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Tuesday, 21 January 2020 - Imphal Times

SC gives 4 weeks time to Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly to decide on disqualification of Forest Minister Shyamkumar

IT News

Imphal, Jan 21

At a time when the BJP’s N. Biren Singh led coalition government is having a tough time to decide on whom to be replaced among his cabinet ministers, which is expected to happen during last week this month, Forest Minister Th. Shyamkumar is landing in trouble, after the Supreme Court today directed the Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly to decide on the disqualification filed by Congress MLAs K. Meghachandra and Fajur Rahim as petitioners.

The three members bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice R F Nariman while announcing the verdict asked the Parliament to ponder over the power of the Speaker in deciding petitions seeking disqualification of lawmakers, observing that he also belongs to a political party.

The suggestion for devising an independent mechanism to deal with disqualification pleas against lawmakers came in a judgment by which the top court asked the Manipur Assembly Speaker to decide within four weeks the plea of a Congress leader seeking disqualification of BJP lawmaker and Manipur Forest Minister Th Shyamkumar.

On failure to comply with the directives of the Supreme Court by the Speaker of the Supreme Court in taking a decision regarding the disqualification of Forest Minister Th. Shyamkumar , the SC bench headed by Justice R F Nariman granted liberty to Congress MLA K. Meghachandra and Fajur Rahim to approach regarding this matter to the same court. 

In July, 2019, the Manipur High Court came down heavily to the Speaker of the Manipur Legislative Assembly for not disqualifying a Congress MLA, Th. Shyamkumar Singh, for the last two-and-a-half years. Shyamkumar jumped to the BJP and became a minister in the N. Biren Singh-led Manipur government in March 2017, without resigning from the party or seeking re-election, thus violating the tenth schedule of the Constitution.

On July 23, Justice Kh. Nobin Singh disposed of two petitions filed by Congress MLAs T.N. Haokip and Md. Fajur Rahim against the turncoat minister, the speaker and the assembly secretary, citing jurisdiction issue. But it made a lengthy observation about the “inaction and indecision” of the speaker – BJP MLA from Singjamei constituency Yumnam Khemchand Singh – in the matter.

Shyamkumar is the Minister for Municipality and Administration, Housing and Urban Development (MAHUD), Town Planning, Forest and Environment, Horticulture and Soil Conservation.

Now, a decision taken against Forest Minister Th. Shyamkumar in response to the Supreme  Court verdict will also be a deciding factor to the fate of the 7 other Congress MLAs who had defected their parent party which they won the election, as the Supreme Court cannot make two different ruling of a similar case.  

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Differences between Manipur’s CSOs and NSCN-IM likely to end soon

IT News

Imphal, Jan 21

The aged old relationship between the NSCN-IM and the CSOs of Manipur sees sign of ending in the coming days, as the collective leadership of the NSCN-IM seems to realize that until and unless the people of the region unite and fight for the same cause, there seems no way out to achieve the goal of either the NSCN-IM or other group of the region.

Source with the Imphal Times said that the supremo of the NSCN-IM Th. Muivah , popularly known to the people as ‘Avakarar’ had invited civil society leaders from the state of Manipur and held a meeting to discuss the various issues faced by the people of the North East states. Details of the meeting could not be known but source said that the aged old misunderstanding between NSCN-IM and the civil society of Manipur have been discussed in depth.

Source from Hebron said that this is the second meeting between the NSCN-IM Collective leaderships and the Civil Society organisation leaders of Manipur.

Among those Civil Society leaders who met the NSCN-IM Supremo are UCM President Sunil Karam, AMUCO President Nando Luwang , HERICOUN President Longjam Ratan, Secy. Org of UCM Ng Deva, Rajen among others. 

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Manipur Celebrates Statehood Day

IT News

Imphal, Jan. 21

Manipur celebrated the 49th Statehood Day today. The colourful State-level function was held with the participation of 20 march past contingents at the 1st Battalion Manipur Rifles Parade Ground, Imphal. 

Speaking at the celebration as the chief guest, N. Biren Singh announced that the State Cabinet had approved an amount of Rs. 46 (forty-six) crores for setting up of a Heritage Park at Keibul Lamjao in Bishnupur District. The Park would have traditional huts of all the recognised tribes of the State, he said and added that once the Park is ready, the main venue of Manipur Sangai Festival might be shifted to the original birth place of Sangai although important stalls are opened in Imphal. 

The Chief Minister also announced that the Government would distribute boots and belts for VDF and Home Guards personnel as well soon. Some corporate houses have shown willingness to provide funds for it under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, he added. He asserted no security personnel should misbehave with any common people because it may tarnish the image of the whole Police Department. 

In his speech, N. Biren also mentioned about Government’s efforts to make Manipur a self reliant State in food production. He said that the State Government has been focussing on sectors like agriculture, horticulture, fishery etc. As a result, the Chief Minister said, the State could receive the Krishi Karman Award2017-18 for the best performing State in the total food grain production Category-III. At the same time, fish production had also witnessed considerable rise in the past few years, he added. 

Stating that education is another priority sector of the State Government, N. Biren Singh said that 60 schools (one each in every Assembly Constituency) had been selected as model schools under School Fagathansi Mission. Free education would be provided from Pre-Nursery to Class X or XII from this academic session in most of these schools, he added. 

Earlier, two progressive farmers namely, Yengkhom Bishworjit Singh of Kakching Panji Leikai and Thingbaijam Johnny Chanu of Lamboikhul Awang Leikai, who had recently received Union Agriculture Minister’s Krishi Karman Award were again rewarded a cash prize of Rs. One Lakh each by the State Government at the function. 

Presentation of a colourful march past comprising contingents of Manipur Rifles, Civil Police, Home Guards, VDF, Traffic Police, CID Technical (Bomb Squad) and Dog squad was the main attraction of the celebration.

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Rebel group ASUK, UNLF lambast MP Dr. RK Ranjan terming his Khangabok speech as irresponsible

IT News
Imphal, Jan 21

Lok Sabha MP Dr. R.K Ranjan’s remark regarding the responsibility of parents in stopping their children from indulging in agitation as well as culminating of drug use habit receives severe criticism from various proscribed groups waging war against the government of India for restoration of the sovereignty of this region.
A day after proscribed United National Liberation Front (UNLF) and PREPAK (Pro) lambasted the MP terming his speech as irresponsible , another conglomerate of armed rebel group Alliance for Socialist Unity, Kangleipak (ASUK) called Dr. RK Ranjan as a headless leader.
The proscribed United National Liberation Front (UNLF) has vehemently condemned MP Ranjan for allegedly slandering underground groups during a public speech at a function in Khangabok Assembly Constituency on Sunday.
A statement by M. Sak-hen Director, department of publicity of UNLF had stated that Dr. RK Ranjan’s  words show his ignorance of the deep seated issues in the state, history and identity of the people of this region. It is proven by his action that the MP is a lapdog of the Delhi overlords, it added.   
UNLF reminded the MP on the fact that Manipur-India conflict is a political conflict has been admitted by the Indian government itself.  
“ If RK Ranjan choses to pretend of not knowing the facts about the forceful merger of Manipur to India and its endless ramifications endured by the public, then UNLF will take appropriate measure to ensure that the MP is awakened to the truth, the UNLF statement said.
ASUK, a joint body of KYKL and KCP in a statement called RK Ranjan as a headless leader or a leader who thought that he will get blessing from his masters . While appealing the teachers to take responsibility in grooming the students RK Ranjan seems to have forgotten the responsibility of the politician who are in the government in shaping the future of the students.
Regarding the agitation by the students and joining the rebel bodies and voicing against the government by coming out in the street , Ranjan’s blame to the parents is illogical, as these are social and political issue  

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Anti-CAA protest in Yairipok: Police stopped the protesters

IT News
Imphal, Jan 21

The concerned citizens of Manipur came together to again stage another Anti-CAA protest while silence prevailed in the whole of Manipur. They gathered at the ground of Laimanai Multipurpose Hall, Yairipok, and met up with the locals. From there, the concerned citizens along with various artists started performing the protest song ‘Hougatlo Hougatlo’ they composed to make people wake up and stand up against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Joined by the locals, the group proceeded singing songs like ‘We shall overcome’, chanting ‘No to CAA’, ‘Down Down CAA’, and holding placards that read ‘No to Settler Colonialism, No to CAA’, ‘Long Live Indigenous People of Northeast, and with banners reading ‘Meeyancha gi Khundalam Natte, Yelhoumee gi Leibakni’, and ‘Respect Indigenous Existence or Expect Indigenous Resistance’. They also showed solidarity to the indigenous people of Assam and Tripura, holding placards that read ‘Assam-Tripura gi yelhoumee na yaifare’ and ‘Release Akhil Gogoi’. However, a large number of police personnel stopped them on the way from moving forward. After negotiating for a while, the protesters had to turn and march in another direction. 

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Right time for Assam Rifles to Go Back from Manipur - YFPHR

IT News
Imphal, Jan 21

Youth’s Forum for Protection of Human Rights (YFPHR) has alleged Assam Rifles of committing atrocities to the people in Manipur for the last many decades and expressed strong condemnation to the recent incident of harassment and molestation which led to outraging and modesty of woman namely Ms. Anupam (IPS), SDPO Yairipok by the 12th Assam Rifle posted at Khudengthabi.
A statement of the forum alleged the Assam Rifles of committing Rape and Murder, Rape, Extrajudicial Execution, Torture, Involved in Drug smuggling etc.
It said that kind of atrocities and to IPS officer Anupam clearly proved that if such attitude could have been committed to a respected officer of the state what would have been the situation towards the civilians by the Assam Rifles. One cannot deny the fact the Assam Rifle commits sexual violence as in the recent past there has been a case reported on the 18th of November, 2019 wherein one lady was sexually assaulted by the Assam Rifles personnel at Khudengthabi, it added.
The Youth Forum said that there has been several cases of brutality committed towards the Media Persons, Sick people, Woman traders, Truck drivers, MLAs, Villagers etc by the Assam Rifles posted along the Imphal Moreh Road, Imphal Jiribam Road and wherever, they are posted.
“If the Assam Rifles fails to respect the rule of law than it is high time for the Assam Rifles to Go Back from Manipur”, the YFPR said and urged the  Chief Minster to kindly make an urgent intervention to deport the Assam Rifles from Manipur and further appeal the MHRC to take up sue motto and necessary action be taken at the earliest against the Assam Rifle.

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When you fail to control the L& O, why intimidation to journalists

It is not the first time that media houses in Manipur are intimidated by state actors for publishing news articles related with armed insurgents group. Before Imphal Times was re-launch in January 9, 2013, when members of our team were working in different media houses, we have seen reporters and editors going to the street and protesting against such threat many times. Saying so, reminding the media houses about excessive reporting or perhaps reporting press statement by outlawed which appear more like encouraging their (UG’s) activities is in one way good. But those in the government , particularly the state Home Department should understand the challenges being faced by media houses in the state many a time. In conflict zone , to be in this profession is more like working between the devil and the deep blue sea. Intimidation to curtail the freedom of speech has never been succeeded in the history of democratically set up nation and we in the Imphal Times felt that it will never succeed . It is also right on the part of the state actors to remind the media houses about the damage that could bring by publishing press statement of certain outlaw armed group. But saying so those is the government should know the kind of threats being faced from the so call armed group for not publishing their story. Complaining about such threats is even more dangerous as the armed group easily find out the person / editor who lodge the complaint and ultimately he will be the target.
Well, the advancement in information technology has made today’s world a ‘Global village’ – the term first coined by Canadian-born author Marshall McLuhan. Man born at the extreme corner of Far East Asiatic countries knows, cry and pray for the kind of disasters that happen in Middle East countries or in Latin America. Installation of internet technologies to cell phones which every human being can afford makes the people of our Earth- whose circumference is estimated at about 40,075 Kilometer staying at a communicable distance. Now every human being equipped with cell phone can now talk or stay in touch with any of their friends or relatives staying thousand miles away. Point bringing here is about the changes in the theory of mass media in relevance to today’s journalism. The very concept at which the older generation considered ‘proximity’ as a characteristic of news is somewhat losing its foot.
Professor M.L Stein, the then chairman of Department of Journalism, California State University, Long Beach, Carlifornia in his book “Shaping the News” in 1974 wrote that people are more interested in what happens in their neighbours. The one time presumption that ‘a dog fight on Main Street is of more interest to our readers then fifty thousand foreign troops killed in battle somewhere’ seems to have no relevance in today’s society. Readers are now interested about happenings at distance places if the subject matters is his or her interest.
However, another characteristic of news - ‘Prominence’ on the hand is becoming a matter of more interested subjects for almost all readers. People now want to know what had happen to their leaders, celebrity or the bureaucrats irrespective of where they stay or which country they reside. Every news readers are eager to know the story of successful personality.
Points bringing up here are not to lecture on what is news and what should be reported but this is an attempt to make some of our critic to understand on why the newspaper especially the kind of ours often published story about real heroes or events that happen far far away from our state. Sometimes a mere insignificant event at which some people are of vested interested are often left of and the result is not always good for we in the media fraternity of Manipur state in particular. The other kind of pressure that the media persons sometimes remain helpless is their intentions to get publish their story.
Manipur or say Imphal is not a safe place for even VIPs who are escorted by security personnel days and night. It is an open secret that almost all the politicians including MLAs or Ministers or even the Chief Ministers have linked with the UGs , the only thing we don’t have is the proof.
So, what would be the security of those working with the media if in case, some of the individuals or rebels force us to publish stories of their interest. Being taken up this profession, we always stand with our ethics and there is no question of compromising ethics while publishing stories. But when the government said that this should not be published and this should be published then where is the freedom of speech provided under the constitution of our country. Government machineries can invite news editors and can discussed about the content on objectivity reason but dictate the media. Calls of bandh or blockade by any organisation are in some way an essential news items for media houses living in conflict zone – because it is for the safety and security of the common people that the government machineries cannot guarantee their safety. We have PCI guidelines, local code of conduct and this should be respected.
Bottom line is that media should not be harassed at any cost for any reason because we chose this profession not merely to earn for living but with full intention to serve our nation.   

Mumbai Varsity Prof. faces disciplinary action for his anti-Rahul Gandhi Teachers’ bodies register protest

IT News
Mumbai Jan 21

Professor Yogesh Soman, Director of the Academy of Theatre Arts of the Mumbai University, has been sent on forced leave, following his criticism of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, for his remarks on Veer Savarkar, even as teachers’ associations have threatened to launch an agitation demanding withdrawal of action against him.
Soman had reportedly posted a video on Twitter targeting Rahul Gandhi for his remarks on Savarkar. In the video, he had said that “You are right you are not Savarkar. You have nothing of him in you, his dedication, his sacrifice his valour, but you also do not have anything to be called Gandhi. I condemn your pappugiri”.
After Soman’ remarks against Rahul Gandhi, students’ organisations including Chhatra Bharti Students Union and the All India Students’ Federation(AISF) and National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) (Congress’s students’ wing) sat in dharna at Mumbai University’s Kalina Campus in North West Mumbai, demanding action against him. In response to the students’ protest, Soman was sent on forced leave by the university administration.
However Mumbai University and College Teachers’Association (MUCTA) has threatened to launch an agitation if the action against Soman is not withdrawn. A delegation of MUCTA called on Mumbai University Vice-Chancellor Dr Suhas Pednekar and submitted him a memorandum. In the memorandum MUCTA stated that Soman is a dedicated teacher and out spoken person and he cannot be punished for any incident outside the university.
“The university administration should not succumb to bullying tactics by students coming in crowds. If the university believes in “freedom of speech” then it should not indulge in such action which has no legal base. Soman was not given a chance to clarify his position and as such action against him is one sided. If he is not immediately reinstated, then the association will be left with no alternative but to launch an indefinite agitation, MUCTA General secretary Subhash Athavale said.
MUCTA also pointed out that the salary of teachers is pending in many colleges in Maharashtra for the last several months. It was unfortunate that instead of resolving teachers’ basic issues, the vice chancellor has been taking unconstitutional actions. Co-incidentally the teachers of Yadavrao Tasgaonkar College Of Engineering & Management, Karjat, Raigad district, whose salary is pending for the last two years also joined MUCTA in protes.
In Maharashtra, the Higher and Technical Education ministry, under whose jurisdiction universities fall, is headed by Shiv Sena’s Uday Samant. However the Shiv Sena heading the three party coalition government, badly depends upon the NCP and Congress for its survival. The students’ bodies who demanded action Soman, were left oriented and affiliated to the Congress.

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