The Peoples Chronicle

The Peoples Chronicle

Ningol Chakkouba : Celebrating the Special Bond

Ningthoukhongjam Sabita

Ningol Chakkouba, just four more days to wait for. You can literally feel and see the excitement everywhere. Just watch the excitement and enthusiasm of the Chakkouba shoppers in the Khwairamband Keithel. That is the beauty of this unique festival which never to fail to excite all the married Manipuri women. The joy and happiness this festival brings has no parallel in our lives.

Words sometimes cannot describe our feelings. And words fail me as I attempt to describe how I feel on Ningol Chakkouba day, an important day for all married Meitei women irrespective of age. The feeling of excitement, enthusiasm and happiness that married Ningols (daughters) experience on this day will defy any description. The day is Very Special and we all feel it. Nothing can dampen the spirit of Ningol Chakkouba.

The enthusiasm is easily palpable and visible everywhere. The sea of anxious Ningol Chakkouba shoppers in the Khwairamband Keithel rushing from one shop to another, one market to another days before the Day, the countless number of Ningol Chakkouba melas organized by various government departments and voluntary organizations in different localities and public places to help Chakkouba shoppers and at the same time promote handloom and other local products, the fish melas that are being held on the eve of Ningol Chakkouba and efforts of fish farmers to produce more indigenous varieties of fish especially for the occasion show the importance of this festival. Each and every mela is crowded.

Little wonder the crowds in the markets become bigger and bigger with each passing year, the police having a hard time trying to keep them and the chaotic traffic under control. Everyone seems to be out in the markets making some last minute purchase. This year too, the crowds in the Khwairamband Keithel will be worth seeing. The market places in Imphal which always look deserted soon after dark never fail wear a busy look at night during this festival.

You know a married woman feels on top of the world the moment she receives the invitation in the form of diced betel nuts and leaves placed on a banana leaf.  Her heart swells with pride as she feels the importance of being a woman, a daughter, a daughter-in-law. She is invited to her maternal home by her parents and brothers. Can you imagine a daughter being formally invited by her own parents to her parents’ home? She will be a guest there. Her happiness is equally shared by her children who will be going to their maternal grandparents’ home with her.

I remember those days when we children would get dressed as early as possible and wait for our mother to finish the chores and get ready. The wait was always long as my mother and aunt, my uncle’s wife had to prepare food before the arrival of my aunts (my father’s two sisters) with their children. We never went to our maternal grandparents early and we were no exception. Almost all the married women had to prepare the day’s food before leaving for their husbands and in-laws. I know, of course, some families where men do the cooking on this day. Their number is very few but their wives must be very happy to have escaped cooking on Ningol Chakkouba. With so many Eigyagee Chakshangs (Kitchens run by professional cooks that provide catering) available in different localities, I am sure women can have a sigh of relief.

The last few years witnessed many civil society organisations celebrating Ningol Chakkouba by inviting married women belonging to different religions and communities. I love watching those married women in all their finery attending the celebration. The occasion not only provides an opportunity to women of different communities to share a meal together but to understand and appreciate the tradition of another community. This trend must be appreciated and followed in the coming years to strengthen the bond among all the communities living together in Manipur. This year the celebration began in advance. The Imphal East district police invited members of various women’s organisations at a feast on Diwali. I do not know how people would react to it. But it reminds me of the fact that the police are also a part of our society.

Many have expressed their views and concern about the way Ningol Chakkouba is celebrated in the last few years. The general feeling is that this traditional festival has become more of a showbiz and that there is competition amongst households when it comes to giving Dakshina to their daughters and sisters. Daughters and sisters have been accused of demanding expensive Dakshinas from their parents and brothers. So far I have not come across any daughter or sister who demands expensive gifts from their parents and brothers.

When I watch TV serials on Ningol Chakkouba which showed the predicament of a poor father or brother who could not afford the Dakshina his daughter or sister wanted I get very depressed. When did a daughter become so obsessed with what she wanted from her parents on this “DAY”? Or when did a father or brother become stupid enough to succumb to the unreasonable demands? We must not fail to understand that the Ningol Chakkouba festival is the celebration of the everlasting bond between parents and daughters, brothers and sisters rather than a mere display of gold ornaments and beautiful clothes and expensive gifts. Let us not make a mere show of tradition but try to sincerely uphold our unique and beautiful tradition and culture.

I wish a very happy NINGOL CHAKKOUBA to all the Manipuri women. May NINGOL CHAKKOUBA bring all the happiness, prosperity and peace to each and every home in Manipur.

The writer is the Executive Editor, Impact News and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Modi wave only in Haryana

Amulya Ganguli

It’s a half-way house for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The party’s hopes of forming governments on its own in both Maharashtra and Haryana have come true only in the northern state where its remarkable performance in the parliamentary polls has been replicated in the assembly elections.

In Maharashtra, however, the BJP is unlikely to be satisfied with only the status of a No. 1 party since it exposes it to the possibilities of Machiavellian compromises with either estranged friends or even outright foes.

The reason why the BJP finds itself in such a predicament is clear enough. For a start, its excellent showing in the Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra when it won in 23 of the 48 parliamentary constituencies made it believe that it was time to dump its ally of 25 years, the Shiv Sena, and strike out on its own.

Since the BJP had been smarting under the exigency of having to play second fiddle to a regional partner with a reputation for rowdiness all this while, it could hardly be expected to forsake the opportunity provided by its stellar showing in the Lok Sabha elections.

However, the mistake which it made in its hubris is to overlook the fact that the Shiv Sena didn’t fare too badly in the parliamentary polls since it won 18 seats, coming second to the BJP.

The BJP now has to pay a price for this error of judgment since its earlier belief about the Narendra Modi magic sweeping Maharashtra has been nullified.

There doesn’t appear to be any alternative left for the BJP, therefore, but to renew its ties with the Shiv Sena notwithstanding the charge of a backstabber which the latter had levelled against the BJP.

The present reality check is likely, however, to persuade both parties to come down from their high horses and shake hands again. But, they will have to wear a shamefaced look all the same if only because their opponents will not let them forget the bitterness of their parting.

For the Shiv Sena, it is a victory of sorts. First, the party has proved that it is the real inheritor of Balasaheb Thackeray’s legacy, relegating the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to the position of a pretender.

Secondly, the outcome has substantiated the Shiv Sena’s argument that there was something unreal about the much-hyped Modi wave during the campaign for the parliamentary polls, for the Gujarat strongman had not able to breach the regional fortresses of the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, the Biju Janata Dal in Odisha and the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal.

By that token, the Shiv Sena leader, Uddhav Thackeray, has been claiming that an influential regional party can negate the Modi wave, as the now virtually defunct Aam Admi Party did in Delhi in the winter of 2013-14.

By coming in the way of the BJP acquiring a majority on its own in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena has partly proved its case. It is now in a position to make the BJP realize that Modi’s development mantra is not strong enough to cut the regional parties to size although the promise of economic growth can significantly erode their bases of influence.

It is in Haryana, however, where the BJP is now the master of all it surveys. More than in Maharashtra, where the party has always had a notable presence, even if in the Shiv Sena’s company, the BJP was a virtual nonentity in Haryana where it won a mere two and four seats in the 2005 and 2009 assembly elections.

Yet, it came out of the blue to win seven of the 10 parliamentary seats last May, sweeping aside the Congress, which won only one and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), which won two.

The erroneous nature of the explanation that this excellent showing was only the result of the high level of popular disenchantment with the Congress has been proved by the BJP’s carrying on from where it left off five months ago to secure a majority on its own in Haryana.

In the process, it has reduced the Congress to the third position, an outcome which most observers will ascribe to the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government’s suspected bounties for Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law, Robert Vadra, where his land deals are concerned.

The INLD has come second, but its tally has dropped below the 31 it secured in 2009. Even then, the Jat-dominated party has shown that the incarceration of former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala has affected it only marginally.

The BJP, however, can derive considerable satisfaction from having entered a state where it was virtually non-existent till last May, securing only nine or 10 per cent of the votes. In May, however, the percentage surged to 34.

It’s, therefore, a mixed bag for BJP. The party is now in charge of India’s financial capital at a time when its pro-market policies are giving the country a distinctly capitalist orientation as never before. At the same time, it must be somewhat dissatisfied that it is not in full control.

In Haryana, however, the BJP has conquered new territory.

 

(Amulya Ganguli is a political analyst. The views expressed are personal. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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“Reign of police terror in Manipur”

By: Wahengbam Joykumar,

Executive Director, HRI, Manipur

a)      Status of compliance with the obligation of proactive disclosure of information by the police and prison departments – assessment on the basis of sample studies

The following organizations under the Department of Home, Government of Manipur vide notice NO.11\4\2005-AR dated 25th October, 2005 are exempted from the purview of the Right to Information Act, 2005:

(1) The Manipur Police Department comprising of - ------

         (i) Civil Police
         (ii) Manipur Police Wireless
         (iii) Manipur Rifles,
         (iv) India Reserve Battalions,
         (v) Intelligence Wings (Special Branch & Crime Branch of C I D)
         (vi) Forensic Science Laboratory,

            (2) Jail Department, and
            (3) State Vigilance Commission and its subordinate offices”

-     We cannot challenge this exemption till date.

-     There is no proactive discloser in the website of Police and Jail Department in  

Manipur and the FIRs, details of arrest and arrestee etc. are not uploaded in the   police website.

-       There is only one SPIO i.e. Special Secretary (Home) in the Home Department.

-       On 12th September 2011, the tenure of the State Chief Information Commissioner had expired. The Manipur Information Commission has been stopped functioning from September 2012 as a consequence of the Supreme Court Judgment in Namit Sharma -Versus- Union of India and there is neither CIC nor SIC in Manipur Information Commission(MIC) since 31st March 2013.

-       On 29th May 2013, the High Court of Manipur passed an order to appoint the CIC and SIC of MIC in the PIL W.P. No.12 of 2013 filed by the High Court of Manipur Bar Association but the State Government has failed to comply this order and consequently, a contempt of court has been filed in this regard and the case is pending before the H.C.

(b)   Status of compliance in Police Departments with the obligation to proactively disclose information about individuals arrested for the alleged commission of various offences under the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973;

-       There are Police Control room at state level and district level but no discloser.

-       No display on the notice board kept outside the control rooms at every district, the names and addresses of the persons arrested and the name and designation of the police officers who made the arrest.

-       No discloser by the State Police Head Quarter except some press releases.

-       Even the rights of the citizens at the time of arrest, detention and interrogation (provisions of Apex Court order in DK Basu Vs Union of India-1997) are not displayed in the police stations; Even if displayed, it cannot be properly seen by the public.

-       Any citizen can be arrested without issuing arrest memo or warrant.

-       Police is also used to settle personal grudges and recovery of money without lodging any FIR or complaint.

(C) Disclosure of Open Datasets pertaining to the incidence of crime, prisons, and disposal of criminal cases by courts:

- No such open datasets is disclosed

- Some journalists who are working on law-courts matter reported some cases from time to time.

- The Police have failed to investigate and submit charge sheets in most the of cases and human rights violation cases within stipulated time period.

- Majority of the cases are pending in the hands of police under the category of investigation.

- In Imphal city, any personnel of traffic police, police commando or police can beat any citizen in front of public for mere misconduct which is not treated even to the animals in the civilized society.

(c)    Potential for human rights advocates and civil society actors for seeking greater accountability using the Open Datasets; and

-       There are few CSOs and HR advocates in Manipur as the State repression is so severe and turmoil of armed conflict situation.

-       Some of the NGOs and CSOs are doing this job with risk.

-       There is no pro-bono advocate due to fear psychosis.

-       Working on transparency and accountability is very high risk in the states where there is armed conflict situation. It is also followed by severe corruption and the malpractice and it is becoming a socially accepted norm on the ground of threat by the armed opposition groups (non-State Actors) in functioning of Public Authorities and it may be used as one of tools for counter insurgency also.

-       The CSOs working in the field of Human Rights in the Armed Conflict Situation have been discriminated by the State and even funders.

e) Sharing of experiences and best practices of embedding transparency in  

     the police and prisons departments;

-       Filling multiple RTI applications including social audits if the Manipur Information Commission is functioning,

-       Writing to the Central Government because the Public Authorities of Government of Manipur considers the instructions of Central Government seriously as they are sustaining on the central assistances because the state could not mobilize enough resources. However, the Central Government is not also sincere and avoiding their responsibility of taking action against errant officials by taking bribe from the state authorities when they come to the State for monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of schemes/works. Again, the State list and Central list is also another problem.

-       Sometimes we may approach to the Supreme Court/High Court/other appropriate Grievance Reddressal Forums because orders of the SC/HC can be worked out in such matters.

f) Refining the templates for proactive disclosure of information at the police station level developed by CHRI and adopted by the Ahmedabad Police Commissionerate.

- If the Central Government or Apex Court adopts it, it can be implemented,

- The State government is against the idea of working and collaboration with the     

  CSOs/NGOs.

5. Conclusion:

The criminal justice system of the country is like a totally failed in Manipur and we have to work out by taking risk in all respects. There is peace where there is justice. Human Rights Defenders must work more with risks to improve the existing system by bring a change. Corruption is dangerous hurdles/obstacles in the peace building process in Armed Conflict Situation. Solution lies in the active participation by and cooperation between the State Authority and public in general and with CSOs in particular.

concluded

Wahengbam Joykumar presented this article in a Two Day National Conference on People’s Right to Information: Assessing Compliance of Police and Prison Authorities with the Transparency Regime held at Grand Hotel, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi on 20th & 21st September 2014

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Secure the lifelines

In the latest incident which once again underscores the vulnerability and risk of travelling in our lifelines, a handyman of a truck was injured when unidentified gunmen opened fire near Kombiron under Nungba police station.  This of course is not the first time such an incident of attack on those travelling along the two national highways which connects Manipur to the rest of the country. Many dirvers, handymen, passengers, have been harassed, physically assaulted and at times even killed by miscreants and armed groups along these two lifelines on number of occasions. These incidents have, on numerous instances prompted demand for making the highways more secure and safe for those travelling along them. Responding to these concerns raised time to time, the state government has been making arrangement for the freight trucks, tankers, passenger buses etc to travel in a convoy under security escorts. But clearly, such a step has not been adequate to address security and safety issue. For, even those travelling under security escorts continue to remain vulnerable; perpetrators continue to strike with impunity. The latest incident is yet another illustration of the fact that security escort is not deterrent enough to stop these attacks. Much more is needed to be done to enhance the security along these lifelines of the state. The proposal for setting up a dedicated Highway Protection Force has been in the offing for a long time and even decades after this idea was first floated, the establishment of such a Force is nowhere in sight. Incidents after incidents of attacks along these lifelines underscores the need to have a force which is specially trained just for the purposes of keeping these highways safe and secure for travel. It is high time the state government pursues this matter with some degree of seriousness and make it a reality in near future. Another area of concern is the perpetual deplorable of the condition of these highways which is always in the process of getting repaired but never gets completed. Ensuring that the road are in good condition making it possible vehicles for vehicles to drive smoothly on it not only adds to the pleasure of travelling on these roads but also contributes to the security aspect. Considered from all these different angles, it is absolutely desirable to keep these roads in tip top condition. Then there is the problem of blockades which time and again disrupts flow of traffic on these highways and consequently halts bringing in of essential items needed by the state. And many a time freight trucks, fuel and LPG tankers are forced to travel even in times of economic blockade putting the drivers of these vehicles in grave physical dangers. There are already laws in place which can be invoked against organisers and sponsors of these blockades but the state government does so rarely for various reasons, some of which may not be valid at all. We think it is time a dedicated cell of the government to look into the various aspects of keeping the lifelines going is put in place. The cell could be empowered to liaison with various other agencies concerned with security, maintenance of the lifelines. This will ensure coordination between various agencies to do the needful to keep these lifelines open at all times. Whatever it is, the government needs to come up with some radical steps to make our lifelines safe and secure.

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Dwijamani wins Hiyanglam by-Election

defeats nearest rival Dr Radheshyam of Trinamool Congress by 1829 votes

Elangbam Dwijamani Singh of Indian National Congress has reclaimed the Hiyanglam assembly constituency winning the Hiyanglam by-election by a margin of 1829 votes from his nearest rival. The INC nominee led in 20 of the 34 polling stations where a total of 23,247 votes were cast.

With Dwijamani’s victory the number of Congress party legislators in the 60-member Manipur State Assembly has risen to 48, inclusive of the five MSCP MLAs who had merged to the Congress some months back. 

E Dwijamani polled 9008 votes while his closest rival Dr Yumnam Radheshyam of All India Trinamool Congress had the mandate of 7179 adult franchisees of the assembly segment, by-election of which was conducted on October 17, subsequent to the untimely demise of MLA Maibam Kunjo of AITC.

Kunjo’s son M Dhanabir contested the by-poll on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket but failed to emulate his late father as the people’s representative for he got only 6306 votes out of the total of 24,892 eligible voters in the constituency.

Mayengbam Amutombi of Manipur People’s Party (MPP) and Thokchom Laiba of Manipur State Congress Party, the two other candidates who were also in the fray, fared poorly securing only 615 and 93 votes respectively.

 Counting of votes, carried out in nine tables, at the Thoubal district headquarters office of the Deputy Commissioner, from 8 am Monday concluded shortly after 9 am.

A visibly elated Dwijamani, after collecting the official document (certificate) of his by-election victory from the Returning Officer Th Charanjit, told media persons that his win vindicates trust of the people upon the Congress party and people of the constituency’s expectation that he would live up-to their expectation in ushering development in the assembly segment.

Thanking the people for giving him another opportunity to serve the people, Dwijamani, who lost to (late) M Kunjo in the 10th Manipur Legislative Assembly election by a narrow margin of 17 votes, also attributed his success to concerted efforts of Congress leaders and other party workers.

Conceding that it would be impossible to satisfactorily execute all welfare/development programmes for the five-year term within remaining period two years and three months, he nevertheless affirmed to complete pending projects which he and his predecessors could not complete during their respective terms.

Noting that Hiyanglam being blessed with fertile soil and natural resources has tremendous potential for economic development, Dwijamani also emphasised on sustainable development in the constituency so that the fragile environment is not compromised for the sake of developmental projects.

Confiding that he is determined to continue the rain-water harvesting projects which he initiated during his last term as Hiyanglam MLA, the re-elected legislator said subsequent to launching rain-water harvesting schemes people of Hiyanglam did not endure any hardships related to shortage of water, which was a common phenomenon throughout the state last year.

Dismissing as speculative, state unit BJP leaders’ often-repeated remarks that existence of the BJP-led government at the centre will ruin Congress party’s chances of retaining power in the state after the current stint, he said extended rule by the Jyoti Basu government in West Bengal despite different political parties or alliances holding the reign in New Delhi is testimony that there is no commonalities in central and state politics.

Moreover, the Indian Constitution clearly defines responsibilities of the central and the state governments and as such there should be no apprehension that the Congress government in Manipur suffer due to existence of the NDA government at the centre, he maintained.

Compared to Dwijamani getting decisive votes in 20 polling stations, the AITC nominee led in 10 polling stations and BJP at only 4 polling stations. Out of 23,247 votes cast in the by-election, a handful of electors had no faith on any of the five candidates as the electronic voting machines used for the by-poll revealed 46 voters pressing ‘non-of-the-above’ (NOTA) buttons.

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Gaikhangam belittles Modi-wave

Clearly elated by the victory of the Indian National Congress in the Hiyanglam assembly constituency by-election, Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president and Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam said the thumping mandate of the people is a confirmation that the so-called Narendra Modi wave is yet to reach Manipur

Interacting with media persons at Congress Bhavan on the side-lines of celebrating Elangbam Dwijamani’s triumph in the by-election, the Dy CM crediting the win to intense campaign by Ministers, and party MLAs and workers and reaching out to the people of the assembly segment also said that the mandate vindicates people’s belief on the government of Manipur led by Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh.

Contrary to the people of Manipur reposing their faith upon the Congress organisation, the fact that BJP could not even manage second position finish in the by-poll suggest that the Modi wave has no impact in the state.

Despite overwhelming majority in the assembly party legislators should always keep in mind that betraying the people will eventually backfire sooner than later, cautioned the Dy CM.

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DHAULA KUAN GANG-RAPE:

Five 'psychopaths' get life term

 

A Delhi court Monday awarded life imprisonment to five men convicted in the Dhaula Kuan gang-rape, calling them "psychopaths" with no regard for the honour of women and a "threat to society".

"It is the demand of justice that they (convicts) should be kept from the society as long as possible," said Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat.

The judge also held that the crime committed by them is "intensively grave, serious and odious in nature".

The five convicts - Shamshad alias Khutkan, Usman alias Kale, Shahid alias Chhota Billi, Iqbal alias Bada Billi and Kamruddin -- were found guilty of abducting and gang raping a 30-year-old call centre executive in Delhi in 2010.

The court had convicted them Oct 14.

It also slapped a fine of Rs  50,000 on each of the convicts, who were present in the court during the pronouncement of the judgment.

Soon after hearing the verdict, Shahid fainted in the courtroom.

The convicts' families who are disappointed over the judgment, have decided to challenge it in a higher court.

The verdict said: "It has come on record that all the convicts were married at that time, having children and still they were roaming on the roads in Delhi in search of a soft target to satisfy their sexual lust. This manifests that the convicts are psychopaths having no regard for the honour and dignity of the women folk in the society and thus are a threat to the whole society...."

The court said: "The rape victim has to live with the scar of rape throughout her life and the incident shatters her life as well as her dreams in a violent manner."

It also said that such incidents diminish to a large extent the marriage prospects of the victims.

"In the instant case, I was informed that the rape victim had to leave her job, wherefrom, she was earning handsomely, soon after the incident and shifted to her native place in the northeast where she is making both ends meet by running a petty shop. This amply indicates the impact of rape on a victim," said the court.

The judge also said that the society itself looks upon this crime with utmost indignation and abhorration and expects the perpetrators of the crime to be dealt with sternly.

"The court, while sentencing an offender, cannot ignore the impact of crime upon the society and the society's expectations upon the court in dealing with such criminals. In other words, imposition of sentence without considering its effect on the social order would be a futile exercise," it said, refusing any leniency to them.

The five men abducted the woman, who hailed from the northeast Nov 24, 2010. At that time, she was walking home with a friend after her shift had ended, according to police.

The abductors took her to Mangolpuri, gang raped her, and left her on an isolated road.

The men were later arrested from Mewat region of Haryana.

After the incident, Delhi Police ordered all BPOs in Delhi and the National Capital Region to drop women employees home after their shift ends.

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Manipuri pushed off train, dies

A Manipur student identified as Soram Kanta (25), son of S Budhi of Luker Maning Leikai died after being pushed from a running train, allegedly by fellow passengers of Dibrugarh-Yesvantpur Express (15902), in West Bengal on October 19.

Family members of the victim informed that he boarded the train from Dimapur on October 17 and contacted his mother on Oct 19 evening from Howrah station, West Bengal.

When contacted again later in the night, his phone was picked up by someone identified as Akbar alias Kalam, a passenger of the train, and informed that he was pushed off from compartment by some unidentified persons while seating near door of the train. His death body was found at Uleberia near Howrah station the same night. Family members have filed a FIR at Patsoi police station, Imphal today morning and they will leave for Kolkata to collect the soulless body of the victim.

He was a computer diploma student of a college in Mangalore under Manipal University.

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ATSUM to launch highway blockade from today

All Tribal Students' Union Manipur (ATSUM) is all set to resume road blockade agitation under the code name ROTO (Reckoning of the Other) from the early hours of October 21, asserted its president Muan Tombing during a press meet held at the office of student’s body located at Nagaram on Monday.

Speaking to the media persons, Muan Tombing stated that ATSUM has been repeatedly demanding genuine rights of the tribal people to the government of Manipur since 2005.

Stating that Manipur government has failed to fulfil pending demands though an ultimatum was served to the government (October 14-20), Tombing said the students’ body will resume the agitation under the code name of ROTO as announced earlier. The agitation will include complete shutdown/closure of National Highways that connect Manipur with other parts of the country and National Projects. The national highways are NH-02 (Imphal-Dimapur), NH-37 (Imphal-Jiribam), NH-102 (Imphal-Moreh), NH-150 (Imphal-Jessami), NH-150A (Imphal-Mizoram) and NH-150B (Tipaimukh-Mizoram).

He also appealed to all associations, passenger service operators, commercial workers on National Highways to support the agitation. The agitation, however, will be exempted for press and medical sectors. Any unfortunate incident on the National Highways will be the responsibility of the Government of Manipur, he added.

ATSUM's charter of demands include development in the field of education, health, recruitment, governance and land.

In Education, the ATSUM has been demanding regularization/appointment of contract graduate teachers (2006 batch); regularization of contract lecturers (Higher Secondary Schools); proper infrastructure for schools; early setting up of B Ed centres in the hills; power bifurcation to separate offices of the Additional Directorate of Education (s) Hills; and NIOS to be recognised by the University and COHSEM in the state of Manipur.

In Health sector, the ATSUM demand include invocation of power conferred under Article 309 of the Indian Constitution to prevent from artificial bankruptcy of professionals in Manipur Health Services and other flagship programmes like NRHM; to make all the PHSC, PHC, CHC and DHC functional; to provide proper equipment with requisite specialists, doctors and nurses in district hospitals; conduct special recruitment drive for ST encompassing different grades of post in JNIMS; to strictly adhere to regional characters in matters of admission and recruitment of jobs as per the MoU signed during the amalgamation of RIMS by the Union Ministry of Health in 2009; and to formulate a transparent policy of transfer and posting in health department.

In recruitment sector, the ATSUM demand include ascertainment of the total numbers of backlog posts in every department and filling of vacancies by a special recruitment drive for ST as agreed upon in principle during the discource between the Government of Manipur and ATSUM on November 25, 2013 at the Chief Minister's bungalow; to reinstate 100 rosters or at least place ST's place of reservation in Serial Number 2 under the existing 200 point rosters of Manipur Reservation of vacancies in post and services for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes.

The demand also included increase of reservation quantum from 31% to 38% as per the latest statistical data reflected in 2011 census report; to do away within the system of piece meal recruitment drive from equitable opportunity in services; to cancel the fourth grade employees in Manipur Legislative Assembly Secretariat which was conducted at a closed door without issuing recruitment notification; and reservation quantum of ST in respect of admission and recruitment in Manipur University should be constituted at the state reservation norms i.e. 31% in lieu of the Central norms i.e. 7.5%.

In governance sector, ATSUM demanded to bring the ADC in Manipur at par with other ADCs in the North Eastern States of India; to fulfil the flagship programmes as per the guidelines of the Central government without alteration; appointment of State Chief Information Commissioner; to set up ST Commission at the earliest; and to effectively implement Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) as per the guideline issued by the Plannning Commission of India.

In land sector, ATSUM opposed the NLUP-2014 terming that the new policy infringes the Tribal Land directly or indirectly.

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CM assures 24-hour power supply by March 2015

Asserting that all possible steps are being taken up to ensure undisturbed power supply to the people, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh said on completion of on-going infrastructure development works people in Greater Imphal areas would be able to enjoy 24-hour electricity provision by March next year.

While there is strong possibility of continuous power supply in Greater Imphal areas next year, efforts are on to ensure similar facility to people in all the other district headquarters by 2015-16, said the CM after formally inaugurating 33/11 KV power sub-stations each at JNIMS Hospital complex, Chingarel and Mantripukhri, Imphal East district, on Monday.

Speaking at a public function held at Mantripukhri, the CM also informed that the 400-kv power line stringing work from Paltana Power Plant in Tripura up-to Imphal via Silchar, currently assigned to Power Grid Corporation, is targeted for completion within December this year.

Noting that undisturbed power supply is necessary for convenience of the common people and development of the state, he affirmed that the state government has been according top priority in improving power supply situation in every nook and corner of the state irrespective of technical or resource crunch.

Highlighting that on request of the Myanmar government to supply power to Tamu town, the centre has approved setting up of a 132/32 KV power sub-station in Moreh so as to connect the town across the international boundary, the CM appealing for public support in Government’s endeavour to improve power supply in the state also stressed on the need for consumers to clear power bills without failure.

It is said that the JNIMS complex sub-station will provide electricity not only to the medical institution/hospital, but also supply power to the Porompat office complex of DC Imphal East, Porompat Water Supply Scheme, Dairy Farm and surrounding localities.

The Chingarel sub-station will cover Sajiwa Jail, Sainik School (Haotal), Manipur Police Training Centre (Pangei) and nearby areas while the Mantripukhri sub-station will cater to the requirements of government establishments such as STPI (Mantripukhri), Manipur High Court complex and Civil Secretariat as well as adjacent locations.

The three sub-stations were implemented at a project cost of Rs 25.79 crore.

Among others, Wangkhei AC MLA Y Erabot, Khurai AC MLA Dr Ng Bijoy and officials of Manipur State Power Company Limited were also present at the occasion.

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