhaumik (Tripura ) and Rajesh Mishra ( Uttar Pradesh ) has once again brought to the fore the stark realities of threats hanging over the lives of intrepid Journalists who have evinced a lot of courage to espouse the causes of truth. While these Journalists did not die in cross firing across border of India, they fell to the bullets of mafia that operated in tandem with the local feudalists or capitalists or factionist groups catering to the political clouts in their respective areas of reporting. The unfortunate assassination of K.J Singh further heightened the magnitude of the crisis as his 92 year old mother was also eliminated during attempt to assassinate him. Despite all these happening, there is a trepid or lukewarm response both from government and media-house, besides Indian Academy. There is the horrendous fact that every year India is losing not less than 10 to 15 precious lives of Journalists, on average, mostly drawn from the conflict areas such as the North-East or Kashmir or the border areas in North-West, or from the Naxal-infested forest areas of Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. But for playing the requiem in the last-post blare, the Journalists who laid down their lives for the honor of the nation or for a greater cause have not received any honors-either from the Government of India or from the agencies they work for. While the role of the Government of India in neglecting the “Safety & security of Journalists”, covering risk zone has been writ large for over decades since independence, the apathy of the news agencies in the private sector to provide safety and security to working Journalists in risk zone is deplorably apparent. Another interesting dimensions to this grossly neglected area is that no media Organization carries out any protest campaign or movement, even if its own Journalists are killed. It is true that the killing of Journalists in India is very high compared with other countries in South-Asia and elsewhere. As rightly observed in the report of International Federation of Journalists in 2016, the Uttar Pradesh is the most dangerous one followed by a number of other states in North-East (Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh),in the North (Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab) and in North-West (Rajasthan).Among south Indian states, Karnataka registered a high incidence of the killing of working Journalists followed by Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. More than urban-centric Journalists, the rural Journalists stringers and freelancers face more risk to their life when they endeavor to report corruption in higher political circles.
According to IFJ report in 2012, about 73 Journalists have been killed since 2005 and 95 Journalists were slain during 1990-2004. According to a report of the Committee to protect Journalists (CPJ) in 2016,”Getting Away with Murder: 2016 Global Impunity Index” in at least 40% of the cases, the victim reported receiving threats before they were actually killed. Neither the police nor the management of media house have ever taken these matters seriously. This kind of apathy makes it an all the more important case for an imperative study of several dimensions involved in the indispensable “Security and safety of Journalist” reporting on sensitive matters such as crime, corruption and politics.
     A report published by the Press Trust of India (PTI) in2014, carried out the news that among 23 Journalists killed in 2013 in South-Asia, 12 were from India alone. The report also indicated the government for not solving the mystery of the killings of the Journalists. The PTI report in 2014, quoting the IFJ report of 2012, said that most disturbing development is the increasingly targeted nature of violence in both Pakistan and India. The report of PTI in 2015 and 2016 also said that most of the murders of Journalists remained mysterious and unsolved. Actually in many cases, the trial of the accused did not even take off. The latest report of CPJ said that about 11 Journalists identified as working on corruption and politics were killed in the last 10 years and their murder mystery is not yet resolved by the police. It means that they were perfectly planned murders destined to escape from the long arms of law. The CPJ report (2015) published in “The Hoot” portal under the title “Getting Away with Murder”, has stated that India’s impunity index rating is 0.08 making India’s presence among the countries known for killing Journalist with impunity for eight successive years in a row. In 2017, the IFJ demanded that the Central Government should bring in a law that ensures the security and protection of the working Journalists and freelancers operating in Maoist or extremist infested areas such as North-East, Central and South India, as reported by PTI in2016. It is also demanded the Government to bring in an insurance scheme of not less than 100 million rupees for scribes so that their families do not suffer economically if something unfortunate befalls on their families. A report by Freedom House in 2016 said that with the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world, the freedom of press touched its lowest point in last 12 years owing to political criminals and terrorist forces seeking to co-opt or silence the media in their struggle for power. The report further analyzed that heightened partisanship and polarization in a country’s media environment and the degree of extra-legal intimidation and physical violence against Journalists.Reporters Sans Frontiersin its report held the view that mafia and cartels began to pose the biggest threat to media freedom worldwide.
       In the case of North-East India, the media was caught between various militant outfits as well as police or military. The Manipur press also confronts a similar threatening situations. On the one side, the media personnel get threats of killing from different militant outfits and on the other side, the police and the military threatens media of dire consequences including threats of encounter. There are twin reasons for this: first the militants’ outfits wage war with the state of Manipur and Government of India and second, they enter into conflicts with other militant outfits to gain upper hand in the region. As a result they send different notices of threats and blockades to media for publication. If media publish one outfit’s notice, it will invite the wrath of rival militant’s outfits. Against the backdrop, the media associations have promulgated a code of conduct for all its media personnel on 19th June 2005 which is still in force. Besides this, Journalists in Manipur also got threats from the coteries of high profile and powerful politicians for exposing their loopholes and wrong doing to the public.One such a case has been reported that the editor of a leading English Evening daily was questioned by two close associates of a heavy weight politicians of Manipur for allegedly reporting misappropriation of MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) fundon 30th June 2019. Recently one Manipuri Journalist was also booked under NSA on the ground that he used derogatory words in social media against CM of Manipur and PM of India. A journalist in western Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli was beaten up on camera by a group of GRP, personnel led by SHO Rakesh Kumar in the night of Tuesday the 11th June 2019 when he went to cover a train derailment. He was forced to strip, thrashed and even urinated in his mouth. In another incident, MitaliChandola a female journalist was shot at in east Delhi’s Vasundhara Enclave by some masked men inside the car and threw eggs before speeding away. She was then admitted to hospital. Killing and threats to Journalist are due to different reasons. The reason arises from the depth of Indian Social and political complexities. Government needs to enforce a law for safety and security of the Journalist so that what is called 4th pillar of democracy (Journalism) can work proactively for good Governance and welfare of our people.
This writer can be reached to:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in Articles
Tuesday, 02 July 2019 16:56

Van Mahotsav 2019, celebration of life

In Manipuri, “Uoo” means tree. This means that if we do not see the trees, we will die and there will be no living being on the earth. Hence tree is life and thus the celebration of trees is the celebration of life.
I always remember the quote of the noted activist Amrita Devi Bishnoithat, “If a tree is saved even at cost of one’s head, it’s worth it”. Simply, someone may say, impossible, but it proves truth. Van Mahotsav celebration in India from July 1 to 7 was started as a campaign with the meaningfulambitionto save themother earth.But, unfortunately the festival has become more ceremonial and ritualistic then takingcare of trees after the festival is over. This is the most important point that we need to look into. Though, it was officially launched during 1950, the seed of Van Mahotsav was shown prior to our independence during July, 1947 after a mass tree plantation drive which was undertaken in Delhi, in which leaders like Dr. Rajendra Prasad and Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru were participated. In its original aim, every citizen of India is expected to plant at least one seedling during the Van Mahotsav Week.  If it is really implemented, then the country could plant 1.36 billion more trees per year now.
Technically also, celebration of this festival in July has the beneficial due to the onset of monsoon and the active nature of cambium layer in summer. It is not the celebration of planting trees but it is the festival of life, peace and hope. As a part of the celebration, millions of seedlings are planted by people from all over the country and people are encouraged to plant trees than to cut them. One of the most important aspects with this celebration isconservation and protectionour existing trees. The need of the hour for the country is greenery. Thus, the preservation of nature has become an integral part of our life due to the present day numerous environmental challenges.
The planting of trees during the festival serves various purposes like providing alternative fuel, increase production of food resources, creates shelter for biodiversity, creates wind- belts around fields to increase productivity, provide food for cattle, offers shade and decorative landscapes, helps to conserves soil deterioration, etc. It also inculcate tree consciousness and love of trees amongst the people, popularize the planting and tending of trees in farms, villages, municipal and public lands for their aesthetic, economic and protective needs. The festival educates the awareness of trees among masses and portrays the need of planting of trees, as trees are the easiest and best ways to solve the global warming and reduce pollutionwhich is the theme for this year’s World Environment Day 2019.
Trees have longed served humanity in one form or the other. The very existence of mankind would not have been possible without trees and other green plants. Trees also play an important role in the achievement of human security. Whether it is through the provision of livelihood resources e.g. food, shelter, medicine, cooking fuel, construction materials etc. or ecosystem services such as water and air purification, soil and climate regulation and erosion control etc, trees undeniably provide security to humans and are a means for sustaining life. Consequently, loss of trees will certainly result in human insecurity leading to global warming, acute vulnerability to natural hazards and a polluted & unhealthy Planet.
The festival is not confined to cities and towns alone; it has seeped into the villages too, with the idea that trees mean better crops, better living conditions, more peace, improve health, better cattle and a more beautiful village. This is not like the other religious festivals, lasting for a day or two and thereafter developing into token rituals devoid of any meaning. But it is a symbol of unending movement for all caste, creed and religions towards a greener India.
Generally, during the Van Mahotsav, native trees should be encouraged and planted as they readily adapted to the local conditions, integrate into eco-systems and have a high survival rate. Besides, such trees are helpful in supporting local biodiversity as well; to reduce conflict between man andNature and man and animal, we need to increase green coverage by encouraging plantation. It is also the only viable option to promote fruit and timber trees. Open fields, river banks and barren lands can be slowly converted into integrated tree land or semi forests or orchards. Finally through Van mahotsav, we can bring back our lost forests.
The survival of plants and animals is put now in danger as humans with their greedy needs in the name of urbanization and globalization of cities,cut the rich forest for a size of a football ground globally per minute for construction of flyovers, roads, hoardings, pavements and so many development works. This declining number of trees has brought a major change in climate and pollution. So, there is a dire necessity of festivals such as Van Mahotsav, to restore the forest cover in the country.
In Manipur the 70thVan Mohotsava festival was started to kick off on 1st July, 2019 at the Peace Ground Churachandpur as the state level function along with therest of the country. Now the time has come to evoke every one of us to plant a least one seedling on the eve of this festival. The only viable industries that we hope to cope the huge unemployed educated youth of the state is tourism. Tourism means beautiful landscape and beautiful landscape means full of beautiful trees and wildlife. Therefore, we should observed the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s ban of un-regularized green felling, cutting of trees for firewood to feed numerous gutter brick fields,clearing of forest for poppy plantation, removal of hill earth just like making a scar on the face of a beautiful ladyand killing of wildlife in hills of Manipur.
The state has now becoming vulnerable to floods, droughts, heat waves, cyclones, and other natural disasters and this trend is increasing with each day. This year, in our state, the temperature sour up to 36°Cand we are getting only half of the annual rainfall up to the end of June and farmers are still waiting forcultivating their paddies while it is alreadythe start of July. With continuous human intervention against nature, these disasters can no longer be considered ‘Natural.’ An immediate similar example is the colossal event of Chadong which claimed three important lives. So now, Van Mahotsav festival has becomes a vital and important initiative to save our environment, to which we owe a lot.
As a symbol of respect to trees, one tree each is still growing within the boundary of this year’s World cup cricket ground at St. Pietermaritzburg in Kent and another atCity Oval in South Africa. But here in Manipur, our attitude and conceptis really opposite and everyone acts at their own. It is not the law to stop them but it is their mindset to do so. Schools and colleges should adopt “one student one plant” scheme, where the responsibility of growing the plant lies with the student. This will be morale and learning experience for the student as well.
Now it is our turn to reverse the damage that we have caused and restore the balance between nature and man and the first step towards this change is to plant trees. Here the role of the civil societies and NGOs are very important. As an initial step, they may organize house to house tree plantation campaign. So, let us all welcome this coming monsoon by planting at least one tree during this Van Mahotsav and nurturing at least 3/4standing tall trees.
Van Mahostav festival gives us the opportunity to fulfill our duty towards environment and towards trees, on which all of us and our coming generation depends. In the words of John Milton, “Accuse not nature, it hath done her part, do thou but thine.” Therefore please come and join us in Van Mahotsav celebration 2019 to bring back our lost forests and ultimately our environment for sake of the mother earth and future generation. We much take part in the Van Mahotsav celebration along with all of our family members to take care of the planted trees and keeping in heartthat they are just like our own children, right from this moment for a beautiful and green Manipur tomorrow.
The writer can be contact at Email- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in Guest Column

Imphal, July 2,

 Chief Minister N. Biren Singh yesterday visited different localities of Imphal West District to inspect the irrigation facilities under Minor Irrigation Department and paddy fields on the backdrop of the prevailing drought-like situation due to scanty rainfall.
He was accompanied by State Planning Board Deputy Chairman and Lamshang AC MLA S. Rajen, Secretary (Minor Irrigation/Water Resources) Smt. Jachintha Lazarus, Minor Irrigation Chief Engineer H. Brojen and other officials. The Chief Minister visited areas like Maklang Makha Leikai, Maklang Dam, Taothong Maning Leikai, Lambal Dam, Lamdeng, Khamran and Khonghampat.
Speaking to media persons, the Chief Minister said that the Government would provide water pump sets to the farmers of the localities, where water sources like rivers, streams and ponds are there within a few days. He also said that hybrid seeds, which can be harvested in short duration, would be made available to farmers. The Government would declare Manipur as a drought-hit State if the State does not receive enough rainfall, he added. Responding to a query on fertilizer availability, the Chief Minister said that the State Government has enough stock of fertilizers.

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By - Siam Sarower Jamil,
Dhaka, July 2,

The Left Democratic Alliance (LDA) has called for a half-day strike on July 7 in protest against gas tariff hike. The decision was taken at the coalition meeting.
Today, the leaders of the Left Democratic Alliance held a meeting at 11am on Monday.
After the meeting, Comrade Shah Alam, Secretary General of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), said that the government has decided to increase the gas price, which is irrational. The strike will be observed from 6AM to 2PM on July 7.
According to the new tariff, households using a single burner will pay Tk 925 instead of Tk 750 a month. Those using a double burner will pay Tk 975 in place of Tk 800.
The energy regulator yesterday raised tariff for all users, saying the move would help the government bear the expenses of importing liquefied natural gas.
With this, gas tariff for households has more than doubled in the last decade.

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Imphal, June  2,  

There are six Public Libraries under administrative control of Ministry of Culture namely National Library, Kolkata, Central Reference Library, Kolkata, Central Secretariat Library, New Delhi, Delhi Public Library, Delhi, Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library, Patna and Rampur Raza Library, Rampur.
Data regarding state-wise number of public libraries or number of libraries proposed to be set up in various parts of the country is not maintained by Ministry of Culture as Public Libraries function under the administrative control of respective State/UT Library Authorities being State Subject.
National Mission on Libraries has a scheme for providing financial assistance for upgradation of infrastructure of one State Central Library and one District Library in each State/UT as NML Model Library.
Public libraries function under the administrative control of the respective State/UT library authority. This Ministry has not received any official communication from any of the State/UT library authority in this regard.
This information was given by the Minister of State (I/c) of Culture and Tourism, Prahalad Singh Patel in a written reply in the Lok Sabha yesterday.

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