The Peoples Chronicle

The Peoples Chronicle

Thursday, 26 February 2015 00:00

Public Interest Litigation

Sarungbam Lucy

Public interest litigation is the litigation introduced in a court of law, not by the aggrieved party but by the court itself or by any other private party. It is not necessary, for the exercise of the court's jurisdiction, that the person who is the victim of the violation of his or her right should personally approach the court. Public Interest Litigation is the power given to the public by courts through judicial activism. As for example such as pollution, Terrorism, Road safety constructional hazards etc. It can also be filed for:

1.         Violation of basic human rights.

2.         Conduct of government policy

3.         Compel municipal authorities to perform a public policy

4.         Violation of religious or basic fundamental rights.

Supreme Court in Subhash Kumar V State of Bihar observed that:“Right to live is a fundamental right under article 21 of the constitution and it includes the right of enjoyment of pollution - free water and air for full enjoyment of life. If anything endangers or impairs that quality of life in derogation of laws, a citizen has a right to have recourse to Article 32 of constitution of India for removing the pollution of water or air which may be detrimental to quality of life” It is a gift from our Apex court

1.         As citizens of the country can find an inexpensive legal remedy because there is only a nominal fixed court fee involved in this.

2. The litigants can focus attention on and achieve results pertaining to larger public issues, especially in the fields of human rights, consumer welfare and environment.

Background of PIL

According to the jurisprudence, “The right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred by this part is guaranteed” under Article 32 of the Constitution and only the aggrieved party has the right to seek redress under article 32 during earlier days.

In the year,1981 Justice P. N. Bhagwati in S. P. Gupta v. Union of India, articulated the concept of PIL as follows, “Where a legal wrong or a legal injury is caused to a person or to a determinate class of persons by reason of violation of any constitutional or legal right or any burden is imposed in contravention of any constitutional or legal provision or without authority of law or any such legal wrong or legal injury or illegal burden is threatened and such person or determinate class of persons by reasons of poverty, helplessness or disability or socially or economically disadvantaged position unable to approach the court for relief, any member of public can maintain an application for an appropriate direction, order or writ in the High Court under Article 226 and in case any breach of fundamental rights of such persons or determinate class of persons, in this court under Article 32 seeking judicial redress for the legal wrong or legal injury caused to such person or determinate class of persons.”

The rule of locus standi have been relaxed and a person acting bonafide and having sufficient interest in the proceeding of Public Interest Litigation will alone have a locus standi and can approach the court to eliminate violation of fundamental rights and genuine infraction of statutory provisions, but not for the intention of personal gain or personal profit or political motive.

Demerits:

1. Today PIL is misused by some people for publicity and captured public interest in the name of public without actually caring for the public.

Many of the PIL activists in the country have found the PIL as a handy tool of harassment since cases could be filed without any heavy court fees

Public Interest Litigation is working as an important instrument of social change. It brings away for the welfare of every section of society. In a developing country like ours it is highly beneficial innovation to overcome those netas who misuse their powers. And an extraordinary remedy available at a cheaper cost to all citizens of the country.

The writer is  BSc, LLM with

Specialisation in Environmental

Law and Legal Order

Thursday, 26 February 2015 00:00

Long silence is broken

B Thohii Shuru

Prime minister, Modi breaking his silence on recent attacks on churches and controversial utterances by fringe elements has been welcomed by the minorities though many may feel that he should have done it much earlier. Interviewed by Karan Thapar to Archbishop of Delhi, in Headlines channel  on whether he (Archbishop) feels satisfy and secure after Tuesday strong message of the PM against religious intolerance, the Archbishop replied assuredly “Yes, I feel secure now”, but added that “We’ll have to see it deliver in action”. That said, indeed breaking his silence after a long time, Modi did what he was expected by the nation to come out strongly against fringe elements that has been disturbing public order for some time.

Modi’s unequivocal assurance that “Mine will be a government that gives equal respect to all religions” and ensure complete freedom of faith and not allow any religion group to incite hatred against others “overtly or covertly” was, no doubt, strong and inclusive to comfort the minorities.  In the past months, peoples like Praveen Togadia of VHP, and BJP MPs like Sakshi  Maharaj and Sadhvi Nirajan Jyoti inciting hatred on communal line and RSS and VHP freely propagating  ‘ghar wapsi’, and attacks on churches are definitely a concern.  It was wide of the mark for BJP government to have kept silent for too long. RSS and VHP propagating “ghar wapsi” were provocative and did have hurt the sentiment of the minorities.   Until breaking of silence by PM the subject was wrapped under cover and BJP government played dodging game and refused to come out open. That has only raised doubts on the sincerity of the BJP government towards protecting the rights of the minorities under constitution.

RSS has always played influential role to BJP in electoral politics; it has been throughout since BJP was born as national party. Former PM Atal Behari Vajpai, a statesman, had to come under flak from RSS for been too moderate with right-wings’ agenda. But Modi seems to have fit into the kind of leader the RSS has been looking for, who can carry out Hindutva ideology. Given Modi’s political background rooted in RSS it was not wrong for many to construe Modi’s silence as deliberate stratagem to further RSS ideology to turn India into Hindu ‘Rashtra’.  A doubt arising among minorities about BJP’s politics was not unjustified.

We can no longer ignore that religion has been used as means by extremists for legitimatization of political interests and other agendas. In Indian context where Hindu right-wings are getting bolder with their views of radicalism, the concept of the separation of religion and the state (politics) which relegates religion to the realm of private and respect for all religions need to be accepted more today. Ignoring the principle of secularism by BJP government would means that it is deliberately allowing religion to enter into politics and public affairs, and further confuse secularism which separate religion from politics and especially religion from the State. That, religion is being played as a means to end is rightly stated by Salman Rushdie, “Religion today is a big public business, using efficient political organization and cutting –edge information technology to enhance its ends. Religion plays bare-knuckle rough all the time, while demanding kid-glove in return”.

PM, Modi, is aware of the global concern about religion’s role in violence when he said “the world is increasingly witnessing division and hostility on religious line” at the Christian gathering of national function at Vygyan Bhawan. One can understand that while raising his concern about global threat of violence on religion line, Modi is inclusively implying the recent attack on churches and controversial utterances brewing in India. Incidentally, Modi’s remark came after US President Barack Obama criticized India at an Inter-religious prayer meeting saying intolerance of religion in India today “would have shocked Gandhiji”.  It may be inappropriate to relate Modi’s Tuesday message to his counterpart US President Barack Obama’s remark against India but we cannot ignore the underlying possibility of the time. Recently a Hindu Temple was vandalized in Botheli in US, splashed with Swastika sign and words “Get out” and an elderly Indian citizen faced the racist attack from Madison police for simple reason that he cannot speak English. While Indians cutting across political parties and creeds has come out jointly in condemning the racist attitude of US police force and Botheli incident, India too need to look homeward on fringe elements that are at play for some time now.

Religious right-wings are not unique to one creed only; it is found in all religions. Islam is one religion that is seen as more tended to be fanatic. This is because “Islam is a difficult religion, because it confuses civil and religious law” as put by Wallerand de Saint-Just, national treasurer for France’s far-right National Party, and “Islam has a tendency to create fanatics more than any other religion”. Putting Muslims on this side of moral issue stems from the strand of radicalism operating within Islam and fanatics Muslims wielding the ideology of sword.

Christianity too is not free from fundamentalism. In what Guy Sorman called as “post-modernism or neo-romanticism”, fanatic Christians through evangelical movements seek to interpret the Bible literally. Christian right-wings in America became more open after 9/11. In US they debated to replace the teaching of evolution as science in schools with “Intelligent design” (Creation). Tele-preacher Robertson, America’s leading evangelist once in his channel, the Christian Broadcasting Network, called for the assassination of Venezuela’s President, Hugo Chavez, who, in a joint television appearance with Fidel Castro accused the US of destroying the world. Another evangelist, Franklin Graham declared that Islam is a religion which is “wicked, violent and not of the same God”.  Post 9/11, the American created a new enemy image in the shape of the Muslim world.

Right-wing organizations like RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal are also fundamentalist as they are into cultural programme of promoting Ram as a national hero to support their ideology of Hindutva, which is feared by the minorities that the dominant Hindus would disregard secular principle of respecting all religions and develop hegemonic supremacy of Hindu religion. Agenda of Hindutva discerned from the ideology propagated by M.S. Golwalkar, the successor of Dr. K.B. Hedgewar, founder of the RSS, who explicitly drew on the cultural nationalism of Adolf Hitler, is potentially dangerous. Controversial “ghar wapsi” and to turn “India into Hindu ‘rashtra’, raised boldly by Hindu right-wings are enough caveat for concern to worry. BJP’s justification of Hindutva ideology that it is only cultural ethos is nothing but skin-deep pacification to the minorities. Hindutva ideology of Golwalkar’s propagation is dangerous with fascist agenda of “that the non-Hindu people in Hindustan must adopt Hindu culture and language, respect and revere Hindu religion and glorify the Hindu nation or they deserve not even citizen’s right. Only Hindus are children of the soil”.

These communal forces within BJP fold associate themselves with political conservatism and patriarchal values; they flout the idea of India enshrined in the constitution which gives protection to minorities. Sudden rise of fringe elements in the past months since the coming of BJP to power is seem to have been emboldened by silence maintained by BJP government. Free play of hatred by Hindu communal forces against Christian minority and Muslims has only pushed these minorities further to the wall. They are lots who suffer economically from negligence of the state in its socio-economic welfares programmes and at the same time vulnerable to oppression and violence perpetrated by the majority group buttressed by the state policy for political gain.

BJP need to wake-up. Euphoria is short-live but volatility in politics is a hard truth. The mandate of Delhi elections to AAP is a proof of that. BJP cannot have dual-policy of development on the one hand and play religion card on the other.  Senior BJP minister, Venkaih Naidu in his exclusive interview to Headlines did assure the nation that BJP government will stand by what prime minister has said. That said, and the nation expects that.  But we have to differentiate between what is been said and what is actually going to be done in action. Nobel laureate, Amartya Sen, critic of BJP and Modi, in his interview to Barkha Dutt, said that the BJP has done too little on the ground out of what has been said till today. In fact, the people of India want things to really happen on ground. 

Prime minister, Modi breaking his silence is surely welcomed by the nation, but it too has to see in action; only then the strong message will have its meaning. Failing at home to arrest these fringe elements and to allow a similar reflection abroad with same radicalism against Hinduism from other two major religions would be politically insane. Coming down hard on some likes Togadia, Sakshi Maharaj, and Sadhvi Nirajan Jyoti to stop them from inciting hatred on religion line, and containing RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal from extreme radicalism would be wiser than to allow Hinduism to be created as a new enemy image by other religions in western and Islam world.

Thursday, 26 February 2015 00:00

Rethinking the global fight against extremism

Hardeep Singh Puri & Omar El Okdah

Between February 17-19, a large conference on 'Countering Violent Extremism' convened in Washington, bringing together political and diplomatic representatives from over 60 countries, law enforcement officials, religious leaders and experts.

The meeting constituted a reaffirmation of the need for an effective multilateral strategy to counter and prevent violent extremism in today's increasingly challenging environments. At the same time, it hinted at a very significant change in the international community's approach to these problems: scope, strategy and semantics are being duly reconsidered. And yet a series of contradictions threaten to hamper the possibility of making credible headway.

A change in scope

9/11 is considered the paradigmatic moment that transformed definitions of terrorism and the general global security framework. Today we are experiencing another paradigm shift. The scope of the "problem" itself has changed dramatically and the response to the problem is slowly following suit.

The crucial distinguishing feature of today's threat boils down to one word: territory. That violent non-state actors - epitomized by Daesh - are in control of territory as large as Britain, marking a serious evolution, both tactically and strategically, from the Al-Qaeda-esque organizations of the last decade.

They also act as trend-setters for other non-state actors - Boko Haram, for example - that "territory" is both up for grabs and attainable. Indeed, "black holes" - to borrow a term from John Simpson - are traceable across the Middle East and North Africa from Mali to Iraq, from Libya to Syria. The counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency architecture in place since 2001 and customized to Al Qaeda-style organizations is therefore out of tune with the realities on the ground. Shortsighted military response - while necessary at times - is no longer adequate to deal with such deep-rooted entities that have a persuasive ideological premise.

The sustained use of terror by said rogue elements may constitute continuity, though today's actors are proving to be true "entrepreneurs" of violence. Tactics and methods have evolved. Daesh is the innovator of barbarism par excellence with its sophisticated video productions of immolations, beheadings and other atrocities, all of which is part of a sensationalist propaganda campaign that intends to both shock the world and inspire new recruits. With over 90 nationalities now represented in Daesh, a dynamic online presence and reverberations in Ottawa, Paris and Copenhagen, it is a decidedly "global" operation.

Getting the strategic diagnosis right

The statements that came from Washington indicated that we are slowly coming to the correct strategic diagnosis of the problem. In his remarks, President Barack Obama raised the "undeniable" nexus between oppression and the socio-economic exclusion that gives rise to terrorism.

This is a clarion call that fighting extremism is anchored in human rights. But it is also a reminder that violent extremism is a symptom of an underlying cause and a physical manifestation of governance deficits. Member states are thus faced with asking an important introspective question: what policies are incubating violent extremism? What are the economic, social and political circumstances that render certain individuals vulnerable to recruitment and prone to radicalization?

Elephants in the room

When it comes to appropriate response, a number of elephants continue to crowd the room in which this discussion is being had at the highest level of international diplomacy. First, the discussion on human rights and oppression becomes more complicated when some of the major players in the fight against extremism are amongst the least inclusive and undemocratic countries in the world.

This is a paradox that requires overcoming and serves as an example of the real disconnect between the "national" and "multilateral" channels of political play.

Second, a similar contradiction exists in the "global" will to address the scourge of terrorism versus the tendency by some members of the international community to instrumentalize the use of armed groups to further national interests at the expense of the sovereignty of other states.

There has yet to be a frank and open conversation about this two-tiered chess game: the one taking place on the table and the other taking place directly below. This geopolitical contradiction will continue to undermine any concerted international effort to address violent extremism.

The third and final elephant relates to the issue of religion. President Obama's deliberate decision to opt for the umbrella term "violent extremism" rather than the more specific "Islamist" label has some practical benefits.

It keeps the conversation broad by recognizing other "extremisms", from the ilk of Anders Breivik in Norway to Buddhist groups in Myanmar. Additionally, it prevents the United States - and the world at large - from feeding into the propaganda ploy that the West is at war with Islam more generally (a statement President Obama choose to deliberately refute in his remarks).

This should not deter from the reality that the majority of extremist groups are "perverted" variations acting in the name of Islam. Part of addressing this burden thus falls on the Muslim world itself, to play a more engaged role and mobilize a counter-narrative through its religious institutions, authorities and civil society groups.

Conclusion

There is now momentum for a meaningful change in the global fight against extremism. It first manifested itself following an international solidarity rally in Paris last month and more recently at the Washington meeting.

But to go beyond the symbolic pageantry of a street rally and a political summit requires a serious and frank conversation that addresses how best to implement and frame the question within the lens of social inclusion and effective governance, and one that acknowledges the troubling disconnect between so-called national interests and global security when it comes to violent extremism.

 

(Hardeep Singh Puri is Vice President - International Peace Institute, New York and Omar El Okdah is Senior Policy Analyst - International Peace Institute, New York. The views expressed are personal. They can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Thursday, 26 February 2015 00:00

Stick for acting on promises?

Within two weeks of forming the government after a resounding victory in the Delhi elections, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) announced its poll promises of providing cheap electricity to residents of the national capital. Delhi deputy chief minister Delhi Manish Sisodia during a press conference on Wednesday said families using up to 400 units a month will get half the price while those using above have to pay the actual amount. Within minutes of the AAP government’s announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes a dig by asking how state governments that depend on others can promise cheap or free electricity. Modi’s ‘power politics’ is a tad little too late. His question should have started from the electioneering process when manifesto distribution was on. Questioning the move at this juncture meant the Centre is not willing to support the Union territory’s move, a sign of friction right from the start of a government functioning. The prime minister’s cabinet colleagues, including finance minister Arun Jaitley and commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman, have said difference of political parties in the governments at the Centre and the states would not hinder development policies. The prime minister’s statement against cheap electricity, however, seemed to be in sharp contrast to what his cabinet colleagues have said. Delhi people have given their mandate to AAP because of its promises among other things, cheaper electricity and free water.

If Modi’s party is against such welfare activities, it should have spelled it out right from the beginning and not fire at the policy change, which was translation of a pre-poll promise and AAP’s poll plank since its first day of the earlier 49-day stint in office. What people want now is a political party or a government which does not make hollow promises and assurances but act without any further ado. It would be much more appreciable if the Union government conducts brainstorming sessions to make Delhi’s cheap electricity announcement replicable for the entire country rather than starting a debate on how to pre-empt such welfare measures. There may be technicalities which can prevent such measures from taking shape but it is the responsibility of the government to ease out such stumbling blocks. Both these processes are not in the ambit of the voters whose main desire is to have a respectable life, if not on a par, then similar to that of their elected representatives. More precisely, they want proper value for their hard-earned money and the toiling they give in, in earning their livelihoods. It is noteworthy that the reduction in power tariff is meant for those who consume less electricity — up to 400 units per month. One can very well imagine the home where such less electricity is used in a city like Delhi which has extreme climatic conditions all the year around. If the AAP government’s move cannot be termed as a welfare measure which will benefit such homes, the very definition of welfare measure has to be changed altogether. For other political parties which want to wrest the governance back from the ruling party or ride on the anti-incumbency waves to pull down a government both at the Centre and the states, it would be advantageous if they learn from AAP.

Thursday, 26 February 2015 00:00

Law & order improving in state, says Governor

Govt Striving For All Round Development, Says K K Paul

Applauding the state machinery for ensuring a secure environment to the citizens and highlighting developmental initiatives of the government by Governor Krishan Kanta Paul marked the first day of the 10th Manipur Legislative Assembly’s 10th session Wednesday.

Governor Paul, during the customary address, said the government has been striving for all-round development and delivery of good governance for welfare of the people.

“Equitable and inclusive development with secular ideals have been the guiding values of the government, which has unflinching commitment to spur development in both hill and valley areas in a sustainable way,” he said and informed that the state's financial position has been stabilizing gradually after a period of acute resource constraints.

Paul said, “The state, in the last few years, witnessed a great change in development of several forms of infrastructure. In the current year, the state has a tentative plan size of Rs 3,200 crore which includes Rs 450 crore under SPA and Rs 800 crore under SCA.”

On the issue of law and order, he said Manipur Police has been able to maintain public order despite working in an extremely sensitive security environment.

“It (Manipur Police) has also been able to achieve commendable results on the counter-insurgency front confronting various problems, which are both convoluted and serious in nature, compounded by shortage of man-power, infrastructural and other logistic constraints,” the governor noted.

Pointing out that last year a total of 78 cadres of different armed groups surrendered to state and Central forces, he expressed that such heart-warming development reflects success of rehabilitation programme initiated by the state and Central governments to restore law and order in the state.

Paul expressed confidence that effort and implementation of numerous projects would be helpful in improving power and water supply situation in the state and stressed on the need for further improvement in healthcare sector through launch as well as judicious implementation of new projects.

Referring to the below-par performance by the state contingent at the recently concluded National Games (Kerala), he sought constructive suggestion from a cross section of society to ensure that Manipur proves its credentials as a powerhouse of sports in the country by winning maximum number of medals at the Goa edition of the National Games.

A total of Rs 259.31 crore has been provided in the year 2014-15 under Tribal Affairs and Hills for implementation of various developmental schemes, for assisting 3,497 ST and 200 SC families under various income generating programme, he said.

The Govenor also confided that the government is gearing up to implement the National Food Security Act, 2013 under which a total of 24.84 lakhs beneficiaries or 87% of the total population, as per 2011 census in Manipur, will be covered by TPDS (Targeted Public Distribution System).

“The government continues to give thrust to school education by providing access to affordable quality school education to all children of school-going age group of the state. In order to achieve this broad objective, several initiatives during the current financial year, in addition and in continuation of the initiatives of preceding years, were taken up,” he informed the House.

Later in the day, chief minister O Ibobi Singh, who also holds the finance portfolio, presented the 12th feport of the Business Advisory Committee, 2015 and also moved for allocation of time proposed by the committee.

Elucidating on Supplementary Demands for Grants, 2014-15 for expenditure from the consolidated funds of the state during the financial year 2014-15, Singh proposed vote on account to enable the government discharge its responsibilities and to meet all essential expenditure during the first four months of the 2015-16 fiscal.

The Demands for Supplementary Grants included an additional expenditure of Rs 2,79,072.60 lakh (Rs 1,95,306.93 lakh in revenue expenditure and Rs 83,765.67 lakhs in other expenditures).   

“Normal full budget could not be presented as the plan side for 2015-16 is yet to be finalised,” the CM informed, adding that estimates of non-plan transfer from the Centre, which is normally based on the Finance Commission’s recommendation, also could not be confirmed.

He further proposed provisional total expenditure for 2015-16 at Rs 4,933.10 crore under state plan, Rs 251.85 crore under CSS and CPS, and Rs 5,517.46 crore under non-plan. Out of the Budget Estimates, an amount of Rs 884.34 crore will be ‘Charged Expenditure’ and the remaining amount of Rs 9,818.06 crore is ‘Voted Expenditure’, the CM elaborated.

During the inaugural session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, chief minister O Ibobi Singh, who also holds the finance portfolio, presented a tentative budget amount of `10,702.40 crore for the 2015-16 fiscal.

Addressing the session, Ibobi said the government has taken a decision to check non-plan expenditures so that the deficit is reduced. Still, the estimated fiscal deficit will amount to Rs 933.53, he said.

“The budget is presented to seek vote of account on the essential expenditures for the first three months of the 2015-16 fiscal,” the chief minister said addressing the House. Ibobi, however, said the budget could not finalized yet as the plan size for 2015-16 and non-plan fund transfer after recommendation of the Central finance commission are yet to be announced.

Thursday, 26 February 2015 00:00

Assembly staffer’s death condoled

Members of the Manipur Legislative Assembly observed two minutes silence to mourn the untimely demise of former assembly secretary Thokchom Chourajit, during the obituary reference on the first day of the 10th assembly’s 10th session Wednesday.

Joining the obituary reference, CM O Ibobi Singh remembered Chourajit as a calm individual who had unflinching dedication to service. Noting that Chourajit joined service in 1965 and held the post of secretary for six years from 2000, the CM shared the grief of the bereaved family members. Chourajit died on January 6 this year following an illness. Speaker Th Lokeshwor, social welfare minister Ak Mirabai, and MLAs TN Haokip and Th Shyamkumar also joined the obituary reference.

School Education Department, government of Manipur has notified CBSE, in a written statement, to take legal action against two schools in the state which had indulged in nefarious activities thereby compromising career of thousands of students.

On the other hand, a five-member Fact Finding Committee has been set up to investigate the case involving the filling up of forms for hundreds of students appearing Class X and Class XII examinations all the while not registering them by the school authorities, which consequently has resulted in the students not receiving admit cards from the Board despite exam knocking at its door.

Sources informed The People’s Chronicle with regard to issuing notice to the CBSE for initiating appropriate legal action, that secretary Education (S) H Deleep Singh has enlisted MM Higher Secondary School, and Little Rose Higher Secondary School, Canchipur as the two schools which have put careers of the students at risk.

It is said that H Deleep informed that two schools had admitted several students besides regular ones in absolute contradiction to the affiliation bye laws of the CBSE.

In the written statement forwarded by Secretary Education (S), state authorities also prevailed upon CBSE officials to provide detailed information of private schools in the state which have been granted affiliation under the Board.

The source further informed that the Committee will have Director Education (S) as its Chairman, with Additional Director Education-S (Valley), Additional Director Education-S (Hills), Zonal Education Officer, Zone-I, Imphal West as its members. Senior Research Officer of the Directorate of Education (S) will serve as the Convenor of the Committee.

In connection with the terms of reference of the Committee, detailed inquiry will be conducted against five private schools. The schools are learnt to be Central Institute of Science, Keisamthong, Galaxy Senior Secondary School, Kwaikeithel; Akash Institute of Science and Arts, Ghari; Ramkrishna Higher Secondary School, Changangei; Asian Co-educational Institute.

These schools had on the sly attached these schools to MM Higher Secondary School and Little Rose School, and tried to let the students appear their exams without proper registration.

Meanwhile, it is also learnt that the Committee will seek whether the schools are actually recognised or not and also find out if these schools had received No Objection Certificate from Manipur Government. Additionally, it will overlook whether the provisions granted within the Right to Education has been followed or not.

The Committee will also see if every school affiliated to CBSE and will provide its report within a month to the government.

Thursday, 26 February 2015 00:00

Capital punishment given to two cadres: UTLA

United Tribal Liberation Army (SK Thadou) has “terminated two of its members” identified as Seiboi Guite alias James Kuki and Gore, according to a statement issued by the outfit’s commander-in-chief. The underground outfit also said it’s action should not be seen in the negative. The outfit informed that the two were given capital punishment after it was found out that they had been involved in certain acts that violates the ground rules with the government. The slain cadres are accused of kidnapping a driver along NH-37 and working in collusion with KNA (I) militants without making prior intimation to the party. The two were given time to tender an apology for their wayward behaviours but in total contrast, they had threatened party leaders, thereby allowing the outfit to take the ultimate decision.

Meanwhile, the outfit has informed that cadres who failed to stay at their designated camps would not be given their stipends. It also expressed gratitude to government officials for releasing the stipend amount for the militants in accordance with the existing agreement.

Thursday, 26 February 2015 00:00

‘Lack of iodine can cause miscarriage’

A one day sensitisation programme on National Iodine Deficiency Disorder Control Programme (NIDDCP) organised by the Iodine Defeciency Disorders Cell of the State Health Society, National Health Mission was held at the conference hall of Manipur State AIDS Control Society, Lamphel on Wednesday.

Speaking at the occasion, state nodal officer Dr Monika Naorem said that iodine deficiency often leads to goitre, low IQ level, physical deformities and even miscarriage. As such there is serious need to consume foods rich in iodine in order to prevent iodine-deficiency disorders.

State health department has been conducting surveys on iodine deficiency disorders in the state at the interval of every five years. The next survey would be conducted in 2015. In the last survey, which was conducted in 2010, the department came up with 16% prevalence rate of iodine deficiency disorders. As compared to the valley districts, prevalence rate in the hill districts are higher. While cases of such disorders in the valley area are scarce, some isolated cases are found among non-locals in Imphal West district, the nodal officer informed.

NIDDCP regional director Dr L Ashananda talked on ‘NIDDCP’; RIMS community medicine professor Dr Ak Brogen talked on ‘Survey and Resurvey on IDD’; MMCH managing director Dr KT talked on ‘Effect of Iodine Deficiency on Pregnancy and New-born Baby’; and AIR regional news head Dr A Ibomcha talked on ‘Role of Media on Dissemination of Health Information on NIDDCP’ as resource persons of the programme.

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