Tuesday, 04 February 2020 - Imphal Times

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Imphal, Feb 4

Hearing of the disqualification case of Minister Th. Shyamkumar which has been pending for a long time begins today at the Speaker’s Tribunal of the Manipur Legislative Assembly. The Supreme Court has earlier directed the State Legislative Assembly to take up the pending case within four weeks time on January 21, 2020.

After the submission from both the counsel of the petitioner and the respondent were heard by the Speaker, directed both the parties to submit their respective arguments in writing on or before February 12, 2020.

Minister Shyamkumar’s counsel prays the tribunal by filing an application for taking up the matter only after February 11, 2020, as the matter has been pending for quite a long time and in view of the Budget Session to be commenced from February 14, 2020. However, the Speaker rejected the plea for adjournment.  

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Imphal, Feb 4

A 46 years old woman was critically injured after an unknown person attacked her using a knife. The report said that the person slashed at the woman’s face and head and escaped from the spot. The woman identified as Thingujam Somola (46) wife of Mohonmacha of Charangpat Mamang Leikai sustained serious injury and is undergoing treatment at Shija Hospital.

Report reaching here said that the incident happened at around 2.30 pm yesterday at a place called Selom Loukol of Charangpat Mayai Leikai in Thoubal district. The lady was reportedly found lying in a pool of blood at the left main canal. She was taken to the Thoubal District Hospital and later referred to Shija Hospital as her situation deteriorated.  The injured lady Somola is survived by her husband, a daughter who had completed Master Degree and a son doing 5 semester graduation. The reason behind the attack could not be established at the moment and the police team who rushed to the incident spot are investigating the crime. Till the filing of this report, the police team recovered a blood-stained knife, a white towel, and a black colour jogging shirt. However, the police are yet to find the culprit.

 Condemning the gruesome criminal act locals of Charangpat staged a sit-in protest demanding immediate arrest of the culprit involved to the attack on the women. Other placards urging to stop any form of crime against women were also displayed.

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New Delhi, Feb 4

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shall be visiting Kokrajhar in Assam to participate in the celebrations of the signing of the Bodo Agreement, on  February 7,  2020.
More than 4,00,000 people from the BTAD districts and all over Assam are expected to attend the programme.  A Cultural programme of ethnic groups of Assam is being organised by the State Government, to showcase the diversity of the state.
Prime Minister  Narendra Modi shall address the gathering to hail the historic Bodo Agreement signed in January this year, by including the leading stakeholders under one framework.
The agreement was signed in New Delhi on the 27th of January 2020.
In a tweet from his personal handle Prime Minister termed the day as “a very special day for India” and that the accord, “will lead to a transformative results for Bodo People, ushering in a new dawn of peace, harmony & togetherness”.
The agreement is in accordance with the Prime Minister’s vision of “SabkaSaathSabkaVikas” and commitment towards a holistic development of the North-East, ending a five decade old Bodo crisis.
Prime Minister, in his tweet said, “Bodo Agreement stands out for many reasons. Those who were previously associated with armed resistance groups will now be entering the mainstream and contributing to our nation’s progress.”
Accordingly, over 1615 cadres of different factions of the NDFB have surrendered their arms and joined the mainstream within two days of the signing of the agreement.
“The Accord with Bodo groups will further protect and popularise the unique culture of the Bodo people. They will get access to a wide range of development oriented initiatives. We are committed to doing everything possible to help the Bodo people realise their aspirations”, the Prime Minister said in his tweet.
A special package of Rs 1500 Crore is earmarked for the development of the region.
The recent signing of the Bru-Reang Agreement signed by the Government of India and Governments of Mizoram, Tripura, to provide relief and succour to over 35,000 Bru-Reang Refugees and the surrendering of over 85 Cadres of the NLFT in Tripura stand testimony to the continued commitment and vision of the Prime Minister for the overall development and peace of the North-East.
In his interaction with the Nation through the “Mann Ki Baat” programme  on the Republic Day, the Prime Minister gave a clarion call to all those on the path of violence to return to the mainstream and lay down arms.
“On the solemn occasion of Republic day, I would appeal to anyone in any part of the country, who’s still seeking solutions to problems through violence and weapons, to return to the mainstream. They should have faith in their own capabilities and the capabilities of this country to resolve issues peacefully”, he said.

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Imphal, Feb 4

Classes at major government colleges in the state continue to be severely affected as Federation of Government College Teachers’ Associations, Manipur (FEGOCTA) continued class boycott agitation for the second day.

The College teachers’ body has been demanding implementation of 7th UCG Pay and Regulations, 2018. The teachers’ body had begun their agitation some three days back by staging sit-in-protest at various colleges. Class boycott agitation is a harder agitation that they began today.

Boycott and protest by the teachers community under the aegis of FEGOCTA were held today at GP College, Imphal College, Manipur College and United College Chandel.

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Tuesday, 04 February 2020 17:54

56th CANA General conference begins

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Tengnoupal, Feb.4

The 56th General Conference of Chothe Athouru Ngei Abom-CANA (Chothe Students Union Manipur) began Today Under the theme “To Glorify Our Heritage Culture” at Maohulon (Khongthang) in Tengnoupal District.
The inaugural function was graced by Advisor to Chairman of Autonomous District Council (ADC) Chandel Th. Hopeson Chothe as Chief Guest, President of CLAM Th.Mingthing as Guest of Honour and Chief Functionary of UTDO Y.Romeo as Function President.
CANA President Pr. Parton said that the most encouraging sign of the times is just this confident and ever glorifying towards our heritage culture.  He said that we are uplifting to glorify our heritage culture at this the 56th CANA Conference at Mouhulon village.
“We are indeed living in our culture recognizing our culture is the strength we’ve gained.”, he added.
Miss CANA-2020, Traditional Attire Show, Solo (Chothe Love Song) and several competitions such as Football, Volleyball, Athletic, etc will be conducted during the meet. The valedictory function of the general conference will be conducted on February 8.

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Imphal, Feb 4

Three days after Peace and Development Coordinating Committee (PDCC) imposed 24-hour bandh, BJP Khundrakpam Mandal today echo the demand saying that the trust to the BJP led government will get a bad name if those involved in the irregularities committed in the construction of Yumnam Patlou Bridge in Khundrakpam Assembly Constituency are not checked.

President of the Khundrakpam BJP Mandal M. Debaratan while speaking to media persons at Manipur Press Club said that they have found discrepancies in the implementation of the work program for construction of the bridge and that the matter cannot be concealed as people have proof about the PWD engineers knowing to work hand-in-glove with the subcontractor. He urged the Chief Minister and the Work Minister to look into the matter with extra seriousness so that the image of the BJP remains clean.

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Tuesday, 04 February 2020 17:52

UTCOM demands ADC election to hold in June

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Imphal, Feb 4

United Tribal Civil Organisations’ Manipur (UTCOM) has submitted memorandum to the Chairman, Hill Area Committee (HAC), Manipur legislative Assembly to hold the upcoming ADC election before rainy season i.e. June.
United Tribal Civil Organisations’ Manipur (UTCOM) represent various tribal civil organisations.
The memorandum stated that in the last ADC Election, 2015, the State Election Commission, Manipur issued the notification on 30‘“ April, 2015 for polling/holding the election to six Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) and election was held on June 1, 2015 between 7:00. am and 4.30 pm. The last date for filing of nominations was May 6, 2015. Scrutiny was held on May 7, 2015 and last date for withdrawal of nomination was May 11, 2015. If necessary, re-polling was to be held on June 6, 2015 and counting was conducted on 10 June, 2015. The entire election processes were completed by June 17, 2015.
As the month of June is a rainy month where there are frequent landslides, falling of trees, muddy road etc. Thus, for the far flung hill areas/villagers, it is extremely difficult for campaign and voting‘s. Most of the hill villages have no proper roads and they live in difficult terrain areas. And old aged persons and persons with disabilities suffered the most.
It further said that Hill Areas Committee (HAC) resolution passed on 16th January, 2020 and recommended on 29th January, 2020 for holding of upcoming ADC election in the month of November, 2020 is totally reject/oppose and such decision is against the wishes of hill people. Because the month of November is harvesting season, specially for the hill areas. And, UTCOM suggest to the State Government that in the month of April and May is most convenience season/schedule for the hill people for holding of upcoming ADC election.

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Imphal, Feb. 4,

Minister, Art & Culture,  L. Jayantakumar Singh today laid the foundation stone of the First ever Film City to be under the Centre for Culture & Moving Images (Cultural & Heritage Complex) in Manipur at Ringui village, Ukhrul District.
Minister, as Chief Guest at the foundation stone laying function, expressed his desire in getting a larger platform for a change when he got elected in the year 2000. He said that taking charge as Art & Culture Minister, he always thought of fulfilling his desire to develop the vast rich Culture in the State. Culture is a state of the mind where a person feels of expressing his views, whether of the nature or of the person’s society, he added.
Minister further said that, with the initiative of the talented director of the Manipur State Film & Television Institute, Prof. Nilotpal Majumdar and his desire to promote the young talents of this region in this field, the ministerial team decided to visit Ringui and select a site for the film city during his previous visit.
Minister Jayantakumar said that Art & Culture Department has earmarked a budget for developing the site. He expressed his views in handling the fund in their own hands to demarcate the land in consultation with the village headman and other interested stakeholders. Minister further asserted that necessary assistance will be made at his end to those who have donated their land for this good cause and for doing this, local MLA will also be kept in touch when the situation demands.
Later, Minister and his team also visited a Free Health Camp organised by State AYUSH Society, Manipur near the venue. Taking a note on the Free Health Camp, Minister Jayantakumar said that there is immense scope to grow medicinal plants in and around Ukhrul. Nursery plants will be provided at free of cost to the farmers if there is interest in growing such medicinal plants of high value in the market. Marketing for the produces will be facilitated by the Government for the convenience of the farmers.
Member Secretary, Manipur State Medicinal Plant Board, Dr. A. Guneshwore Sharma and other AYUSH officials were also present at the Free Health Camp.
 Khashim Vashum, MLA – 45 Chingai A/C, M. Joy Singh, IAS, Commissioner Art & Culture and Prof. Nilotpal Majumdar, Director, Manipur State Film & Television Institute were also present at the foundation stone laying function.

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Tuesday, 04 February 2020 17:49

The Free Speech and Expression in a Debacle

People are confused today. Is criticizing a policy program of the government “Antinational”? Does blaming the Prime Minister or Chief Minister of any states – a seditious act? Does performance depicting the dark side of a powerful person running the country a crime?
A news report appeared at this newspaper under the heading “Girl student studying class iv along with her mother and teacher slapped with a sedition charge for projecting Prime Minister in poor light skit presentation” is a serious issue which needs to be pondered by every citizen of the country. There are several cases where citizens are abused by goons, arrested under sedition charges by government machinery for uploading post criticizing individuals or the government functionaries at social networking sites.
Earlier, before the coming of the internet, when newspapers, Television, Theatre, Public Meeting, and Cinemas are medium of commenting to the act of any government machinery or political parties or say to any individual, the first action received was a legal notice under defamation or sedition laws. Those days only a few people can comment on critical ways, and those few people happened to be prominent figures and laws hardly find evidence to prove their criticism as derogatory, seditious or defamatory. Maybe the actors of those days presented their criticism after a thorough knowledge of the law of this land.
Right to freedom of speech and expression is guaranteed to all the citizens of the country under Article 19 (1)(a) on the condition that this freedom of speech and expression shall not affect the operation of any existing law, or prevent the State from making any law or affect interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India as well as the security of the State. The free speech and expression are also limited when it affects friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality or concerning contempt of court.
Now after the coming of the internet and invention of social networking software which makes every individual irrespective of their status or educational qualification or ages now get connected. Any idea of any individual is today seen uploaded by almost all people who access the social networking site particularly the ‘Facebook’. In the last couple of years, these social networking sites are being used as a tool for political purpose by some highly trained professionals. But there are still many people who care nothing about politics but use to express their idea to the social networking site either in good ways or bad ways.
To control this medium, the government amended the Information Technology Act, 2000 in 2008 and get assent from the President on February 5, 2009. Section of the amended IT act sanctioned authority the government machinery to punish any person who sends, information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; or any information which he knows to be false, but to cause annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will, persistently by making use of such computer resource or a communication device,
This section 66 A of the IT act was however struck down in 2015 by a division bench of Supreme Court relating to restrictions on online speech, as unconstitutional on grounds of violating the freedom of speech guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. The Court further held that the Section was not saved by being a ‘reasonable restriction’ on the freedom of speech under Article 19(2).
However, a news report appeared in The Hindu newspaper that said that on January 7, 2019, said that the 66A of the IT Act already struck down by the Supreme Court was found to be still in use.
However, in the state of Manipur, those arrested in connection with uploading the post which the government felt it derogatory are charged under the sedition act. Under Section 124A. Sedition
Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the Government established by law in India, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.
The argument that arises here is that any person if acted against the restriction which is punishable can be dealt with under this act. If the act of the person has no impact and if such action fails to disturb the tranquility of the society without giving any hindrance to the law and order condition, can this person be liable to charge under the act, considering that the person is considered abnormal?
Coming back to the news report regarding the arrest of three female including a class IV student in for performing a skit that the government machinery felt it as a humiliation to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a school function at an Urdu primary school in Bidar in Karnataka, it seems that even talents and artistic peaceful performances are going to be put under strict surveillance. Maybe Films that depict the morals of some MLAs or political party leaders may also be banned. Even Singers may also be targeted some days that is presumably not far from today

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Imphal, Feb.4

Power Minister Thongam Biswajit Singh chaired a meeting for setting up of hydro power projects in different parts of the State yesterday.

The meeting was also attended by Commissioner Power K Raghumani Singh, MD MSPDCL, Manipur L Priyokumar, MSPCL MD N Sarat, MANIREDA Director L Manglem, Power Generation Company Ltd. Mumbai MD Sailesh among others.

Observing that locations have already been identified for setting up of 5MW hydro projects in the State, the Minister also stated that preparation of DPR for the projects is under process.

He continued that funding for the project will be 90 percent Centre share and 10 percent State share. The Minister also expressed that the projects will be taken up at the earliest to improve the State’s own power generation.

During the meeting, the officials also highlighted that these hydro power projects will be a major boost in revenue generation in the State. It was also observed that these projects could be tourist attractions.

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