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Thursday, 28 May 2020 - Imphal Times

COVID-19 case in Manipur : Positive cases reach 55, building complex in Imphal East declared as containment zone

IT News

Imphal, May 28:

With 7 (seven) more testing Coronavirus positive late yesterday evening and 4 more today, the total number of confirmed positive Coronavirus cases reached 55 in the state of Manipur. On the other hand total number of positive patient tested negative also reached 5 with another positive case testing negative. Total active positive Coronavirus case stands at 50. Authority are expecting rise in the number of patient with the increase in the number of Manipuri residents returning from outside the state. All the persons who have been detected with Coronavirus are outsiders who had return to the state. State government authority said that the virus is not spreading at community level due to the strict measures being taken up.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Imphal East district had sealed a school complex at Kabo Leikai in Imphal East after two person who were under quarantine after returning from Delhi were tested positive with Coronavirus.  Location of the school building is at Revenue Village 25 A-Kabo Leikai Nongpok.

Source said that, the two persons – one from Dewlahland and other from Tellipati in Imphal East were reportedly found loitering around the area leaving the quarantine center. Both were reportedly arrested by a police team. Unfortunately the result of both came out positive with coronavirus.

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More Manipuri residents return from Delhi and Bengaluru in special train

IT News

Imphal, May 28:

Special train from Bengaluru, Karnataka and New Delhi ferrying stranded residents of Manipur, due to the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, reached Jiribam Railway Station yesterday.

Of those returning from Bengaluru, 169 passengers, including 5 babies from Ukhrul and Noney districts in 4 buses, 189 passengers, including 2 babies from Churachandpur and Pherzawl districts in 5 buses, 39 passengers from Kakching district in 2 buses, 47 passengers, including a baby from Chandel district in 2 buses, 41 passengers from Tengnoupal district in 2 buses, 182 passengers from Imphal East district in 5 buses, 32 passengers from Kamjong district in a bus, 284 passengers from Imphal West district in 8 buses, 214 passengers from Thoubal district in 7 buses, 32 passengers from Tamenglong district in a bus, 105 passengers from Senapati district in 3 buses, 153 passengers from Kangpokpi district in 4 buses, 122 passengers from Bishnupur district in 4 buses left for their respective districts. 47 buses of the State Transport Department were utilised to dispatch the returnees.

Of those return from New Delhi,  199 passengers from Ukhrul district in 5 buses, 36 passengers from Noney district in a bus, 157 passengers from Churachandpur and Pherzawl districts in 4 buses, 57 passengers from Chandel and Tengnoupal districts in 2 buses, 39 passengers from Imphal East district in a bus, 81 passengers from Kamjong district in 3 buses, 133 passengers from Kangpokpi district in 4 buses, 152 passengers from Senapati district in 5 buses, 37 passengers from Thoubal district in a bus, 38 passengers from Kaching district in a bus, 78 passengers from Tamenglong in 2 buses, 45 passengers from Bishnupur district in 2 buses and 73 passengers from Imphal West in 2 buses were taken to their respective districts.

Meanwhile, remaining 109 passengers of the train were taken in 3 buses to a quarantine centre in Imphal. 36 State Transport Department buses were utilised for ferrying the 1,234 returnees.  

It is worth mentioning here that due to the inclement weather the returnees from the districts of Thoubal, Senapati, Kangpokpi and Bishnupur were dispatched for their respective districts yesterday morning.

At the Jiribam Railway Station, all the returnees travelling in the special train from Bengaluru were screened by the authorities. The returnees boarded the buses after undergoing necessary screening process and other mandatory procedures under the supervision of the Jiribam District Administration. They will remain in isolation at the community quarantine centres for 14 days.

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JFA mourns untimely demise of journalist Pijush Das

By our correspondent
Guwahati, 28 May:

Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) expresses grief at the untimely demise of Silchar based journalist Pijush Kanti Das, 56, who breathed his last on the night of 27 May 2020 in a city hospital. He
was suffering from renal problems for some time. A pass-out from GC College and Assam University Silchar, Das was working with NewsLive satellite channel as its Barak valley bureau chief since 2008 till his death, prior to which he used to work for NDTv, Jugantar, Amrit Bazar, Aajkaal and a few local Bengali newspapers time to time. Das left behind his wife Santasree Shome, who reportedly donated a
kidney for transplantation to keep him alive, a daughter and other close relatives with a host of well-wishers. A popular personality in Barak valley, Das was also engaged in cultural and environmental
issues.
“Das is the fifth working journalist died in Assam during the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown,” said a statement issued by JFA President Rupam Baruah and Secretary Nava Thakuria adding that ‘earlier we lost Mozahedul Haque, Padmeswar Chitrakar, Bhaskar Dutta and Pranjal Hazarika  to various ailments’.

Issue raised over escalation of cost of raw materials of handloom products

IT News

Imphal, May 28:

While the governments both at the centre as well as the state level are taking steps to increase the production of handloom across the nation in view of the impending shortages due to the increased utilization of fabrics for various medical equipments and other necessary accessories for combating the Covid-19 pandemic which is wreaking havoc around across the world, an unfortunate issue is emerging which could very well escalate into a major problem in the state. According to Leima Traders- a business house dealing in handloom products, the price of handloom fabrics has gone up considerably since the lockdown began across the country as a result of a sharp hike in the price of raw materials. According to the traders, a standard bundle of cotton yarn hanks weighing about 4 kilos costs around Rupees 500 more than the normal price, for example a bundle of silk yarn hanks costing Rs 2400/2500 before the lockdown is at present costing Rs 3000. Similarly, Silk yarn hanks costing Rs 820 per bundle now costs Rs 1150. The increase in the cost of inputs has forced a sharp rise in the Retail/ Selling price of the finished products which is affecting not only sales but even production for some weavers. The traders also expressed the need for the state government to inquire into the matter and resolve the matter before things take a bad turn.   

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AIYF condemns denial of reservation for OBCs in Medical education

IT News
Imphal, May 28:
All India Youth Federation (AIYF) has condemned the denial of OBCs in the allocation of medical seats for the past 3 years since 2017.
A statement of the student body signed by its President Aftab Alam Khan and General Secretary Thirumala Raman said that reservation policy is being undermined by the BJP government controlled by RSS which is always against social justice and reservation.
“Since 2017, under NEET, OBCs are not provided mandatory 27% reservation in all India polled quota of medical seats”, the statement said. It added that those seats have been transferred to general category and hence 10,000 OBC students have been denied opportunity for medical education for last 3 years.
The left wing student body blamed the BJP government terming it as a policy to benefit the upper class students only.
The AIYF demanded allotment of 27% reservation seat to OBCs in the All India Medical Seat allotment.

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RD Minister elaborates on importance of site visit

IT News

Imphal, May 28:

Technical Assistants of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme should visit work sites before preparation of Work Estimate, said Rural Development and Panchatyati Raj Minister Thongam Biswajit Singh today.

The Minister was addressing a One-day Meeting Cum Interaction Programme on Preparation of Work Estimates, Schedule of Rates, Etc. in SECURE, which was held at the Pachayat Bhavan, SIRD Campus Porompat.

Biswajit elaborated that visit to the work sites will help the Technical Assistants in understanding the nature of work and help them in preparation of estimates of projects.

He further instructed the Technical Assistants and the officials concerned to start preparing estimates for 100 days so that the preparation can be concluded during the rainy days. This will ensure that uninterrupted works can be undertaken soon after the rainy season.

Biswajit also said that increase of man-power is under consideration.

During the meeting, Schedule of Rates and other issues were also discussed. DPCs and Technical Assistants also raised their concerns and issues.

At the same time, Biswajit also expressed the need to ensure proper protocols are followed while executing works including physical distancing and usage of mask and hand sanitizers. He further said that DPCs should ensure that workers are utilized in batches so that physical distancing is maintained at the work-sites.

He further expressed the need to focus on utilization of Information Education and Communication fund of the scheme to spread awareness on how to maintain government protocols and guidelines during the COVID pandemic. He said hoardings should be put up in the rural areas in this regard.

Biswajit said the MGNREGS is a wages oriented scheme, and it will help in financially supporting the rural population during this lockdown period. He also instructed the DPCs to conduct frequent meetings with the GRS for the smooth implementation of the scheme.

Deputy Secretary RD&PR Lalrobul Fimate said that RD&PR Minister has proposed improvement of individual beneficiary livelihood improvement under the MGNREGS by taking up certain activities under Animal Husbandry, Horticulture, Housing, Fisheries, Sericulture, plantation of lemon grass and citronella and under Industries department.

He continued that during a Video Conferencing with the Central Ministry on Wednesday, the Minister’s proposal was reflected in a directive of the Central Ministry. He said that the Centre has asked all States to emphasis and give focus on individual beneficiary work, which is likely to be turned into livelihood activities.

Today’s meeting was also attended by Additional Chief Secretary MH Khan, BDOs, MGNREGS officials, among others.

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CBSE students allowed to appear exams in their home town

IT Correspondent

New Delhi, May 28:

Since many of the Central Board of Secondary Education( CBSE) students have shifted to their home town due to the constant extension of coronavirus lockdown, CBSE board has decided to shift the examination centres to their present location, for the examinations of remaining subjects to be held from first July to 15 July, 2020.

CBSE Secretary Anurag Tripathi said that “It has come to notice that due to closure of schools because of the spread of Covid-19 and lockdown, some students are now not present at the station from where they were appearing in the examination prior to postponement of the exams, and it would be difficult for them to appear in the scheduled examination from their existing examination centre. Keeping in view the problem of the candidates, who have shifted to other districts than the district of their examination centre. CBSE has decided to shift their examination centre to their present district”.

The notification will be issued by CBSE in the first week of June 2020 in this regard. Such candidates are informed that they should remain in touch with their own schools and as soon as CBSE issues notification, they should take the suggested action,” the press release said.

Union HRD Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on Wednesday, had also said thriigh twitter, that the CBSE Class 10 and 12 students who have moved to different states or their home districts during the coronavirus lockdown can appear for their pending board examinations there. This announcement of shift in location is expected to give a big respite to thousands of CBSE students who had moved to their home state or districts in view of the COVID-19 crisis.

A total of 18 lakh candidates have been registered for class 10th board exams,  while the class 12 lakh students are appearing for 12th board exam.

SIM swap fraud is a new kind of fraud that is running around in the market and a lot of people have fallen prey to it. It is a sophisticated form of fraud and falls under social engineering. Fraudsters will distribute phishing emails, trying to ascertain as much personal information from victims as possible. Then this personal information is used to swap SIM card.

To avoid falling victim to this scam, users should always exercise caution when revealing personal information online. As such one should use authenticator apps or services which encrypt messages and are not tied to SIM . One should also avoid using SMS as the primary form of authentication with the  bank.

If the calls or texts stop all of a sudden, one should reach out to the service provider to check. One should not disclose the Internet banking password or personal identification number (PIN) to anyone. The banks never ask for this. Usually such calls are made from other states, Paygude said.

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Terror charges framed against Arakanese editor

By - NJ Thakuria

Guwahati, May 28:

Interviewing a leader of an armed outfit in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) and publishing its substance through a portal can be termed as a serious offence against the concerned editor. The fate of Khaing Mrat Kyaw, chief editor of Narinjara news portal, based in Sittwe of Rakhine (also known as Arakan) province in western Myanmar indicates the state of media’s freedom in the Southeast Asian country.

While the world is fighting against Covid-19 pandemic with over a hundred thousand casualties, the Myanmar authorities have framed charges of glorifying terrorism against the editor for uploading an interview with Khaing Thu Ka, spokesperson of Arakan Army, an ethnic revolutionary group, which Myanmar federal  government in NayPieTaw recently denounced as a terrorist organization.

The rebels are reportedly fighting for a homeland for Buddhist Rakhine people in the line of ancient Arakan Kingdom. Rich in natural resources, the Arakan province drew the attention of international media three years back with Rohingya Muslim issues. Myanmar military,

known as Tatmadaw, launched a violent campaign against  Rohingya people forcing over seven hundred thousand Muslim settlers to leave for Bangladesh.

Presently the Arakanese editor is hiding to avoid impending arrest.

The police on 31 March 2020 raided Narinjara’s  office in Sittwe and even temporarily detained three scribes namely Thein Zaw, Aung Lin Htun and Htun Khaing  for questioning. Later on  7 April, they reached to the apartment belonged to KM Kyaw in Yangon and also interrogated his wife on his where about.

Narinjara group that publishes news bulletins both in Burmese and English covers various issues particularly related to Rakhine including the ongoing armed conflicts between Myanmar security personnel and rebel ethnic outfits who remain active in Arakan and Chin provinces.

Various media rights bodies have criticized the NayPieTaw regime  for charging  KM Kyaw under the counter-terrorism laws and urged Myanmar’s special branch to immediately withdraw the procedures. Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) stated that if convicted, the editor would face at least 10 years of imprisonment with heavy fines.

CPJ representative Shawn Crispin commented that the authority should stop threatening journalists who were covering enduring armed conflict and rebel groups in Myanmar. Branding those journalists as terrorists is none other than assaulting the press freedom, she asserted. Earlier Myanmar Press Council  also sent a letter to the President Win Myint along with State counselor Aung San Suu Kyi with an appeal to withdraw charges against KM Kyaw.

Need for greater aggression and sterner actions against COVID-19 pandemic

“Attack is the secret of defence; defence is the planning of an attack.” - Sun Tzu, The Art of War

 It is often said that attack is the best form of defence. “The best defense is a good offense” is an adage that has been applied to many fields of endeavor, including games and military combat but most importantly to everyday efforts which could make our lives that much more satisfying. The present efforts towards combating the Covid-19 pandemic has evidently been focused on containment and harm reduction the world over.

To be fair, the scale of virulence and speed of transmission of the present pandemic caught the world unaware, and ever since have been eluding a cure despite the best and relentless efforts of the best minds and technologies. It has been almost five months since the outbreak, and even without a specific line of accepted treatment, there has been incredible progress and promising developments in the search for an effective antidote, and hopefully one could be found sooner than later. Even without a definite cure, experts have managed to study and understand a great deal about the virus and its characteristics- enough to formulae an effective defensive strategy which unfortunately a huge number of the public even in developed countries have so far failed to follow.

Meanwhile, the rate of transmission continues to grow in most countries across the world, and many are increasingly of the view that it is time to change strategy and adopt a more aggressive manner of combating the pandemic. This new wave of thinking is gaining wide acceptance as it has been proven more times than not that early detection and effective isolation has so far proven to be almost effective in fighting the pandemic, but unfortunately this understanding has not been able to be put to practice as the volume of testing of suspected cases is still very low despite the assurance of the authorities including the Chief Minister of Manipur.

 If the past is anything to go by in the state, these assurances and declarations will mean little until any concrete steps are taken up, as it has become an accepted practice for the government to equate assurances with actual accomplishments albeit without nothing much to show for it in terms of actual results. These practices and mute acceptances have a lot to do with the public perception or rather the lack of it, and if this is to change, the public needs to be more proactive and vocal about issues that needs concrete implementation. There also remains the immediate concern of dealing with those returnees flaunting institutional quarantine regulations which are unfortunately on the increase.

To sum up, the world and the state needs to adopt an aggressive approach towards fighting the present pandemic, and one of the most important aspect would be to sensitize the public in order to ensure their cooperation and support without which the best efforts of the authorities, even with the best of intents would prove to be an exercise in futility.     which are unfortunately on the increase. To sum up, the world and the state needs to adopt an aggressive approach towards fighting the present pandemic, and one of the most important aspect would be to sensitize the public in order to ensure their cooperation and support without which the best efforts of the authorities, even with the best of intents would prove to be an exercise in futility.    

They swam ashore while surviving a Tsunami

By - Kamal Baruah

They’re always ready for action and their journeys always filled with joys in despair that lead to destination. They move bases one after another frequently that only people in the military will understand what TDs (Temporary Duty) are all about. They’re forced to embrace such reality and their kit bags always came first for another move that survive military for any adventure at worst. By doing so, he encountered the most dreadful day at Car Nic, a lesser known island of Andaman and Nicobar where a few are only inhabited. His ideas of islands were a few dots while drawing India map on schooldays. It was a mistaken belief as islands are quite large where even commercial flights run between Port Blair and Campbell Bay via Car Nicobar.
Sundays are usually meant to be a day of rest for men in blue. They were lazily lounging on the 1st floor watching scenic beauty of rising and falling of the sea. He sat sipping tea at 08:30 morning on that fateful Boxing Day beside the sandy, stony, rocky land with the wind driven waves of sea. It was seen peace, calm and sanity as the seashore was remote from the usual tourist routes. His friend a photography enthusiast was capturing the long high tides while a few tourists were sea bathing. Tidal waves were at times gentle but he realised that waves were not caused by gravitational interactions between the Sun, moon and Earth. Something went wrong when he gradually observed into the series of waves and it really crept into his thought.
Suddenly the ocean waves became violent. It was tsunami sending powerful blow to the islands thirty minutes after an earthquake under Indian Ocean at West Coast of Sumatra Indonesia. They heard shouts & cries in despair and people ran for safety. Within a short period, everything washed away by series of rising waves of 100 feet height of a large volume of turbulent water that continued for hours. They were literally swimming inside the building like the sinking Titanic with no immediate clues in mind. Over the course of few hours, people perished while running towards high ground. Localities miraculously survived by taking refuge in trees, floating on debris or piece of wood on a desperate act. The scale of the devastation was very high in single story residential quarters. They swam ashore trapped inside the mess for several hours until floodwaters had receded.
It drags victim’s mind to the grim reality of how much havoc the fury of nature can create while surviving the tsunami. It was a lifeline occurrence of hairline survival of life from the jaws of death. Survivors were enveloped by shock as there was no disaster planning for life boat. They’re fortunate to survive unhurt from the curse of the tsunami. Seven years later another tsunami wave in 2011, after Tohoku earthquake swept away Japan NE Coast. Tsunami is a worldwide natural phenomenon that occurs frequently as a result of minor earthquake because of seismic and volcanic activity associated with tectonic plate. The memories are refusing to die away. The echoes of that morning continued to reverberate throughout their lives where the islands have historical significance.
Car Nic was once under Japanese occupation during 1942-45. The bitumen runway was built during world war and then British Royal Air Force used it as refuelling base for Colombo and Singapore. After tsunami, it remained little for India’s southernmost defence establishment of Indian Air Force; a sentinel lives with a lurking fear of enemy’s misadventure in the Indian Ocean. The morning of December 26, 2004 had changed the entire Air Base into wreckage. The ocean tides claimed 3,500 live including 180 IAF personnel. There was nothing left on the surface except a layer of sandstone in wilderness. It completely washed away and only a few pillars were seen in debris, flattening the entire base.
The tsunami was a result of a mega thrust of 9.1 at Richer Scale, the highest rating had ever in recent history. The death toll in India alone is above 18,000 where Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh were worst affected. The resulting tsunami wrecked great misery along the Coromandel Coast. Indian Ocean Tsunami killed more than 1.5 lakh people and made millions homeless, making it perhaps one of the most destructive tsunami in history. It slammed into the coastline of eleven Indian Ocean countries, snatching people out to sea, drowning beaches and demolishing property from Africa to Thailand. Since Car Nic has an extensive span of sea on all sides it experienced intense damage to the coastline reaching several hundred metres deep into the island.
God spares Noah, his family and animals by the vessel in the genesis flood narrative of Noah’s Ark. Sadly, Islanders’ prayers were not blessed to live through one of nature’s most powerful disasters. It was so devastating that silenced peoples’ emotion after the grief went worse. Survivors had been in fear and trembling, waiting for an airlift to the Indian mainland away by 1300 km. Hundreds of air sorties were made for rescue operation of more than one hundred thousand people under mission “Operation Sea Waves” and “Operation Madad” by the Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard. This writer recalled the silence of death as survivors were broken by cries and sobs after pulling through intense and profound fear.

The writer is a former Air Warrior and now works for SBI Dispur. He can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. M-8638739634.

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