Thursday, 04 June 2020 - Imphal Times

IT News

Imphal, June 4:

A custom officer was caught in camera while asking a sum of rupees 1(one) lakh for ‘Chai Paani’ (for tea, water) that too, to an Advocate who had visited the office of the Asst/Deputy Commissioner Customs Division, Chingmeirong in connection with a case for the release of deposited money for the seizure of a vehicle.

Video of the whole scene was uploaded on social networking site Facebook by advocate Chongtham Victor from his ID Victor Khaba. In the video, an official of the Customs Division office is heard asking money saying that – gari thadokpagisidi khorsha paisa khara adum tounabani (everyone pays money for chai pani for release of vehicle).

When this newspaper contacted advocate Chongtham Victor, he said that the Custom officer identified as Mohammad Abdul Hassan, an Inspector, openly asked money to one of his associate lawyer Amom Malemsemba, when he visited the Customs Division office, Chingmeirong in connection with a case for refund of the deposited money. The whole episode was captured in video by Advocate Amom Malemsemba and Victor uploaded it at the Social networking site Facebook. The Custom Inspector even told Malemsemba not to take photographs.

Victor further said that a bus bearing registration number MN04P-0627 was seized by the custom official along with gold some months back. Following formalities a sum of rupees 10 lakhs has been deposited to the custom office for the vehicle on the ground that a sum of Rs. 5 Lakh has to be deducted. 

When, Advocate Malemsemba went to the office of the Custom Division at around 3 pm yesterday (June 3, 2020) the Custom Inspector asked him to pay Rs. 1 (One) lakh for refund of the refundable money (Rs. 5 Lakh) , Victor told Imphal Times. 

In the video, a heated argument between the Custom Inspector and advocate Malemsemba was heard. Malemsemba questioned the Custom Officer on the reason for asking Rs. 1 (one) lakh. In response, the Custom Officer was heard saying that everyone pay money for release of vehicle. The officer is also heard saying, “How come an advocate don’t know that tradition” (Ukil oiraga adu phaoba khangdaba).

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IT News

Imphal, June 4:

For the first time in the state of Manipur, a nurse working at Churachandpur district hospital with no travel history has been tested positive with Novel Coronavirus. The number of people tested with Coronavirus has reached 121 with 19 more people tested confirmed with the virus today.

A statement from the State Health Department released at 11 am today said that of the 19 confirmed cases, 13 were confirmed by the Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) of Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) and six were confirmed by VRDL at Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS).

A total of 28 people have been recovered so far leaving the number of active positive case to 83.

Among them five are from Kangpokpi district, two from Churachandpur, three from Tengnoupal district, two each from Tamenglong and Kakching while one each from Imphal West, Chandel, Bishnupur, Kamjong and Thoubal. All those tested today are returnee from outside the state and also reported to be asymptomatic.

The total number of people confirmed with Coronavirus in India has reached 2,17,965. Total number of recovered persons is 1,04,242 leaving the number of active case to 1,07,621. The number of fatalities from COVID-19 has reached 6,091.

Meanwhile the Central Government today said that the recovery rate reached to 47.99 per cent in the country and the total number of recovered people from Coronavirus reached to 104107. During the last 24 hour, 3,804 people have been cured.

The Health and Family Welfare Ministry said 9304 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the last 24 hour taking the total number of cases to two lakh 16,919 in the country. This is the highest spike in new cases in one day since the outbreak of the corona pandemic in India. During the last 24 hour, 260 deaths have been registered taking the nationwide toll to 6075. The fatality rate is 2.80 per cent.

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Our Correspondent
Mumbai, June 4:

The intensity of the cyclone “Nisarga”, which struck coastal Konkan belt and other parts of Maharashtra, was weakened and the depression moved towards Nashik, Dhule and adjoining areas of North Maharashtra on Thursday, even as four lives were lost due to nature’s fury.
 The deceased included: a 58-year-old man died after an electric pole fell on him at Umte village in Alibag, a 17-year-old boy Amar Jawlekar, was killed in wall collapse in Shrivardhan (Raigad), a 52 year man Prakash Mokar died, while salvaging a roof of his house in Haveli (Pune) and a 65 year old woman Manjabai Navale, who died in a wall collapse in Khed (Pune).
The Raigad district suffered maximum loss, since a sizable number of trees were uprooted,  electric poles were ripped out and tin sheds flew away. The rains caused heavy damage to orchids in Alibaug and other areas and the roads were seen strewn with fruits and branches fallen from trees. Over 25 lakh power consumers were left without power in 4 districts-Raigad, Palghar, Thane and Pune. The work of restoring power supply was on by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MSEDC), which supplies power to nearly 2.7 crore consumers in the state.
In Velhe ( Pune), the roofs of three schools and a grampanchayat office were blown off. Similarly 79 houses suffered heavy damage and 36 huts were totally destroyed in Mulshi taluka in the same district..
In the cyclone which slammed the Maharashtra with wind speeds of up to 120 kmph, the Mumbai was largely unscathed, although many trees were uprooted in the city and suburbs. A cargo aircraft (McDonnell Douglas) belonging to FedEx overshot the main runway of the Mumbai airport on its arrival from Bengaluru amid cyclone. It was towed away from the runway.
Several evacuation operations were conducted in coastal Maharashtra and south Gujarat by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) along with the help of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), armed forces and the state police.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the resilience showed by people and officials helped in “mitigating the intensity” of the cyclone ‘Nisarga’. “Thanking all who protected Maharashtra along with Mumbai in the face of the “Nisarga”, which was hovering  over the state at a time when it is grappling with COVID-19. But we all warded it off. The people and administration fought hard and mitigated the intensity of the crisis,” the chief minister said in a statement.
In the meanwhile Mumbai, Thane, Nashik and other parts of Maharashtra continued to receive intermittent rainfall on Thursday.

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IT News

Imphal, June 4:

Kalakshetra Manipur mourns the untimely demise of Khwairakpam Ushakanta, who had served the theatre group as the secretary. He was 59 and had been associated with the group since 30 years. He breathed his last this June 4 morning at the premises of the theatre group, Langol Laimanai, Imphal West.

A condolence meeting was held today morning, which was led by Kalakshetra Manipur theatre group’s guru Heisnam Sabitri, director Heisnam Tomba, senior artists along with the family members. A two-minute silent condolence was offered, followed by floral tribute.

Ksh Ushakanta joined the theatre group in the year 1989, and sought permission from the then guru Heisnam Kanhailal to offer his voluntary service of looking after the daily affairs and functioning of the group. Since then, he had served the theatre group with utmost dedication and sacrificial spirit as the organizational secretary.  

Kalakshetra Manipur guru, Heisnam Sabitri lamenting the untimely demise of the secretary, said the void left by him in the group will be hard to be filled. His loving and giving nature and his warm persona had made him an indomitable member of the group.

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Thursday, 04 June 2020 17:02

Living with the virus – What next

‘What next’ - a short question that needs a comprehensive answer, one that will determine the future of the state and mankind. With the rapid increase in the number of returnees, the number of Covid-19 positive cases in the state is on the rise correspondingly. No surprise there, but the growing concern is the increasingly frequent reports of inadequacies and mismanagement in a number of designated quarantine centres across the state save a few which are situated in and around the city. Regardless of the government decision on the lockdown, a new social norm is in the making, and the sooner we all adapt and embrace these norms, the safer we all will be as from now onwards, our social conducts and behavior will determine not only our own safety but that of others. Social change is the significant alteration of social structure and cultural patterns through time and the present situation is definitely proving to be a turning point- the beginning of an era if one may put it.
And as with any change, there will always be accompanying sociological and psychological impact which needs to be discussed and analysed in detail. There definitely will also be consequences of these changes which may be beneficial or detrimental to the society, and the outcome will depend to a large degree on the awareness and eagerness of the authorities to influence it. Social change is conceived mostly as an autonomously controlled and unidirectional process toward group change; these conceptualizations do not account for social changes that are outside of human control, such as natural disasters of which we are experiencing one. This is certainly a time of great opportunities and challenges depending on how one perceives the developments. We are indeed experiencing these changes in the way we conduct business to the way government departments and institutions are functioning. Another major change we are witnessing right now is in the education sector with almost every educational institution resorting to the internet to conduct online classes or distributing assignments and lessons through WhatsApp and other applications, an opportunity for children to take up other useful hobbies and pursuits which were difficult during the school going days.
Hygiene has become a big social concern and with the increase in social awareness, our collective outlook towards nature has taken a positive turn which is a very encouraging sign. We are also witnessing a positive change in the environment which is becoming more vibrant. The unfolding changes will run its due course and it would be impossible to revert back to our old ways, not that everyone is eager for it, but the change is certainly proving uncertain and unsettling for a few. The government needs to anticipate and prepare for the developments which will make an impact on the society as a whole and as well as on the different communities of the state on a broad spectrum ranging from business to health and education, among others. Verbal assurances must be replaced with concrete actions and sustainable plans must be implemented in time if we are to make the best of the unfolding change.      

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IT News
Mumbai, June 4:

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has upheld complaints against 171 misleading and exaggerated ads(print and TV commercials), including 77 educational, 59 healthcare,  six real estate, , five visa/immigration services, five personal care, four  food and beverages and 15 advertisements to other categories.
ASCI investigated complaints against 279 advertisements, of which 101 advertisements were  withdrawn by the advertisers on receipt of communication from ASCI.
ASCI’s role has been acclaimed by Government bodies including the Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA), Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Union Ministry of AYUSH  and the Union I & B Ministry.
ASCI Secretary General Shweta Purandare,said “Our guidelines for usage of awards/ rankings in ads, introduced in January 2020, are proving to be a timely step in the right direction. We are educating the advertisers that self-sponsored awards will not hold any more:.
Direct Complaints
Out of the 25 ads against which ASCI  received public complaints, 12 ads were withdrawn by the advertisers. Of the remaining 13 ads, the complaints against six ads were upheld by the ASCI and 7 ads were not considered to be objectionable.
Some of the objectionable ads were: Times Network Ltd (ET Now) (use of rating percentage to claim viewership), Malayalam Manorama Company Ltd (Manoramaonline) (the claim “No. 1 Malayalam News site”), Bajaj Auto Ltd (Bajaj Platina 110 H Gear) (visual of the pillion rider shaving the beard of a police officer riding the bike) (the ad violates traffic safety norms),  Ultratech Cement Ltd. (Ultra Tech Cement) (“Desh ka No.1 Cement”) and Lakshmi Ganapathi Group (exaggerated offers to flat seekers),
Suo Motu surveillance by ASCI
Under Suo Motu surveillance, ASCI picked up 254 ads. Of these 89 advertisers agreed to withdraw their ads. Other 165 ads were found to be misleading. They included 77 educational,  59 healthcare, six real estate, five Visa/Immigration services, five personal care, four Food and Beverages and nine advertisements of other categories.
Complaints against the ads of educational institutes were upheld since they claimed to provide 100% placement and claimed “No.1” in their field. Many ads also contravened ASCI Guidelines for usage of awards/rankings. Some of the institutes were: Spoorthi Coaching Center ( Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh), Koshi Paramedical Institute, Saharsa( Bihar), Hindustan Soft Education Ltd(New Delhi) and Pragna Coaching Centre( Anantpur, Andhra Pradesh).
The healthcare category included: Indira IVF Hospital Pvt Ltd,( Rajasthan, UP, Maharashtra) (the claim in TVC featuring celebrities “ India’s largest and most successful IVF and fertility Chain”), Bavishi Fertility Institute (Gujarat and Maharashtra) (“No.1 in India for Childbirth”), Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited (Apollo BGS Hospitals) (Hyderabad) (the claim-”Most experienced doctors”, was not supported through third party validation), Gayatri Health Clinic (Maharashtra) (“Cure Diseases within 36 hours”), Care Us Pharmaceutical Private Limited ( Uttarakhand) (Otena Ear Drop) ( print ad “No.1 Ear Drop as per Operation Crime 2019”), Global Health Aesthetics Laser Hospital( Uttarakhand) (“Remove Fat Forever” and “Reduce 2” to 6" without Surgery”), Dhanvantri Super Specialty Hospital, Kanpur(Uttar Pradesh) (“Win Over Cancer, Now”), Arul Siddha Clinic, Erode, Tamil Nadu (“Assured blessing of child, if conception does not occur”).
Samir Patel’s Mascot Groups Education & Migration (Ahmedabad, Gujarat), Amigos Overseas (Bhavnagar, Gujarat), T.K. Immigration Services Pvt. Ltd (Mumbai, Maharashtra) (“100% Visa guarantee).
Real Estate
AMR Infrastructures (AMR Future City) (Most trusted in Hyderabad ), Bahri Estates Pvt Ltd (Delhi, Tamil Nadu) (superlative claim-”Named the World’s Best Retirement Community”),
Kolte-Patil Developers Ltd (Pune, Maharashtra) (“The Most Trusted Brand in Pune” and “The Best Township in Pune”), M3M India Pvt. Ltd ( Gurgaon, Haryana)( 100+ Awards in Luxury Residential Project Segment” copy of award certificates ).
Food and Beverages
Rasna Private Limited (Rasna Native Haat Honey Vita) ( Print ad- “Makes mentally and physically active”, Strengthen bones and Muscle redevelopment”, endorsed by sportswoman, Saina Nehwal), Manikchand (7 Hills Manikchand Pan Masala) ) ( No statutory warning “ Chewing of Pan Masala is injurious to health” which violates FSSAI guidelines) and Jivo Wellness Pvt. Ltd (New Delhi) ( “Control sugar and protects/stops from going fat, and diseases away).
Ads related to other categories
The ASCI found that the claims made in the following ads were misleading: (Le Travenues Technology Private Limited) (Gurgaon, Haryana) (TVC — “Only Ixigo money lets you use 100 percent cash back”), JMD Water Heater Private Limited (New Delhi) (iLiv Water Purifier)(“Helps Boost Your Immunity”), Feastoo Online Services Pvt Ltd ( (Velachery, Chennai, Tamil Nadu) (World’s No Homemade Food Delivery Company”), Sirmaur Soaps & Allied Products Pvt. Ltd ) Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh), (Rajhans detergent powder and Gold Soap) (“The Best in Washing”), NRJ Electric Motor Vehicle Pvt. Ltd (NRJ E-Rikckshaw) (Uttar Pradesh)  (“Highest Selling Modern-Powerful Motor and Body in UP”).

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In early 1990s, Mrs. Themneihat Haokip was an exceptional prodigy with exquisite acting skills. At her tender age, she was casted in two of the many Thadou-Kuki blockbusters. She was one of the most talked-about actresses of her time in the town of Churachandpur, (called locally as Lamka) among other Kuki inhabited areas. Pi, Themneihat Haokip was as a cynosure of all eyes. With these celluloid achievements, she raised Kuki Films to a new height.
She was born to (L) Songkhojang Haokip and Nemngah Haokip at Sangaikot village, Churachandpur District on May 11, 1978.
The Kuki film fraternity and her hard-core fans were shocked in awe to hear the sudden demise of the acting diva. She passed away on the night of 2nd June, 2020 at around 10:30pm at District Hospital, Churachandpur. She died reportedly due to a stroke. She was survived by her four children and husband. She was married to S. Langginmang Simte of the same village, so her legal name would be Themneihat Simte. But, her screen moniker would remain intact throughout the essay as Haokip for the sake of brevity.
In this write-up, as a tribute to the late A-lister actress, I would like to present a quick review of her most hit “KUM SOM KILUNGSET”.  Pi, Themneihat’s starrer “Hinkho” was another film that attained an impressive box-office.
Plot: The Real to Reel
Kum Som Kilungset (Transl. Ten Years of Love) is a Thadou-Kuki romance film. The film is directed and produced by Pu, Letthang Doungel under NISO Films Company. Pu, Doungel is a pioneer in the Kuki film industry and is the owner of the film company. It was released in the year 1994. The film is starring Mangboi Doungel and Themneihat Haokip. The former plays Helen and the later as Hoinu. The film marks her debut as an actress as also a lead actress. The roles rolled out by the female protagonist depict the high-handedness of patriarchy. Her mom knows Hoinu’s affairs with Len. But, mom is not able to side with Hoinu. Doing that will be taken as undermining voice of the head of the family (Hoinu’s dad)
It revolves around a love story between Len (Mangboi Doungel) who lives in a town, and Hoinu (Themhoineng Haokip) who hails from a village. It is coincidence for Len to meet Hoinu in her own village while the hunky educated bachelor goes there to celebrate Christmas. The social gatherings during the festival turn out to be a good horoscope that makes way for the relationship. This results in them being closer and closer during the five-day-stay. This ends up in romance between them. The depiction of Christmas festival in the film has a well-intentioned moral or theme. The director would like to convey a message of parity between Patriarchy and Christianity. In Christian ethics as found in the Bible, hardly one finds women holding power or authority. Similarly, in the plot, Hoinu cannot have an independent decision-making power to pick her man of choice. Nevertheless, Hoinu was hopeful that she can convince their orthodox parents who, in contrast have arranged their daughter’s marriage with a villager young man. Hoinu is dissuaded both by parents and the villager lover by hook or by crook to untie the love that she has for Len. However, the Romeo-Juliet duo became inseparable.
Len has to leave soon for home as he is permitted for five days by his widowed mother. Len is an obedient young man. He loves his mother and the-only-brother of the family. They have no sister in the family. Despite his infatuation for Hoinu, he maintains his integrity; thereby he cannot stay over beyond five days.
Time has come, and as he is leaving, Len gifts a silver bangle to signify his pure love for his fiancée. Hoinu, like a typical young girl, pleads with her fiancé to remember her with a song called “Damsel tan O sopiteho…”(a local farewell hymnal of Kuki Christians). Back to home, Len continues his studies and does a part-time teaching in a school in the town (Lamka).
One fine day, Hoinu goes to the woods with his sister to collect firewoods. While the firewoods are being collected, Hoinu keeps humming with the song “Damsel tan O sopiteho…”, ostensibly with the belief that Len will keep thinking about her. Suddenly, Hoinu starts to smile and laughs herself louder and louder on nearing a big Banyan tree. Initially, Hoinu is joined by her sister in the laughter, because the sister thinks that Hoinu is filled with a good mirth. Sister looks up and down the tree, and she sees some weird objects hanging in the tree. She yells with her screeching voice, “Heno…!(Mom…!)”. She calls mom for help, but to no avail. The younger sister comes to know that Hoinu is possessed by demons of the wild tree. Hoinu becomes ill. On hearing the pigeon news, Len has become so restless. This time his mom has passed away and he lives with his brother alone. But, he is unstoppable by his household responsibilities. Rather, he is all set to sail to Hoinu for the second time. While Len makes a bantering with Hoinu’s mom and sister in the kitchen, Hoinu who is in the bed, disappears into the same wood and the same Banyan tree that have previously caught her to laughter. Len follows her and somehow manages to get rid of her illness and brings her home.
Len is gain about to leave the next day for home. During this second visit, romance between grows well and mature enough and knows no bound. This time around, they made heavy promises to each other. This film inculcates the intricacies of a relationship of what could happen when lovers make promises to each other.
Hoinu first takes two bunches of ribbon-like threads out of the folded hem of her wrap-around Khamtang Ponve ( a traditional shawl of Thadou-Kuki women). The first thread-bunch is red in colour. Hoinu tells to Len “Red colour signifies blood that embodies my sacrificial spirit and I will abide and stand by my promise until my last breath”. She continues her vow, “heo Len, do not disbelieve me. Women are made for man and to conceive. Behold, if I happen to choose another man, let a barren life befalls me. I will ready to accept such bad destiny as not bearing and conceiving a child with that man. The Sun, the Star, the Moon and the vegetation around us are witnesses to my promises”. In the Kuki tradition, a younger one addresses an elder one with a prefix “heo” before name of the person. The prefix literally means ‘brother of older age’. Len also follows suit saying, “Hoinu, if the fruit of the hard labour that I put into my study is not for you, then let them all be in vain. I won’t ask for any hand other than your self’s. Let the Sun, the Star, the Moon and the vegetation around us be witnesses to my pledges”. Then, they parted ways, each heading toward its own home.
Their love affair becomes twisted. She is told many bad things about Len. But, Hoinu never gets disappointed. However, she makes repeated attempts to meet Len in person. Due to communication gap, they cannot meet. Len is never aware that Hoinu is going to be married off to another man. Unaware, Len makes the third visit to Hoinu. This time he is beaten black and blue, because he is suspected of problem-making in a Send-Off Ceremony that is slated to be held the next day. Hoinu still loves and gives him time to elope. But, Len declines it because doing that will create a bad precedent and history will keep record of them. For the last gesture, Hoinu gifts the silver bangle to Len, who again declines it because that is what already gifted by himself to Hoinu.
Even after two years of marriage, Hoinu does not conceive one and leads a barren life. She confesses to her husband that she and Len had made vows to marry each other, which otherwise she will not bear any children. On her husband’s request, Len frees Hoinu off the vows by letting her go. Then, she thankfully conceives. On the other hand, Len is unable to attain any achievements due that promise he makes to Hoinu. He personally goes to Hoinu that she may untie him from the vows. Now that Len is as hopeful as Hoinu to be successful in future.
From the year they meet at Christmas and make love up till the separation, ten years have completed. Hence, the name of the film is “KUM SOM KILUNGSET” ( Ten Years of Love).
Lastly, but not the least, the passing away of Pi, Themneihat Haokip Simte is a loss to both Kuki Film Development Association (KUFIDA) in particular and all the Manipuri film fraternity associations and corporations in general.
(Review is of the writer’s self-wisdom. Not strictly to Review as a genre of Journalism.)

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IT News
New Delhi, June 4:
Popular Front of India Chairman O M A Salam, in response to the charge sheet filed by the Delhi Police regarding North East Delhi Anti-Muslim Pogrom, termed it yet another attempt by the Central Government to protect the real culprits belonging to Sangh Parivar. 
“It is a well known fact that the violence targeting lives and properties of Muslims was planned and executed by the RSS-BJP leaders”, a statement of the PFI said. 
It added that the Delhi police SIT has avoided booking even BJP leaders like Kapil Mishra who openly instigated violence, thereby behaving blind to undeniable evidences. Police is not bothered about investigating about the hidden and open Hindutva individuals and groups linked to RSS and BJP in the locality and even from remote areas. The sources of evidence like CCTV footages, video clippings, phone call records etc indicating their involvement are not being followed by Delhi Police under Central Government. This proves that the entire cover up process is being done in a planned manner.
On the role of Delhi Police, O M A Salam stated, “The Delhi Police has already lost its credibility in the way it handled the anti-CAA protest and Delhi pogrom. The police have been completely biased and always tried to find a scapegoat to protect the real culprits of the Sangh Parivar.”
The Covid19 lockdown situation was misused by the BJP government to target Muslim community organisations and activist groups and their leaders.  By violating the powers vested upon them,   the Police is trying to suppress voices of dissent by invoking draconian laws like UAPA and Sedition act.  Through the charge sheet which pin points on their alleged meetings and phone calls is an attempt by the Government and Police to gain legitimacy for false cases in the trial court.
O M A Salam has strongly condemned this politically and communally biased attitude of the Delhi Police.  He demanded setting up of an independent inquiry commission under a sitting Supreme Court judge to investigate the Delhi violence.  He also urged the civil society to condemn this misuse of powers and unite to defeat the nefarious plans of the BJP regime to suppress voices democratic dissent.

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