Monday, 19 February 2018 - Imphal Times
Monday, 19 February 2018 17:18

Sunny side up

The alacrity with which the gloomy and despondent mood of the public in the state gave way to spontaneous celebrations and revelry with the turn of another new year once again demonstrates the innate positivity of the human mind. The loud cheers, the gregarious chatters and magnanimous wishes would have anyone who have been in the state just recently believe that there has been a major shift or quantum improvement in the situation prevailing for the last two months. Unfortunately, but for the buoyant moods, nothing have changed and if the past is any indication, the standoff is set to continue for a lot longer than anyone would have cared to wish. But just for once, leaving the intricacies of solving the protracted and cathartic show of one-upmanship between different players to experienced hands, it would be a worthwhile exercise to count the blessings in disguise the present social development brings to our fore.
Starting on a positive note in keeping with the moods at present, an all-out confrontation between different communities, while being a distant possibility, can be ruled out for the present since there are more than enough individuals and groups on either side of the communal and ideological divide that understand and are capable of comprehending the irreversible damage such conflicts would definitely inflict not only in terms of human lives but on the very identities and traditions each is seeking to protect and propagate. These voices of sanity will broke forth to maintain ties of cordiality irrespective of the differing views and opinions. And hopefully, such initiatives will strengthen the bond of trust amongst the different communities and ethnic groups despite varying ideologies, needs and aspirations so that an enduring arrangement for peaceful coexistence may be arrived at.
Perhaps such escalations of social tensions are healthy indications of the need to change the system or to fix some glaring errors in administration and governance. Parallel may be drawn to the 1950s and 1960s when the entire world was shrouded with the overarching fear of an imminent nuclear war breaking out due to the intensifying cold war fuelled by the increasing stockpiles of nuclear armaments amongst the nuclear powers. Yet instead of the nuclear war that was considered inevitable, the world realized the holocaust such war would cause, and consequently the whole system by which international politics and interactions were conducted underwent a radical change for the better.
Closer home, the present ‘siege’ by the hill based civil society body  has produced some positive outcome in the society. Realization for the need of increasing local production and self-reliance has spurred the people to action and thereby initiating a mini-revolution towards self-sustainability. The lessons in austerity this ‘blockade’ has enforced on the people of this generally spendthrift society to revise and readjust are just priceless and couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. The public have learnt the value of the things they took for granted all along till now. But most of all, the drastic drop in vehicular traffic has managed to reduce carbon emission as well as fatalities due to road accidents. Alternative means of transport such as bicycles and even walking short distances were seen to be on an increase. Parents were also forced to look into the academic activities of their children thereby strengthening the bond and bringing back the much required attention back to their wards.
Although such outcomes in the society will definitely be unintentional to many, we still owe a big THANKS, being the civilized kind that we are- so THANKS. Now that we are even, life goes on and the celebration continues.

Published in Editorial

By : Yumnam Rajeshwor Singh

General Orde Wingate
General Orde Charles Wingate was a British General of world war second who started the Chindits which made Long range penetration behind the Japanese lines in Burma during the 2nd world war.  He was born in India in 1903 at Nainital in the then United Provinces. . He was the son of Colonel George Wingate C.I.E. and Mary Ethel Stanley Wingate. Their family went back to England and lived at Godalming in Surrey, and  was eventually educated at Charterhouse.
Wingate served in pre-war Palestine where he achieved notable success against the Arab rebellion of 1936 by organizing ‘night squads’ of Jewish settlers to defend their kibbutzim. It earns him a DSO and also a transfer from an area where his pronounced pro-Zionist views were felt to be a political embarrassment, as well as somewhat peculiar in an Army officer. In these operations lie the roots of Haganah, the Israeli force which later fought the British and the Arabs to establish the State of Israel in 1948.
With the entry of Italy into the war in June 1940 his expertise in guerrilla warfare and Sudan Defence Force made him a natural choice for the elimination of the Italians from their conquests in Abyssinia.
Wavell had been impressed by the performance of Gideon Force, and when he became Commander-in-Chief, India, he remembered Wingate. Deeply perturbed by the declining morale of the British Army in the Far East, Wavell summoned Wingate to see what chestnuts unorthodox warfare could save from the fire that was consuming Burma is 1942.
Wingate’s idea was to put soldiers behind the Japanese lines to sow confusion amongst their lines of communication and also to strike back at them at a time when they were carrying all before them. His ”Chindits,” or “Wingate’s Raiders,” a brigade of British, Gurkha, and Burmese guerrillas, harassed much stronger Japanese forces in the jungles of northern Burma (now Myanmar) during World War II.
The plane crash:-
General Wingate died in a plane crash on 24th March 1944 near the village of Thiulon in Tamenglong District. On 24th March 1944 Wingate flew into Broadway in a B-25 Mitchell bomber (43-4242) from 1st Air Commandos. From there he visited the White City and Aberdeen Strongholds. After returning to Broadway he flew on to Imphal( Koirengei) to meet Air Marshall Baldwin and from there at 8.00 pm, he set off back to Lalaghat.  Wingate’s plane crashed on the return journey in the hills around Tamenglong.  All on board were killed including a number of war correspondents. ( Broadway, White City and Aberdeen are code named wartime airfields in Burma)
The crash site is located near village Thiulon in Tamenglong District, Manipur.  The crash site is around 1.5 km at the south west of the village. The coordinates measured by GPS is N 24*59’17" and E 93*23’27". The elevation reads 740 meters above sea level.  
Cause of the Crash:-
The official record stated bad weather as the cause of the plane crash. There arose more many conspiracy theories after he died.  Many cited freak weather, engine failure, pilot error etc as the cause of the crash, but because this was Wingate, there was a general reluctance to accept that this was a routine accident, such as had accounted for thousands of airborne combatants in Burma. The official investigation concluded that there had been engine failure and that the pilot had unsuccessfully tried to return to Imphal. Thunderstorms or turbulence were cited as possibilities, but all the pilots in the air that day confirmed that all thunderstorms were local and could easily be circumvented.  General William Slim opted for extreme turbulence, even though the pilots’ testimony also ruled that out.
When I reach the village (on 10th Feb 2018), I found that the crash site is on the reverse side of a ridge, so it is not possible that the aircraft had flown into the hill.  It can be substantiated by the fact that the B-25 started from 770 meters ASL from Koirengei and the crash site is at a much lower altitude of 740 meters.
The plane was on fire on air that night as seen by the villagers. The plane on fire was also seen by people from other neighbouring villages. The B-25 was carrying cluster bombs, which might broke loose from the bays, rolled into the fuselage and detonated. A lot of fuel onboard must also have ignited on impact.
Physical evidence:-
 Two engines were found at the crash site initially. One engine was taken by the 30th Assam Rifles from the village on 30th May 1989 and is kept at the Assam Rifles office at Shillong. The other engine is now kept at the village church. This engine is broken into two pieces. Non ferrous metals in the engine show sign of extreme heat exposure. Whereas the engine with the Assam Rifles is in one piece and in good intact shape, it is pertinent to state that the engine with the village hit the ground and was broken into two pieces.
The Radial Engine at the village Church.
The impact of the fall was so forceful that the iron in front landing gear was also torn. There is a great possibility that the pilot drop the landing gear before impact trying to land the plane. So there is a possibility that the pilot and the crews were alive just before the impact. A crater of 15 feet in length and 5 feet deep is still available to be seen today at the crash site.
From the Villagers account:-
On 24th March evening, the Christian villagers of Thiulon village were having their evening prayer when they saw a ball of fire coming down from the sky. The plane had caught fire in the sky and its falling down can be seen from Tamenglong town also. The plane fall on the western slope of the mountain of Thiulon, some 2.00 Km from their village. Just after the crash, loud sounds of explosions were heard by the village. The pebbles scattered from the explosion reach the village houses. Whole night there was explosion one after another and the area was lighted with the fire from the crash.   
The villagers told that next morning, ie. On 25th March 1944, a small plane landed just adjacent to the crash plane. From there two pilots came out. One had a broken leg. There were medicines and other items with the crash plane. There was presence of parachute containing medicines and other food boxes with the parachute. The two persons from the plane told the villagers to collect all the pieces of bodies scattered around the crash site. The villagers collected the bodies piece by piece and bury them in a mound near the village. The villagers took them (the two pilots) to their village and serve them. Next day they were transported by making a wooded palanquin. The villagers of Thuilon took them to Npakang village, the Npakang villagers transported the two pilots till Atengba Village. The Atengba Villagers took till the Chingkao village. The Chingkao villagers took them till Nungkao village. The Nungkao villagers took them till Oinamlong. From there the military vehicle pick them and taken back to Silchar.
 Upon research it is found that the plane that crash next morning is an L-5 Stinson and piloted by Sergeant Lloyd Samp and co piloted by Sergeant Bill Walters. It was arranged by Colonel Cochran to pick up message pouch strung between two poles by the Captain Barnes ground team from the crash site. The L-5 loses power due to carburetor icing which was flying at 5000 ft. So the pilot made a forced landing adjacent to the crash site.
The Occupants of the B-25 Mitchell Bomber:-
The occupants of the ill fated plane as per records were:
1. Maj General Orde Charles Wingate, DSO
2. Captain George Henry Borrow, MC
3. Brian Floyd Hodges, 1st Lt. Air Corps
4. Stephen Albert Wanderer, 2nd Lt.  Air Corps
5. Vernon A McIninch, S SGT  Air Corps
6. Frank Sadoski, T SGT  Air Corps
7. James Walton Hickey, T SGT Air Corps
8.Stuart Emeny, War Correspondent, The News Chronicle.
9.Stanley Wills, War Correspondent, The Daily Herald.
When the villagers reach the crash site next morning, the bodies were scattered around the crash site. All bodies were mutilated beyond recognition. They were in pieces.  Some were hanging on trees. Another death dog was also at the crash site. There are chances that other unrecorded person was also on board that day.  This needs further research for confirmation.
In April 1947 some human remains (20 pieces of bones weighing 3 pounds)  of the crash, were moved to a common grave on the then British Military Cemetery in Imphal. On December 18, 1949, the grave was opened by the United States Army and the contents transferred to Manila in the Philipines pending final disposition. In November 10, 1950 all the remains collected from Imphal War Cemetery (previously British Military Cemetery) were reinterred at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, USA.
Future of the crash Site:-
    The villagers of Thuilon have agreed to commemorate 24th March every year as the death anniversary of General Charles Orde Wingate. The road from Tamenglong HQ to Thuilon is hardly  40 km, but due to the bad road condition it took 4 hours to reach the village from Tamenglong HQ.  At present there is no electricity in the village as the only transformer is not functional since last year. There are chances that in the near future the road from Tamenglong town to Thiulon Village gets widen and gets bitumen layered. Once the road is developed, many tourists will access the crash site. The village wants a Wingate memorial park to be constructed at the crash site. The local elected ADC member is trying to put up this project with the Government.
1.     Frank McLynn. The Burma Campaign,  Vintage Books, London, 2011.
2.     David Rooney .Burma Victory,  Cassell & Co,  1992.
3.     Allen, Louis. Burma The Longest War. Phoenix Press, London, 1984.
    Dennis Hawley, The Death of Wingate, Merlin Books Ltd, Braunton,1996.

Published in Articles

Police yet to take action against the defaulters including Asst. Manager

Imphal, Feb 19: One Assistant general manager of Imphal Urban Co-operative Bank Lamlong Branch who served the post from 2015 to 2017, currently assigned as look After General Manager of the Manipur State Co-operative Bank MG. Avenue, Imphal, had allegedly sanctioned a sum of Rs. 37 lakhs as gold mortgage loan to 19 loan applicants   using gold tinted ornaments (not real gold) during her time.
A complaint had been lodged to the Porompat Police Station on February 8, 2018, as none of the loanee had repaid back the amount and after the some loan beneficiaries had denied taking loan in exchange of the gold tinted ornament instead of the real gold which has been approved by the Reserved Bank of India at low interest.    
As per information sought from the bank authority repayment period for the Gold loan for the Imphal Urban Co-operative bank is one year. As the time frame for repayment has been over, all the gold in 19 packet has been found fake gold which are tinted with gold when verified by engaged Gold Assayer. As per report its is learnt that the gold packet belonging to one Phijam Ranjit Singh of Kairenbikhok, Wangjing in Thoubal district having account number 310/2306 who received the gold loan amount of Rs. 2,00,000/ on May 4 , 2016 after verification from the then Gold Assayer.
On lapses of period for recovery of the repayment period the bank authority when approached the loanee (Ph. Ranjit) had stated that he never took loan against pledge of gold ornaments.
The matter was complaint to the Porompat police by the General Manager of Imphal Urban Co-operative bank LTD.
When enquired to the Porompat police authority, Imphal Times have been informed that an FIR has been lodged for cheating and forgery and they are all set to take up the matter with due seriousness but due to certain factors there still remain some hurdles in taking up the matter.
Source with the Imphal Times said that the huge amount of loan sanctioned to 19 beneficiaries as Gold loan was approved by the then Assistant General Manger of Imphal Urban Co-operative bank L. Binomala.   
In November, 2017, those responsible to the fraudulence payment of loans including the General manager has been promoted instead of inquiring the matter.
Source said that Binomala had already applied anticipatory bail.
As of now no action is noticed taken up against any of the involved. None of loanee who had denied taking gold loan has been arrested, neither the Assistant general Manager of that time Binomala has been questioned nor any action has been initiated.
The Imphal Urban Co-operative Bank was monitored by a Board of Directors elected from among the share holder through election. Election for the board of directors was already notified to hold on February 4, 2018, however due to the ongoing Assembly session it has been postponed.
Rs. 37 lakhs is a huge amount. Misappropriation of this amount would cause severe damage to the Bank, it would even amount defunct of the banking establishment. Yet, no recovery is made till today.

Published in News

By Our Correspondent
Guwahati, Feb. 19: Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) expresses shock at the brutal murder of Nagpur based crime reporter Ravikant Kamble’s mother and infant daughter by the miscreants. The Assam based scribes’ forum also urges the Maharashtra  government to book the perpetrators. The local media reports narrate that Usha Kamble (56) and  her granddaughter Rashi (18 moths) were found killed on 17 February 2018. Both of them were missing for some hours and later their bodies were recovered by the police on Sunday morning from a stream near Bahadura of Nagpur.
“We urged the Maharashtra police to probe into the  incident to fund out the motive behind the killing of Ravikant’s mother & his baby and punish the perpetrators under the law of the land,” said a statement issued by JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria.

Published in News

Imphal, Feb 19: CAF and PD Minister Kram SHyam today said that since the coming of the new government led by the BJP the state government had procured a total of 5370.21 Quintal of rice in addition to the rice allotted to the state government under the National Food Security Act.
Replying to a question asked by MLA Ranjit, during question hour in the ongoing state assembly session Karam Shyam said that  2039.97 quintal of rice was procured for Imphal West district; for Imphal East the total rice procured was 1162.25 quintal; for Thoubal district 300 quintal; for Chandel district 39.99 quintal; for Kakching district 500 quintal; for Bishnupur district 1270 quintal and for Tengnoupal district 60 quintal of rice has been allotted.
Minister CAF and PD further said that the rice are being distributed through the district administration authority and as the rice are in addition to the rice from NFSA it can be bought from the district authority by any persons on payment of the price fixed by the government.
The Minister however said that most of the rice are distributed on payment to paramilitary forces and some have been distributed as relief materials.
He further added that at present there is sufficient stock of the rice procured in addition to the NFSA rice and it can be bought by any person on payment of the price from the district authority.

Published in News

-“Unfinished tourist projects under Integrated Mega Tourist Circuit at  Khongjom, Keina and Marjing to be completed from funding under NEC”
-“Strict transfer & posting policy for Manipur Police personnel to be in force from first week of April- no distinctions in all rank and file”
-“Projects undertaken by Manipur Development Society lack transparency and poorly managed. The Society is under investigation”
-“Previously constructed and under construction dams by Minor Irrigation dept. are under investigation. Quality dams to be constructed after spot verification”
-“Earnestly working to develop Manipur as a unique tourist destination, by developing ropeways, golf field, star hotels, the Loktak Lake, Keibul Lamjao, Siroi Lily, Kangkhui cave etc..”

Published in News

Imphal, Feb 19:  Class XII examination for Science, Arts and Commerce stream begins today. A total of 20,327 students are appearing in this examination in Arts stream, a total of 7,190 students are appearing in Science stream and a total of 507 students and appearing in Commerce stream.
The Council of Higher Secondary Education Manipur which has been conducting the examination has been taking up every possible means to assure that students don’t use any kind of unfair means.
But, to the embarrassment of the COHSEM, a hoax question paper for English subject was seen uploaded at social networking site Facebook by a group called Loktak Mingsel.
L. Mohendro Chairman of the COHSEM while taking the matter seriously lodged a complaint to the Manipur police cyber crime. Talking to media persons the chairman said that the question found uploaded is a hoax one and even the colour of the paper is different. As it would amount confusion to the student a complaint has been lodged to the state Police Cyber Crime Unit, he added.

Published in News
Monday, 19 February 2018 17:11

Power shut down at Khongman Feeder

Imphal, Feb 19: As informed by the Manager, Kongba Sub-Division, MSPDCL all consumers supplied by 11 KV Khongman Feeder are requested to bear the inconveniences of power shut down on 20-02-2018 from 10:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m for preventive maintenance and jungle cutting. Areas along  Singjamei Kongba road, Ucheckon, Akampat, Khongman etc.
will be affected.

Published in News

Imphal, Feb 19: Chef Minister of Manipur who is also the leader of the house today said that the state government have not received any fund sought from the National Disaster Relief Fund as relief for the damage cause by the Mora Cyclone. A total of Rs. 432. 64 crore has been sought to the center by the state government but as of now state government has not received any amount from the center.
This was stated as reply to a question by MLA Alfred Kanngam Arthur   during question hour today. The MLA in his supplementary question drew the attention of the leader of the house about the problems being face by the people of Manipur especially those in hill area as cultivation is more likely impossible with the damage cause by the Mora Cyclone. He urged the CM to divert some fund as relief to farmers of the Hill area as cultivation time is coming.
N. Biren Singh showing serious concern to the question said that the state government is doing all it can to solve the problem face by the victims of the Mora cyclone or any of its kind. He said the state had already utilized fund amounting to Rs. 10.40 crore as relief for the disaster affected people and for the latest information the state government has been informed about the approval of the central government for sanctioning of another 100 crore as relief fund for the disaster. N. Biren Singh further added that the government may receive the fund with 10 to 15 days and with the amount the government will provide every possible assistance to farmers and also to the victims of the natural calamities.

Published in News

Imphal, Feb 19: Revenue Minister Karam Shyam today said that the state of Manipur does not have district boundary map for all the 16 districts. This was stated as reply to a question by MLA S. Bira Singh during question in the ongoing state Assembly session today.
He said that a boundary commission has been set up to and are conducting survey for each districts and a map will be prepared soon. Regarding the district map for the earlier 9 district , the Minister said that after the burning of the DC office in 1990 many of the documents have been lost however have been prepared and is all set to be completed.

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