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Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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No timeframe for solution of Naga Issue in Governor Ravi’s Address to Assembly

By Oken Jeet Sandham
Kohima , Jan 24

The Indo-Naga political negotiation has been successfully concluded on the 31st of October 2019 at Delhi. The Government, however, could not announce the outcome of it. But the biggest surprise was they announced that the final settlement of the Naga issue would only be arrived at after consulting with Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur and also after consulting with stakeholders.
Therefore, when Governor RN Ravi delivered his maiden Address to the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly on January 17, 2020, we expected that some fine-tuned modalities would be highlighted in the Address for resolving the protracted Indo-Naga political issue. Surprisingly, the Address has not laid out any progress of the status of consultation with Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur or stakeholders. It has been nearly three months since the conclusion of talk. The people have every right to know the progress of consultation as it will culminate in reaching a final settlement of the issue. But they are still kept in suspense.
However, if one carefully examines Governor Ravi’s remark in his Address, an early settlement to the Naga issue would depend on the unity of all the various organizations. Then the veiled warning has come, “If we fail this time, then we will be missing a golden opportunity.”
Will the Indo-Naga issue remain unresolved or will the Autonomous Councils be granted to the Nagas of Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur and then what will be the arrangement for the Nagas of Assam? What will the Government do with the demand of ENPO with regard to a separate frontier Nagaland State or instead grant them an Autonomous Council? Will there be an increase of a Lok Sabha Seat in Nagaland making a total of two or will a Bi-cameral system be given to the State? News has been appearing in mass media ever since the Indo-Naga political negotiation was over that the Government would be working out to grant the aforementioned demands as part of resolving the Naga issue.
Now the question is who has been doing the consultations with Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur and the stakeholders after the Indo-Naga political negotiation was over. It appears that there is no transparency in the process. One is still worried about the fate of the successfully concluded talk.
It is also interesting to see how Governor Ravi will remain as Interlocutor for the Naga talk after the successful conclusion of the talk. Technically, his job as Interlocutor for the Naga talk is over ever since the talk has been successfully concluded on the 31st of October 2019 at Delhi.
When Prime Minister Modi asked Ravi to conclude the talk within three months, he met NSCN (IM) collective leaderships. Later, he criticized them for adopting the procrastinating attitude over symbolic issues of a separate Naga Flag and constitution to prolong the issue. Whatever the case may be, after the talk has been successfully concluded, will the Government still blame NPGs if the solution to the Naga issue is not forthcoming?
Ravi, representing the Government of India, successfully signed the Framework Agreement with NSCN (IM) on August 3, 2015, in presence of Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and National Security Adviser, Ajit Doval among others at Delhi. He also successfully brought the WC of NNPGs to the negotiating table after signing an agreement with them in 2017. Finally, he successfully concluded the negotiation with them on the 31st of October 2019 at Delhi meeting the deadline set by Modi.
Therefore, with the unparalleled experience he had after dealing with the Naga issue and meeting with various Naga civil societies, tribal hohos, and other mass-based organizations, it is generally believed that he would be able to resolve the Naga issue. Unfortunately, his maiden Address to the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly has not reflected the timeframe for the solution.

Hope for the common people; Hopefully the lady IPS officer understands how the common people suffer traveling on Imphal-Moreh road

Every high profile government employee should visit the border town Moreh to find out how the civilians are being harassed in the name of checking by Para Military troopers at Khudengthabi army check point.
Sharing a porous border with the neighbouring Myanmar and with incessant reports of drugs and arms smuggling being carried out in this route, the Assam Rifles have been given full authority to check the flow of illegal articles. Having said so, the kind of harassment meted out to small time traders and civilians visiting Moreh Town is extraneous. Moreh town is Just around hundred and five kilometres from Imphal and there is no reason for a vehicle to take more than 2 hours reaching the place, however, unnecessary detention in the name of checking and entry registrations delayed the journey for almost all common people. During checking there were reports of small time lady traders being harassed and even recently a middle aged lady was reportedly molested by the AR troops at Khudengthabi and the matter comes to light at the public domain only after she dared to challenge. There are several unreported cases of such harassment faced by common people due to fear of unwanted consequences and retaliations.
The recent incident involving a personnel of the 12 AR posted at Khudengthabi reportedly mishandling one lady IPS officer on January 19 afternoon when she was returning from duty at Moreh talks volumes. It suggested in more ways than one that the Para Military troops like the Assam Rifles are not here to assist the state police in controlling the law and order situation of the state. This is a clear sign of the state being run under the whim of the Assam Rifles or Army. It was fortunate that the lady IPS officer returned in civil dress along with her Manipur police escorts in civil dress , as she herself had seen herself how rude can be those at the check point at Khudenthabi.
One important point that people need to ponder on is why the Assam Rifles are providing specific timings and restrictions on when to come or go to Moreh by any individual. Home Minister of Manipur had stated that the law and order has improved and people are free to move any place any time without fear.
With the Indian government casting an expectant gage toward the South East Asia region, traffic along the Imphal Moreh route has been on the rise, and is expected to continue in the foreseeable future. Why is the Assam rifles not opening the road 24x7 to prevent bulk checking of vehicles which either comes towards Imphal from Moreh or from Moreh to Imphal. Congestion at the designated check point may be reduced and the AR trooper might find relaxing time while performing duty.
Inconveniences and harassment to civilians while travelling the Imphal-Moreh road has been a given since a very long time. But none dare to protest against it. Thanks to the lady IPS officer who put up the matter with extreme seriousness. The IPS Officers Association Manipur Chapter has extended its support to the lady IPS officer, the Women Commission has taken note of it and it is time that all travelers along this route either for business purpose or as tourist which had experienced the kind of harassment at Khudengthabi or any other check post should now come out with their story.
Meanwhile, the Assam Rifles’ attempt to cover up the event by trying to prove the action of their personnel as justified is meaningless. Instead they should have implemented a practice or process to make the travelers secure by formulating a mechanism. Perhaps opening of the road 24x7 is one way to reduce the long queue of vehicles for hours . For checking of the drugs and armed smuggling the AR should strengthen their intelligence network as well as implement available technology. Harassing people in the name of checking is not acceptable in a free country. Such authoritarian attitude can only be tolerated and accepted under a colonial regime and nowhere else, especially in this time and age.

Manipur University in Dire Straits – (Part -2) MU authority dishonours RTI Act; Provide false information in connection with expenditure of 105 Indian Science Congress

IT News

Imphal, Jan 23

Information sought through Right to Information Act, 2015 regarding the expenditures of various set ups for conducting of the 105 Indian Science Congress held at Manipur University from March 16 to March 20, 2018, has provided false information by the CPIO of the Manipur University namely T. Shantikumar Singh (Deputy Registrar) MU.

A reply in connection with the queries regarding the expenditure sent to the activist on November 18, 2019, said that he could provide expenditure of Indian Science Congress catering service and Accommodations of the delegate. As provided by him, the MU Administration paid Rs. 5,07,231/- (Five Lakh Seven Thousand two hundred and thirty one)  on January 1, 2019 through electronic transfer to M/S Babina Health Care & Hospitality Pvt. Ltd, Imphal. For Accommodation, a sum of Rs. 53,77,945/- (fifty three lakhs seventy seven thousand nine hundred and forty five) has been paid to M/S Gazal Caterers, Faridabad on March 19 , 2019 through electronic money transfer.

The information was provided in written on November 18, 2019. He added that the MU administration does not have documents of other expenditures.

Imphal Times special team when investigated over the matter found that the CPIO of the Manipur University is not providing the correct information to the RTI activist.              

To the finding of the Imphal Times, total amount allotted to 13 firms for catering, decoration, lighting , stage etc. was Rs. 10,40,89,174.60/- ( Ten Crore forty lakhs eighty nine thousand one hundred seventy four and sixty paisa) .

Of the total expenditures 30%  (Rs. 1,93,56,509./- ( Rupees one crore ninety three lakh fiftysix thousand five hundred and nine) has been sanctioned on March 1, 2018, after approval by the meeting of the 105 Indian Science Congress Purchase & Works Committee held on February 28, 2018,. The committee approved 13 (Thirteen) firms for execution of various work.

Among the 13 firm M/S Gazal Caterers has been approved for payment of Rs. 2,47,80000.00/-. The firm was paid Rs. 25, 00,000/- (Twenty five lakhs) contrary to the reply by CPIO, provided with the acknowledgement of Sandhayarani Ningthoujam , Finance Officer MU and Heigrujam Medha Devi, Project Cashier, MU.

The reply about paying Rs. 53,77,945/- to M/S Babina Health Care & Hospitality Pvt. Ltd, Imphal for Accommodation by the same CPIO is also a misleading information to the Central Information Commission, as there is no name as M/S Babina Health Care & Hospitality Pvt. Ltd among the list of 13 firms approved for implementation of the 105 Indian Science Congress.

Central Information Commission is considered as a fool’s statutory body to the Manipur University authorities as they provided false and misleading information to the citizens which was sought through Right to Information Act , 2015.  

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6 more major rebel group call 12 hours total shut down on Republic Day

IT News
Imphal, Jan 23

Six more major rebel group waging war against the government of India from North East region has called 12 hours total shut down in the entire region which they term it as WESEA, from 6 am to 6 pm of January 26, which the government of India is celebrating the 71st Republic Day of India.
A press statement jointly signed by (Sainkupar Nongtraw) General Secretary, Hynniutrep National liberation Council (HNLC), (N. Oken) Chairman, Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL), (Ksh. Laba Meitei) President, Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), (H. Uastwng Borok) President, National Liberation Front of Twipra (NLFT), (Jiban Singh Koch) Chairman, Kamatapur Liberation Organization (KLO) and (J.K. Lijang) Chairman, People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK) appealed the people of the region to shun such celebrations terming it as an orchestrated event to legitimize foreign rule over region. The statement however said that Religious activities and emergency services are exempted during the total shut down called.
The statement said that the attempt to celebrate the Republic day in North East states by the respective government is purely anachronistic imposition in this part of the world, as the citizens of this region are not allowed to enjoy Republicanism in the true sense of the term.
“The so-called republican constitution of India fails to actually entitle the peoples of this region to republican liberty. Indian rule in our region is theoretically republican, but in reality, deep-rooted oppression of the indigenes is prevalent, which is quite contradictory to republicanism. Oppression is defined generally as unjust relationships between two political entities, persons or groups of people”, the joint statement said.
Stating that the relationship of WESEA with India are unjust to the core, the people are being oppressedand subjugated under an alien rule.
The statement said that celebration of the Republic Day of the colonizer nation by the oppressed and colonized peoples is nothing less than willfully participating in their own oppression. Such irrational behavior of supporting their own subjugation, as shown frequently by the colonized peoples, is possible if the colonizers are successful in gaining control over the political consciousness of the oppressed, that is, in creating false consciousness in the minds of the latter. The process of colonization begins with the use of repressive power by the colonizer to gain coercive control, the statement added.
The statement further said that the next step is to create false consciousness in the depth psychology of the colonized through economic immiseration and soft cultural machinations like weaponization of education, distortion of history, manipulation of media, manufacture of truths out of half-truths and pure lies etc. etc. The third step is consensual control of the colonized through the normalizing power of institutions, social, economic and political. The last step, towards which the WESEA region is rushing at full throttle, is total ethnic assimilation of the colonized after ethnic identity harmonization through planned critical economic dependence, designed demographic invasion and organized cultural transformation. The consequences are foreboding enough to invite armed liberation struggle from the colonized to achieve liberation from colonial yoke and to establish just relationships with other human beings or groups.
“It is a bounden duty of the liberation forces to promote the development of objective political consciousness of the struggling people. To inculcate the minds of our people with true political consciousness, it is imperative to ban such imposed celebrations in our region”, it added.

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