Log in

Thursday, 25 June 2020 - Imphal Times

Dust settled in Manipur’s political conundrum as NPP MLAs finally return to BJP Government

IT News

Imphal, June 25:

Finally the dust in the wind has been settled at what could be term as the complicated political conundrum that stormed in the N. Biren Singh led BJP government after the 4 (four) Nationalist Peoples’ Party (NPP) MLAs return back today. Credit goes to NPP leader Conrad Sangma and NEDA Convenor Hemanta Biswa and of course Central BJP Leaderships for taming the 4 NPP MLAs in changing their minds to change N. Biren Singh from the post of Chief Minister.

Source with the Imphal Times said that, as per directives of the central leadership, the N. Biren Singh government has agreed to restore ministerial berth along with the portfolio to all the 4 NPP MLAs. However, another source said that former Health Minister L. Jayantakumar had bargained for portfolio of Power department, however, it cannot be confirmed on whether the proposal will be accepted by the Chief Minister or not. What is more significant is that N. Biren Singh government is once more secure with the return of the 4 NPP MLAs , even as he was well prepare to face any eventuality to protect his government if in case the Congress moves no confidence motion on the floor without the support of the NPP.

Mention may be made that, soon after the 4 NPP MLAs tender resignation from the N. Biren Singh government and supported the Congress party ahead of the Rajya Sabha election held on June 19, Central BJP leaders and the NPP started worrying as the political animosity in the state between the two parties may impact the relationship between them at both Centre and Meghalaya as NPP is a partner of NDA alliance. Due to the political necessities NPP leader Conrad Sangma and NEDA leader Himanta Biswa Sharma rushed to Manipur on June 21 and tried to console both the 4 NPP MLAs and the Chief Minister N. Biren Singh. However, as the matter could not be solved the two leader left Imphal on the same day and later on June 23 the two leaders came back to Imphal once more to settle the matter. However as the matter could not be settled all the 4 (four) NPP MLAs were taken to New Delhi via Guwahati to find a solution by talking with the central BJP leaders.

Meanwhile, BJP National Secretary Ram Madhav too had rushed to Imphal to console the anger of the Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and to find way to make sure that the NPP return back to the government.

After everything has been settled the four NPP MLAs, after meeting the central BJP leaders return back along with Himanta Biswas and Conrad Sangma in a charter flight and reached Imphal at around 11.30 am. Soon after the arrival all the four NPP MLAs along with Himanta Biswa and Conrad Sangma met governor of Manipur and discussed over the issue for over an hour. BJP MLA L. Sushindro also accompanied the team. Later, after meeting the governor the team then met the Chief Minister N. Biren Singh at around 2. PM. Interestingly, during the meeting only Yumnam Joykumar was present from among the 4 NPP MLAs. Both Himanta Biswas and Conrad Sangma along with MLA Sushindro were present. After discussing the issue the misunderstanding finally has been sorted out, a source close to Imphal Times. The source also added that Chief Minister N. Biren Singh had accepted to restore the Ministerial berth to all the NPP MLAs along with the portfolios.

NPP leader, who is also the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Conrad Sangma along with Yumnam Joykumar came out first and proceeded towards Imphal Airport where they were waited by the 3 other NPP MLAs.

The NEDA convenor who is known as the architect of BJP organization in the North East India, Himanta Biswas instead of leaving directly to the Imphal Airport spent some times at the residence of MLA L. Sushindro. While at Sushindro’s residence, Power Minister Th. Biswajit met Himanta Biswa and discussed about the political issues in the state. The three then left for Imphal airport and reached at around 3.30 pm where they joined Conrad Sangma and the 4 NPP MLAs . They left at around 4 pm today.     

  • Published in News

BJP led Manipur Govt. stable – Ram Madhav

IT News

Imphal, June 25:

The National General Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party on today claimed that government in Manipur is very stable as BJP and its allies have the required support of the legislators to prove its majority in Assembly anytime. He even claims that the political crisis is all about social media discussion.

Speaking to the media in Imphal, Madhav said, as quoted by news agency ANI, “Government of Manipur is very stable, we have the required support of the legislators and government is ready to prove its majority on the floor of the Assembly anytime. There is no instability in Manipur; it is all social media discussion.” 

Government of Manipur is very stable, we have the required support of the legislators and government is ready to prove its majority on the floor of the Assembly anytime. There is no instability in Manipur, it is all social media discussion: Ram Madhav, BJP in Imphal.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh said that the people are with the government. He said, “Yes. People are with the govt, they trust us & believe us, so we can overcome everything. Allegations and counter-allegations happen in politics, but reality is known by people.”

It is to be known that National People’s Party legislators Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar Singh and Cabinet Ministers N Kayisii, L Jayanta Kumar Singh and Letpao Haokip were flown to national capital today morning where they reportedly met Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Following the meeting, BJP’s troubleshooter in the northeast — Himanta Biswa Sarma — took to Twitter and wrote that NPP will continue to support BJP government in Manipur.

Earlier, Congress Legislative Party leader Okram Ibobi Singh moved a no-confidence motion against N Biren Singh-led BJP government. The total strength against CM Biren Singh is now 29- 20 from Congress, 4 from NPP, 3 from Bharatiya Janata Party (who quit on last Wednesday), one from TMC and an Independent. The figure in support of Biren Singh stood at 23, including 18 BJP legislators, 4 of Naga People’s Front (NPF) and one MLA from LJP. Current strength of the state legislative house is 59.

  • Published in News

Labour minister instructs officials to form task force to timely address labour shortage

IT News
Imphal, June 25: 

Labour & Employment Minister Dr. Thokchom Radheshyam had chaired a meeting with the officials of the Department of Labour, Employment and Manipur Society for Skill Development to discuss on feasible ways to fill up the labour gap in the state as result of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also directed the officials to create ‘a task force’ to bridge the gap.
Addressing the officials during the meeting held at Conference Hall, SSA Babupara, the Minister said that once the task force is created, it can collect data, analyse the labour gap, identify the trade/area to provide training so that the labour shortage is addressed timely. 
During the meeting the Minister said that because of the pandemic many migrant labourers have gone back to their respective native places creating a labour gap in the state. The migrant workers who were skilled, unskilled and semi skilled labours were engaged in the building and construction works and other sectors in the state. 
He pointed out that there are certain sectors/areas where there are shortages of skilled or semi skilled local labour as such in the trade of painting, pipe fitting, and tiles installer among others. He said that these gaps need to be filled up with the local labour force by providing them skill training so that labour shortage can be solved. He urged the officials to prioritise the trade and areas where the workforce will be highly required in the state so that the labour gap is filled up.
Dr. Th. Radheshyam said that there are also a huge number of returnees who were working outside the state in different sectors. He expressed that a database needs to be created so that the skilled or semi skilled returnees are identified. These returnees can be utilised to fill the labour gap. He expressed that such initiatives at this juncture will not only provide an opportunity for self reliance to the incoming returnees along with the existing local workforce, but also imbibe a good sense of work culture in the society.

  • Published in News

Baba Ramdev’s COVID-19 cure medicine is in trouble

IT Correspondent
New Delhi, June 25:

Even as Yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s  Uttarakhand based “Patanjali Ayurved Ltd launched  ‘Coronil tablet’, ‘Swasari Vati’ and ‘Anu Taila’, claiming 100 per cent cure of Covid-19, the union AYUSH Ministry has directed his “Divya Pharmacy” to stop advertising such claims. 
While AYUSH Ministry ordered stoppage of publicity of these medicines on Tuesday, the Uttarakhand Government on Wednesday denied having granted any permission for manufacture of these medicines. Similarly the Rajasthan Government denied having knowledge of clinical trials conducted at NIMS University Rajasthan (a self financed university located in Jaipur and recognized by UGC established under the NIMS University Act 2008 by the government of India). Dr Ganpat Devpura, Principal Investigator, NIMS, said that the trials were not peer reviewed and were interim. The final report was awaited. According to information, the trials were conducted only on asymptomatic patients at NIMS. 
At the launch in Haridwar, Ramdev claimed that ‘Coronil tablet’, ‘Swasari Vati’ and ‘Anu Taila’ had shown “100 per cent favourable results” during clinical trials on Covid-19 patients
 in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Meerut and other cities. He claimed that during clinical trials, 69 per cent patients recovered in 3 days and the recovery rate over a period of seven days was 100 per cent. He also claimed that the medicine, manufactured by Haridwar-based “Divya Pharmacy” and “Patanjali Ayurved Ltd”, is the result of a joint research of Patanjali Research Institute and National Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, NIMS University, Jaipur. 
Taking cognizance of the news, The AYUSH Ministry in a statement said, “Facts of the claim and details of the stated scientific study are not known to the Ministry.” The statement said that “Patanjali Ayurved Ltd” has been asked to provide at the earliest the details of the name and composition of the medicines being claimed will treat Covid-19. The information such as site(s)/hospital(s) where the research study was conducted,  protocol, sample size, Institutional Ethics Committee clearance, CTRI registration and results data of the study etc should be provided and till the matter is clarified its advertisements should be stopped. 
On June 2, the AYUSH Ministry had issued a circular to the principal secretaries of all states to take necessary action “against instances of misleading information, fake claims and misbranding”.

  • Published in News

IBSD Sikkim Centre distributes hand sanitizers

IT News
Gangtok, June 25:

Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD), Sikkim Centre, Tadong have handed over locally made hand sanitizers as per guidelines of World Health Organization, to Traffic Police and Police Head Quarters, Gangtok today.
The initiative of free distribution of the above items was taken up under the guidance of Director of the institute, Prof. Pulok K Mukherjee. The distribution was made in view of the shortage of supply and high cost of hand sanitizers in the market area.
Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD), Sikkim Centre has been distributing hand sanitizers to frontline workers to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and is ready to help in the future to fight the pandemic. This is in continuation in the effort of distribution of hand sanitizer and surface disinfectant to frontline workers of Sikkim and providing help to STNM in the form of consumables for COVID testing.

  • Published in News

Young scribe killed, JFA demands punishment to culprits

By our correspondent

Guwahati, June 25:

Joining the chorus of local and international organizations ,Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) also expressed serious concern over the brutal murder of a young scribe at Unnao locality of Uttar Pradesh (UP) in northern India and urged the State government in Lucknow to punish the culprits who were behind the assassination of journalist Shubham Mani Tripathi.

Shubham (25), who was associated with the Kanpur-based Hindi daily newspaper Kampu Mail as a correspondent from Unnao, fell prey to bullets of two shooters on  June 19, 2020 as he was returning home on a two-wheeler. Seriously injured Shubham was taken to a hospital in Kanpur, but he succumbed to serious injuries on his head.

A resident of Brahmnagar in Unnao district, Shubham was a born patriot and used to report on illegal sand mining practices in his locality.

Recently married to Rashi Dixit, Shubham even received threats from unknown individuals, suspected to be illegal miners, for his news coverage. But the courageous scribe did not bother and continued his journalistic activities.

International media rights bodies like Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reporters Sans/Without Borders (RSF) etc have asked the UP police to  transparently investigate the scribe’s killing and ensure that all responsible are brought to justice. Quoting his

brother Rishabh Mani Tripathi, the CPJ asserted that Shubham   was targeted for his works as a reporter.

The police have already arrested Afshar Ahmed, Abdul Bari and Shahnawaz Azhar suspecting their involvement with the murder. They have also launched searches for one Divya Awasthi, who is accused in various land grabbing & sand mining cases and was mentioned in the first information report filed by his brother in the police station.

Shubham had reportedly several arguments with land grabbers as they asked him to avoid reporting their issues.

“So unfortunate that, a committed scribe like Shubham has been silenced. He is the first victim of journo-murder incidents in India this year. We demand justice for Shubham,” said a statement issued by JFA president Rupam Barua and Secretary Nava Thakuria with a fervent appeal to UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath to adequately compensate

the bereaved family.

India as a whole witnessed nine incidents of journo-killing during 2019, but only one incident could emerge as a case of targeted murder.

K Satyanarayana (45) of Telugu daily Andhra Jyothy faced the fate because of his activities as a journalist. He was hacked to death on October 15. Local scribes informed Satyanarayana was targeted in earlier occasions too.

Others who were killed last year include Jobanpreet Singh,Vijay Gupta, Radheyshyam Sharma, Ashish Dhiman, Chakresh Jain, Anand Narayan and Nityanand Pandey. Kerala scribe K Muhammed Basheer was mowed down by a vehicle. Guwahati scribe Naresh Mitra also died in a mysterious accident. Bihar’s scribe Pradeep Mandal was also attacked by miscreants, but he survived..

  • Published in News

Still no checking on corruption

It is now no rumours, there are video evidences of a central government employee asking money for ‘chai pani’ that too to an advocate in return for a service that he has been paid by the peoples’ money. And still there is no action.
Chief Minister N. Biren Singh’s war on corruption, which inspired the citizen of Manipur finally seems to have lost faith in him as those fighting against corruption today face dead threat from persons who claimed to be party of those involved in corruption. Not only that those inspired by the chief minister to stand up against corruption, fails to get protection from the state authority by taking up action against those intimidating the whistle blowers of the corrupt practice of some officials, but are being victimized by arresting them on charges which the court finds it as unfounded allegations.
Transparency - a global movement with the vision to free the world of corruption and having chapters in more than 100 countries leading the fight against corruption describes ‘Corruption’ as the abuse of power for private gain. It is a global phenomenon and is pervasive in almost every society the world over.
Corruption, especially in a state such as ours where strife and unrest is a part of our everyday life, is a consequence of the parasitic nexus between Bureaucrats, politicians and criminals.
Its reach and chronicity can perhaps be gauged by the very fact that at one time, bribe was paid for getting wrong things done but now bribe is being paid for getting right things done at right time.
With yesterday event at which an advocate who had exposed the corrupt practice of an government official arrested on counter charge by leaving aside the complaint lodged by the advocate for death threat, the big question is: Is it possible to contain corruption in our society?
To fully answer the question, it would be crucial to understand certain perceptions and myths such as: Corruption is a way of life and nothing can be done about it, or that only people from underdeveloped or developing countries are prone to corruption. This is being stated with the irresponsive nature of the state machineries. Well, they have limitation to encroach at a central office but the law says that a citizen should be protected from death threat even if the person is a central government employee as it is now a law and order problem which is a state subject.

THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION, 1871-72 AND MANIPUR RELATIONS WITH THE LUSHAIS AND SUKTES

By - Media & Publicity, Research and Preservation of the Zo Identities(RPZI), Lamka.

The Lushai Expedition, 1871-72 was a British Expedition in the Lushai Hills to punish and subjugate the Lushai chiefs for their frontier raids. Such major expedition was dispatched in late November, 1871 in two columns- Left or Cachar Columns under Brigadier-General G. Bourchier, with Edgar as civil officer and Right or Chittagong Column under Brigadier-General C. Brownlow, with Lewin as Civil Officer. Edgar, who was also the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar left Silchar to join the troops on the 6th of December, 1871.
The goal of the Cachar Column was to reach, if possible, the village of Lalbura (Champhai), who had been mainly responsible in the raids of Monierkhal. This Column marched via Tipaimukh to Kholel (Lalhai’s Village), Selam/Chelam (Poiboi’s village), Champhai (Lalbura’s village) and then to Chumsin (the village of Vanhnuailiana’s (vonolel) mother, where the Expedition was concluded and terms of peace were made in February 1872. The only intervening tribes at those times were the Suktes.
Position of Manipur and Chivu Camp:
The Maharaja of Manipur supplied a contingent of about 2000 men to assist in the Expedition, acted under the orders of Major-General Nuthall, the then Officiating Political Agent of Manipur. The Contingent occupied an extended line of posts along the southern boundary of Manipur for the purpose of watching the Lushais and to secure the fidelity of Kamhau (Kamhow). (Alexander Mackenzie: The North East Frontier of India, Rep. 2005, p. 166). This “troops should confine themselves to the protection of their own frontiers, and to opening out roads and maintaining communication through their own territories”. (E.B. Elly- Military Report on the Chin-Lushai Country, Rep. 1978, p. 8). Accordingly, the Manipur Contingent was “moved down towards the south, with orders not to invade or attack the Lushais, but merely to serve as a threatening demonstration against them and as a support to the Soktes.” (Reid: Chin-Lushai Land, p. 15).
But contrary to the orders, Gen. Nuthall moved down the Manipur Contingent as far as Chivu, where the troops stationed there for almost two months until they withdrew on 6 March, 1872 when Bourchier had
concluded his Expedition. The troops were also prevented from doing anything due to sickness in the Camp, lack of provisions and stress of weather. R.G. Woodthorpe wrote, “The Manipur Contingent was prevented by stress of weather from doing anything, and thus ended this Expedition, from which such great results had been anticipated.” (The Lushai Expedition 1871-1872, 1873, p.31).
Position of the Kamhau-Suktes:
Reid also wrote that “the withdrawal of the Manipur contingent from the front owing to sickness, had set free the Sokte Kukis, old enemies of the Lushais, who seizing the opportunity and knowing the panic caused by the advance of the British column, made fierce onslaught on Lalbura under the guidance of Kamhow their chief.” (Chin-Lushai Land, p. 26). “The next day, General Bourchier’s column marched into Champhai, and the following extract from the Pioneer of the 7th May 1872 bears out the Chin story:— “On the 17th February, they (the left column) reached the village (Champhai). But other invaders had been there before them; and signs of war and slaughter greeted them on every side...” (Carey & Tuck: The Chin However, Carey and Tuck themselves wrote “Kanhow was dead; Kochim (Khochin) was now Chief.”
“Kanhow died in 1868…his youngest son, Kochim, succeeded to the chieftainship of the Kanhow clan.”
“As Kanhow died in 1868 and our Lushai Expedition took place in 1871-72, Kanhow did not take part in the war as stated in the Manipur records. Kochim, his successor, was Chief in 1871.” Carey and Tuck continued— “The first event of interest in Kochim’s reign was the part he played as our ally in the Lushai campaign of 1871. He furnished assistance at the instance of the Maharajah of Manipur. The Soktes say that the Manipuris sent a large brass pot to Kochim at Tiddim, and asked him to help them in their war with Vanolel. He joyfully assented, collecting a huge raiding party, which number several hundred men and accompanied by his brothers, set out from Tiddim, and marching two days and one night reached Champai.”
Raja Goukhothang Guite, a Scapegoat:
“During the Lushai expedition Nokatung (Goukhothang), who had gone north, fearing for the safety of his relations, crossed into Lushai and persuaded the emigrants to return with him to settle down in his village (Mualpi). On their way to Mwelpi (Mualpi) they saw the Manipur encampment and, considering the Manipuris as friends, they entered the camp and were treacherously seized and carried off to Manipur, where Nokatung died in jail in 1872.” (Carey & Tuck: p. 19). Mackenzie also wrote, “The Kamhows came into the camp of the Manipur Contingent apparently not expecting to be treated as enemies, but were all made prisoners by the Contingent and taken to Manipur and placed in irons in the jails.” (The North East Frontier, p. 166; Also FPAP August 1872, Nos.70, Appendix C; From Edgar to Bourchier, 21 March 1872).
It must be asserted that Goukhothang (Nokatung) and his followers were not a party of Kamhaus (Kanhows) as stated by some British officers and the Manipuris. Goukhothang was a Guite chief and infact, the Principal Chief of the Guites who were a different clan/tribe from the Suktes (Soktes) or Kamhaus. Goukhothang and his men had gone to the adjoining Lushai Hills of Selam (Poiboi’s village) and Teikhang (Damvum/ Dumboom’s village) to bring back his relatives (not his captives) who had emigrated to the Lushai Hills during the previous years. It obliged him as a result of the turbulence caused by the British expedition of 1871-72. Even if Goukhothang was taken for the Kamhaus, they were but ally to the Manipuris as well as the British during the Lushai Expedition as stated above. The reasons for the act of deceitfully capturing him would have been best known by the perpetrators.
It may be mentioned that Nuthall and the Manipuris concertedly blamed him for a raid in a Manipur village early in 1871. “When referred to about a raid committed on a Manipur village by the Kokatung section in 1871, he declared that it was done without his authority, and that he had very little control over the clan in question.” (Mackenzie: p. 165). It was true that Goukhothang was Chief of Guite, who was different from Kamhaus or Suktes with different spheres of influence. Moreover, not only the Kamhau-Suktes plundered Manipur villages, the Eastern Lushais did the same during 1871, which was the main reason why Pauboi (Poiboi) was gravely sought by the British.
Nuthall, on the other hand, had commanded a futile Expedition in the Lushai Hills in 1869. It adversely affected the prestige of the Company (British) as it failed to achieve any of its objectives. Similar to this, in January, 1857, the Maharaja of Manipur commanded an expedition of 1,500 strong against the Kamhaus, which “nevertheless ended in the disgraceful flight of the Manipur troops… The troops basely left their Rajah, who with some twenty followers, arrived some days after they had reached the valley.” (Mackenzie:p. 164). Consequently, both the Political Agent and the Manipuris were apparently craving for a success and exploited the situation deliberately towards either the Lushais or the Kamhaus during the Lushai Expedition, 1871-72.
Contrary to Nuthall assertions, the Kamhaus/Suktes wanted peace with Manipur. “In the Administrative Report for 1868-69, it was stated that a month after the Manipur force returned from the expedition of 1857, the Sooties sent messengers to Manipur and promised Colonel McCulloch not to molest the Maharajah’s subjects further, that this promise had been adhered to, that they were then decidedly friendly, and traded freely with the valley, and that Kamhow reported regularly any suspicious doings amongst the Lushais, and would remain neutral, or even give assistance…In the beginning of 1871, while the fighting men of the Lushais were raiding on Manipur and Cachar, the Sooties entered the Lushai country and killed
and carried off a large number of Lushais. The Sooties sent the heads of four of the men killed on this occasion to Manipur. It would thus appear that they were not openly hostile to Manipur.” (Mackenzie: p. 156)

Chivu (Chibu) came to limelight as a result of the said Lushai Expedition. Suhas Chatterjee wrote, “Nuthall advanced eastward to break the Kamhow and other cognate tribes, and contrary to the instructions, advanced beyond Tseklapi to Chibu. Upto Tseklapi, the Manipur garrison was successful but at Chibu the disaster followed.” (Mizoram Under the British Rule, 1985, p. 73) While the troops encamped themselves at Chivu, local tradition held that a great number of the Manipuris perished as they tried to drain away the lake water of Chivu.
The only significant event that took place at Chivu was the “treacherous” capturing of Raja Goukhothang and his men when the troops were about to depart. Gen. Nuthall had left in advance and was not directly responsible for the act but he justified and “approved what the Manipur Majors had done, and thus became responsible for their act.” (Mackenzie: p.167). “Edgar was profoundly shocked at the treachery and brutality of the Manipur contingent. He charged the Manipuri Majors as liars and Nuthall as a coward. Bourchier also denounced the action of Nuthall and put squarely the blame upon him in connection with the reverses at Chibu Valley.” (Chatterjee).
Edgar said, “The charge of wishing to attack the camp was probably afterwards invented by the Majors to excuse their own conduct. It is evident that the latter could not resist the temptation of getting possession of the refugees, for the Munipuris are even more eager than the hill-chiefs themselves to get hold of Kookie and Naga subjects.”
Woodthorpe also stated as, “There seems no doubt that the armed Soktes did not go in with the intention of attacking the Manipur depot. This appears to be evident from the fact of their small number, and the absence of any attempt on their part at a surprise. On the contrary, they went in apparently in full reliance on the friendliness of the Munipuris, the chiefs allowing their weapons to be discharged by the Majors without any suspicion of bad faith.” (The Lushai Expedition, pp. 332-333)
Distorted Account of Cheitharol Kumbaba, The Royal Chronicle:
It could well be disputed from the above few records and writings that what has been recorded or documented about the events at Chivu Camp either by the Manipuris or Nuthall as half truth. The “well documented event” in Cheitharol Kumbaba, The Royal Chronicles of Manipur, edited by L. Joychandra Singh are mere exaggerations of minor events, many of which are not found in any other records, either official or unofficial. Though it was stated that the Maharaja supplied a contingent of about 2,000 men (not force), but in nowhere else, there was no mention of another 4000 coolies. The 2,000 men appeared to have included the force, coolies and others together. The actual number of armed force appeared to be 500 as Woodthorpe had written- “The Rajah of Munipur volunteered to assist the last Expedition with a contingent force of five hundred men, under the command of two Munipur officers; and the Government of India, in accepting his services, directed him to place the contingent under the orders of General Bourchier.” (The Lushai Expedition, p. 48)
Woodthorpe continued to write, “While still at Chelam, we heard that the Munipur contingent had been obliged to retire from Chibu, in consequence of the ever increasing difficulty of getting up supplies, and having lost more than half their number from sickness and desertion.” Woodthorpe accompanied the Cachar column as Topographical Survey Officer and therefore, provided authentic and first hand information.
Again, the Chronicle contradicts itself in stating forward that “on 11 January 1872, Sagwaijam Major, Kangba Major the 2000 sepoys, the 3000 Khongjais and 4000 coolies collected stones in a pile near the Maharaj’s foot print.” Where and how did the 3000 Khongjais appear from when it did not mention earlier? The total coolies assigned to Bourchier’s Column were not even more than 2,764 and that of the other 2,791. Similarly, doubtful names and villages of Warunggel, Larakhul, Helhing, Larakhundol, Hawbiran, Thanthou, Lamshaow etc were hardly known in history. The 32 Naga villages consisting of 1126 houses brought in 1st day of moon Saturday Fairel and the Kamhow Nagas as given in Cheitharol were inexistence in the area or within the tract. There was also no Kamhow Nagas and it impossibly is. It could probably mean Goukhothang and his followers.
There was no 2nd Expedition in the history of Lushai Expedition, 1871-72 as was recorded in the Cheitharol as, “On 9 February 1872, 5 guns were fired announcing 2nd expedition against the Lushais.” The validity of the manufacturing or digging of Chibu Salt well still need to be checked which is not known except in this (Royal Chronicle) record. It may be mentioned that Chivu was/is a natural lake which sprung from a salt spring as its source, and there is no sign of man made well in the area.
Prof. N. Lokendra Singh in his “A Brief note on Manipur and the Lushai Expedition, 1871-72”, published in The Sangai Express, June 10-13, 2020 has described about those events surrounding the Lushai Expedition vis-à-vis Manipur based on available sources and records including the Cheitharol Kumbaba, The Royal Chronicle edited by Joychandra. While it is much appreciated as a constructive gesture, it may be pertinent to discuss more on at least some points.
The Expedition and Historical Distortions:
The Cachar Column under Bourchier arrived at Tipaimukh in mid December, 1871, and after marching through a very difficult country, the force reached Selam, Pauboi’s (Poiboi) stronghold on 2 February after evacuating Kholel (deceased Vanhpuilal/Vonpilal’s village) on the 26th December, and arrived at Champhai, Lalbura’s chief village on 17 February, Vanhnuailiana/Vonolel (his father) having expired.
Lalbura was mainly responsible for the plundering of Munierkhel tea garden, Cachar. The troops set out for Chumsin, the village of Vonelal’s widow, who sued for peace and readily accepted the terms of Bourchier. The next morning, on the 18th February, peace was concluded. The other villages of Lalbura were spared. Three hostages should accompany the Column to Tipaimukh. The Lushais should restore all firearms taken at Monirkhal and Nudigram. They should deliver as a fine, a war drums, a set of gongs, an amber necklace, two large tusks, livestock and husked rice. On the 20th February, the conditions were complied with, and on the next day, the force set out on its return and reached Cachar on the 10th March.
The Chittagong Column subdued 22 chiefs in all, and then withdrew after the last troops reached Saipuia’s (Saipoiya) village on 12 February. The number of chiefs the Cachar Column subdued was much lesser in number as can be ascertain from the above.
Under such circumstances, even when the British did not in anyway, subdue as many as 112 villages, there is no issue which could arise on the part of the Manipuris to subdue such a large number of villages when they did not even participate in the warfront or penetrated into the Lushai Hills. There was no chief or village captured and subdued by the Manipuri troops taking into account the historical fact that they neither fought the war nor enter the Lushai country but stationed their troops at Chivu, which is the last point of their reach. Those few chiefs mentioned in the inscription were of course, subjugated by Bourchier forces but not in anyway by the Manipuri troops.
Pauboi (Poiboi) had deserted his village, Selam and did not in anyway submit himself to the British forces when Bourchier arrived at his village. Edgar stated that this was a part of failure of the Expedition. However, according to the Pioneer, 7 May, 1872, he sent emissaries probably under Dharpong to Gen. Nuthall and the manipuries at Chivu camp. It was also probable that he sent another friendly embassies in Manipur (by the end of March) as per the report of the Political Officer, “Since my return, I have heard that some of Poiboi’s headmen were going into Manipur towards the end of last month, and that it was the intention of the Political Agent to advise the Rajah to enter into an alliance, offensive and defensive, with Poiboi….” (Report of the Political Officer with the Left Column of the Lushai Expedition, From J.W. Edgar, Civil Officer with the Cachar Column of the Lushai Expeditionary Force, to the Commissioner of Circuit, Dacca Division,— No. 548, dated Cachar, the 3rd April 1872).
However, Damvum (Damboom) visited the camp as well as Manipur more than once. What has been mentioned in the Cheitharol as revealed by Prof. Lokendra as Dambam, Damboom and Tamboom Ningthou are one and the same person. According to the Political Agent’s report, the Lushai Chief Damboom paid a visit to Manipur in 1872. The Manipur Authorities tried to keep it a secret, but Dr. Brown, the Political Agent sent for him privately as he heard the Chief’s arrival. He was but hurried out of the capital without meeting with the Agent. Brown sent for him and Damboom again arrived. Brown then took the opportunity to ask him to “explain to the Lushais that it was the desire of the British and Manipur Governments to remain at peace with them, that every protection would be afforded them should they desire to trade with Manipur, and to assure them that trade and free communication were most desirable.” (Mackenzie, p. 161).
“But all was not well with Manipur. Though after the expedition of 1872 the Lushai raids into British territory entirely ceased, with regard to Manipur it was not so… Manipur sent deputation to the Lushai country in 1877 with a view to negotiate peace with the tribal chiefs, and some success was attained.” (Chakravorty: British Relations with the Hill Tribes of Assam, 1964, p. 61; Mackenzie, pp. 162).
In Conclusion:
It may also be stated that some of the Political Agents in Manipur like Gen. Nuthall, the Officiating Agent during the Expedition gave one sided and favorable reports for the Manipuris to the disadvantage of the hill tribes like the Kamhaus, Suktes and Lushais. When an embassy was sent under Kikoul by the “Kamhows” to obtain Goukhothang’s release in April 1872, who also brought ivory tasks as either present or ransom, it was the Political Agent who was determined, though the Maharaja apparently wanted his release. It can well be worked out if a thorough study on Mackenzie’s book and some others including Official reports is carefully made. Mackenzie’s work is however, a valuable and exhaustive source of history on Lushai Expedition, 1871-72 with that of R. G. Woodthorpe’s work. Though extensively based on Mackenzie’s, Carey and Tuck’s Chin Hills is another important source of history.
We may conclude that with regard to the record found in the stone inscription, Carey and Tuck has stated as, “the Manipuris claim to have done more conquering than our records credit them with.” As such, the State government may reconsider about its project at Chivu, either by abandoning the scheme or shift the monument somewhere in the valley area. It may kindly do so with necessary adaptation in the inscription.
It is the right and high time for such a positive nod for the good of all.

Is neglecting Crime Against Women a right approach during the crisis of Covid-19?

By: Takhenchangbam Nomita 

We heard many heinous incidents of Crime against Women and Children, in which the incident which occurred on the 13th of June, 2020 at Wahengbam Leikai wherein one unmarried mental disability women delivered a child is yet another sad reality among those which have been reported since the last 2 decades. The area which saddens the most is that the live of the born infant was not able to be saved which could be our future gem. We have been experiencing various critical forms of gender based violence but this recent incident is the most despairing incident as on how she would be able to identify  the culprit which is the saddest reality. Those committing the recent crime could be a habitual offender which only targets those who could not reveal the ordeal.  As a result such criminal goes unrecognized, unprosecuted and unpunished but still questionable when could the law enforcing department book and arrested the culprit. 
Being a women living with mental disability and recently made into a victim of sexual assault by some criminal minded people to fulfil their sexual desire is critical issue and need of serious attention and urgent action is in need from the side of the law enforcing agency in cooperation with the people. We are kept in a dilemma whether the state doesn’t have the proper shelter home for those living with mental disabilities or is it the family members to be blamed for not surrendering to undergo treatment at the shelter homes, if the problem is with the family members than why the family members are not willing to do so? It is very unfortunate to experience such issue to have happened and on the other hand it is highly questionable that was no one aware about her pregnancy while she was loitering around in the localities with her Baby Bump? Now the incident occurred and came into light and how would it be handled and investigated is being awaited. 
We understand that the crisis of Covid-19 is becoming critical and the steps taken up by the state government highly appreciated. However, in a society we are living we came across various unsolved crimes and still such crimes are continuing at the peak hour of the pandemic. My concern is how we are going to deal such issue hand in hand with the crisis of Covid-19? We cannot deny and neglect to handle the issue of crime against women and children having the reason that all are engaged in dealing the Covid-19 crisis. It is good to note that the world already has experienced the Crisis of Covid-19 for the last few months on how to deal with the Covid-19 crisis. We already have faced 85 cases of crime against women and children which includes 15 rape cases, 5 murder cases, 3 suspicious death cases and 2 delivery death till the 14th of June, 2020 from the month of January.   

Subscribe to this RSS feed