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Saturday, 13 June 2020 - Imphal Times

Lack of discipline leads to spike in covid cases: CM

IT News
Imphal, June 13:
Chief Minister N. Biren Singh visited the new COVID Care Centre opened at UNACCO School, Meitram in Imphal West District today. He was briefed by Health Services Director Dr. K. Rajo and other officials outside the containment boundary of the Centre.
Speaking to media persons, N. Biren Singh observed that lack of discipline among inmates and violation of safety guidelines are the main reasons for the rise of COVID-19 cases in the State. Stating that mischievous inmates would be put behind bars, the Chief Minister said that eight inmates had already been jailed so far.
  The Chief Minister further stated that it was encouraging that MLAs, CSOs and many student bodies have been actively involving in imparting awareness to the inmates of Quarantine Centres so that they may understand the gravity of the situation and realize the importance of maintaining safety guidelines.
N. Biren Singh further said that around 48 patients are being treated in the new COVID Care Centre and the Government is considering to increase the number of beds from 100 to 300. The Chief Minister further informed that necessary manpower has been deputed at the Centre for proper care and treatment of patients. Meanwhile, recovery rate of patients is also increasing, he added.
Stating that RIMS would not admit new COVID-19 patients now, the Chief Minister said that it would be kept as a general hospital while COVID-19 cases would be treated only in JNIMS, COVID Care Centre, Meitram and some district hospitals.
Advisor to CM K. Leishiyo, MLA Kshetrigao AC N. Indrajit, MLA Naoriya Pakhanglakpa AC S. Subhaschandra, Health Services Director Dr. K. Rajo and other officials also accompanied the Chief Minister during the inspection.

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Manipur COVID-19 updates: Total tally climbs to 419

IT News

Imphal, June 13:

In Manipur, at least 34 new cases have been reported, taking the total number of cases in the state to 419.

According to report, out of 34 new cases, 21 cases were reported from Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) and 13 new cases were detected in Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS).

Out of 649 samples tested in JNIMS, 21 came out positive, while out of 454 samples tested in RIMS, 13 were positive.

The active cases in the state stand at 330, while the total number of recovered cases is 89.

No deaths have been reported in the state so far.

Six inebriated inmates of a quarantine centre, who tried to manhandle volunteers in the Bishnupur district, were sent to the Central jail Sajiwa and there has been no fresh trouble there.

Chief Minister N. Biren, who also holds the Home portfolio, said those who violate the regulations will be sent to the jail. The volunteers also threatened that they would quit service and go home if the trouble-makers were not imprisoned.

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Some beneficiaries wrongly entered in PM KISAN list in Bishnupur district – Nodal Officer

IT News

Imphal, June 13:

Regarding the enrolment of ghost villagers in the PM-KISAN beneficiary list in some villages of Bishnupur district, Nodal Officer of PM-KISAN of Bishnupur district Prasanta Oinam in a clarification note said that some beneficiaries who belong to different districts are wrongly entered under the villages of Bishnupur district. The statement said that the wrong inclusion of beneficiaries from other district/villages is caused by the miss match of beneficiaries in the web portal as there are similar village names at different districts of our state. The Nodal officer also stated that the director of Agriculture Department will be requested to remove the wrongly entered beneficiaries from the web portal.

Meanwhile, the clarification fails to convince the villagers of Kwakshiphai and Khoijuman Village. Talking to Imphal Times, a club member of Kwakshipai said that when name of villages are different and districts and block are required to fill in the form how could such a mistake be accepted without taking any action against the wrongdoers.

Read our report on the same : In Bishnupur district, Ghost beneficiaries found in PM-KISAN schemes

On the other hand, Zilla Parishad member of Khoijuman, while talking to Imphal Times said that the DC of Bishnupur district has convened a meeting on Monday with all Zilla Parishad members of the district and Pradhans. The issue will be deliberated and will demand appropriate against the wrongdoer, he said.

Mention may be made that each beneficiary of PM KISAN gets Rs. 6000 on installment basis per year. The beneficiaries are small and marginal farmers of the respective villages. 

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2400 Indian stranded seafarers reach Mumbai

Our Correspondent
Mumbai, June 13:

Nearly 2400 Indian seafarers stranded on different ships and hotels abroad were brought to Mumbai by two cruise liners- “Celebrity Infinity” and “Anthem of the Seas” and were quarantined in hotels designated by the Maharashtra Government.
 While the vessel “Celebrity Infinity” was anchored at the Mumbai Port on Friday, another vessel “Anthem of the Seas” reached Mumbai in the wee hours of Saturday morning. The vessel “Celebrity Infinity” is a passenger ship built in 2001 currently sailing under the flag of “Malta”. The “Anthem of the Seas” is sailing under the flag of “Bahamas”.
The “Celebrity Infinity” which came from Port of Piraeus of Athens, Greece, brought in about 1500 seafarers, whereas “Anthem of the Seas” which arrived from the Port of Gibraltar (a seaport in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar) brought in 924 seafarers.
Both the vessels comprised a sizable number of seafarers from Goa. The seafarers were received by Nicholas Almeida/Adv.Godfrey Pimenta, Adv. Vivian D’Souza andRita D’Sa representing the “Watchdog Foundation” and Adv. Tulip Brian Miranda, President, Bombay East Indian Association.
The swabs of the seafarers were being collected. The non-Goan seafarers will remain quarantined till such time they are allowed to proceed to their homes after they are issued the transit passes for travel by road.
The Goan crew members will be allowed to proceed to Goa and will be quarantined as per the changed Standard Operating procedures (SOPs). As per the prevailing regulations, the natives of Goa are allowed free quarantine, while those from outside Goa are charged Rs 2500 per person.
Now these seafarers would be ready for “sign-on” (to enter into fresh contract)  if the COVID-19 test is negative. In response to the seafarers’ appeal on its COVID-19 module, the Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is tracking around 20,000 seafarers located in the Caribbean, Latin America, Spanish coast, Gulf of Mexico among other areas. Once clusters of seafarers are found in zones like the Caribbeans, they will be evacuated through non-schedule commercial flights.
The seafarers are being evacuated as part of the ongoing “Vande Bharat Mission” for which MEA has received over 1,77,000 requests from Indian nationals stranded abroad, including from the stranded seafarers.
“We are aware of the difficulties that they are facing in the territorial waters of the United States, Suriname, and several other countries in the Western hemisphere. They will be evacuated in due process,” an official said indicating that the window of evacuation is likely to last for the next three to four weeks.
Another batch of seafarers which reached Manila, Philippines, by P & O Cruise Ship “Pacific Dawn”, on Saturday morning, will be coming to Mumbai by air.

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Online survey for people undergoing quarantine launched

IT News
Imphal, June 13:

Youth’s Forum for Protection of Human Rights (YFPHR) has launched Online Survey for people undergoing Institutional Quarantine and Home Quarantine to assess the functioning of Quarantine Centres and other related administrations.
A statement by YFPHR said that the forum received various grievances from the returnees to our state from other Covid-19 Red Zones of India since the evacuation work stated by the Government of Manipur and further launching of the flight services by the GOI during this peak hour of the outbreak.
The Link to the Online Survey will be available at our Facebook Page: Youth’s Forum for Protection of Human Rights and also can reply the questions at our E-mail: youthforum.humanrights @gmail.com or Whatsapp us at +91 7085215248. The Online Survey will end on the 30th of June, 2020. We appeal all the comrades under the Institutional Quarantine Centres and those under Home Quarantine to provide their valuable inputs for betterment of the administration and functioning of the QCs for the future returnees.

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Need for empathy, understanding and responsibility

‘Remember we are fighting the ailment, not the ailing’- an empathic reminder of how our response should be towards the returnees who are undergoing the mandatory quarantine period at various institutional and community centres across the state. Unfortunately, there has been increasing reports of mismanagement by the authorities running these centres as well as unwarranted actions by the inmates. There still are a lot of people who are evidently unaware of the purpose of such centres, and perhaps the level of awareness and sensitization amongst the public remains much to be improved. How would one otherwise explain the recent incidents of people in these quarantine centres venturing beyond the restricted area to meet their girlfriends and friends, of friends from the locality trying to sneak in things to the inmates not allowed within the centre as well as the inmates turning the centre into a place of revelry thereby putting themselves and others at risk of transmitting the virus? Given the present circumstances, it would not be an exaggeration to state that a lot of people who really matters have lost the plot, from those who are entrusted with organizing and arranging the centres to the returnees who are eagerly waiting for the moment when they can be with their family and friends in the safety of their homes. The single most important thing that can successfully stem the spread of the present contagion are understanding and empathy, and what should have been the easiest of prerequisites have turned out to be the most deficient traits.
It is such inexplicable thoughtlessness pervading the society that makes the act of a few worth mentioning, not to glorify the individuals but to try and make the significance of their actions known. After laying his profession on the line to help a returnee under quarantine to bade her last farewell to her departed father while observing the safety protocols to the letter, the SDO of Samulamlan under Saikot constituency of Churachandpur District has once again put humanity before everything else and made possible the transfer of a lady police employed with the CRPF outside Manipur who came back to the state on maternity leave and in her eight month of pregnancy from the institutional quarantine centre to the community quarantine centre much closer to her home so that she can avail of help and assistance, given the advanced stage of her pregnancy while following the prescribed protocols. Such acts of understanding and empathy has shown once again that given the unprecedented nature of the present crisis, what really matters is the ability to go beyond the call of duty to try and find ways to bring solace and relief to people in need.
People who are coming back should be treated with sympathy and understanding and should be made to feel comfortable given the fear and uncertainty with which they have to spend their mandatory period in these quarantine centres. The inmates should also understand the pressure under which the authorities are operating in order to run these centres and take it upon themselves to follow the prescribed protocols so that the dreaded epidemic can be eradicated from the state and beyond. The biggest impediment to the whole effort to contain the epidemic still remains the mindset of a few returnees who are either expecting to be treated as guests of the state or are behaving like detainees. Everyone of us should understand that we all have a stake in taking up the fight against the pandemic, and our actions will determine the safety or otherwise, not only for ourselves but also for those who are near and dear to us.

Protective Thinking: The Unwelcome Delimitation, Part-I

By: Pakinrichapbo, Advocate

The Union Government decision to set up Delimitation Commission 2020 to redraw the assembly and parliamentary constituencies of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has received a mixed reaction from these states and one union territory.
Several stake holders ranging from political parties in oppositions to NGOs have openly stated their reason to oppose the delimitation exercise in their respective states primarily citing the issue of its timing and absence of accurate census. This article shall discuss why the delimitation exercise is not welcome by those who oppose it while at the same time it is welcomed by some stake holders, and why Central government wants to go ahead with delimitation in haste.
Opposition in Assam
Staunchly opposing delimitation exercise, Assam former Chief Minister, TarunGogoi, and other senior Congress leaders have mentioned that, While the next census will be carried out in 2021 what is the use of carrying the exercise now based on 2011 census. This is nothing but an attempt to divert from real issues.
Cited in the Economic Times (1st March 2020), the leader of the opposition party in the Assam Assembly, DebabrataSaikia argued that there is no change in the state. The National Register of Citizensexercise is yet to be completed and there will be further complication due to delimitation.
Opposition in Manipur
Three time Chief Minister and present Congress Legislative Party (CLP) in Manipur, OkramIbobi Singh, said, The Congress will never support the delimitation plan. It is also a bit confusing that the BJP- led coalition Government in Manipur has not spoken a word. He further explained that the government should not turn a blind eye to the inevitable fall out. He further added that his party will never support Central government to carry out delimitation move at a time when people are struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Okram Joy, another veteran politician, also questioned Central government urgency to launch delimitation now when the government had frozen the 2011 Census and that there would not be delimitation until 2026 (Cited in The Hindu, 28th May 2020). He also stressed that due to 200 increase in the population of the hill district of Senapati and just 2 increase in Imphal valley, around four assembly constituency seats may be given to the hill districts and fears that valley districts will see a decrease in its assembly seats.
Opposition in the UT of J&K
With respect of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the situation seems chaotic as the reasons for oppositions to delimitation exercise vary from party to party. The National Conference (NC), whose three MPs including Farooq Abdullah were nominated as members of the Delimitation Commission by Lok Sabha Speaker, Om Birla, on 28.05.2020, rejected the whole process on 29.05.2020. The NC stated that they will not participate in Jammu and Kashmir Delimitation Commission.
The NC spokesperson said participating in the Delimitation Commission will be tantamount to accepting the events of August 5, 2019, which the NC is unwilling to do. Whereas the Reconciliations, Returns &Rehabilitation of Migrants, a Delhi based-NGO of the Kashmiri Pandits, has urged the centre to stop the delimitation process in Jammu and Kashmir since 2011 census is used for the purpose which would keep the pandits out from the process. More than two lakhs Kashmiri pandits are not enrolled in the electoral roll of Kashmir. The NGO maintained that the delimitation should start after completing the domicile process of the Kashmiri Pandits to give appropriate figure of their population, especially for those who are enrolled in their respective parliamentary constituencies as specified in their domicile certificates.
Opposition in Nagaland
Unlike their counterparts, Nagaland reason for opposition the delimitation is quite unique in their own unique way (as the people in Nagaland generally consider themselves to be Unique). Several factors, which most Nagaland political parties as well as some tribal organizations took as their justification for their opposition to the delimitation exercise, are worrisome as they reveal the old mentality of a tribalist. In other words, state actors appear more worried to see decrease in their district assembly constituencies that will no doubt reduce their share of fish and loaves post-delimitation. NDPP, through its press statement dated 08.03.2020, pointed out the Naga political talk which, allegedly, is at its advanced stage of inking a final settlement , along with other reasons like tribal equity, dynamics of district representation, consultations with the apex tribal bodies, and mass based organizations, etc. as the reason for their opposition. Yet, these are not really the case here. Rather, what is really required in Nagaland at this point in time is political honesty from all political parties to prevent manipulation of electoral rolls and ensure the Census is accurate so that the Delimitation Commission can table a fair report upon which the government can act on the recommendations.
Certainly, the assertion of carrying out delimitation, even when notification is issued for 2021 census, to some reasonable degree sounds reasonable because delimitation based on past census of 2001 may not give the best approximation of the ground reality. On the other hand, however, the Naga PeoplesFront (NPF) and the Nagaland Unit of the Janata Dal United (JD-U) have welcomed the delimitation. Nevertheless, the true color of any political party will be revealed once the delimitation exercise starts.

 

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