ISTV Imphal English News Part 1/2[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3wHR4XcEa0]
ISTV Imphal English News Part 2/2
Source: ISTV Imphal
ISTV Imphal English News Part 1/2[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3wHR4XcEa0]
ISTV Imphal English News Part 2/2
Source: ISTV Imphal
Courtesy: All India Radio Imphal.
IMPHAL: The markets were buzzing with excited revellers, many haggling over the price of fish, and there was excited chatter at homes as people prepared various cuisines, all in celebration of Ningol Chakouba, one of Manipur’s biggest festivals that came on Friday amid the trauma of an economic blockade.
Ningol Chakouba reinstates the bond between brothers and sisters. Married women are invited to their parental home and pampered with lipsmacking dishes, which mostly constitute fish, and gifts.
Although the economic blockade has reached nearly 90 days now and household commodities continue to be scarce and expensive, people have refused to let their spirits be dampened, even if that means toning down celebrations by a notch.
“Fish is a very important part of the Ningol Chakouba festivities. We cook different fish delicacies… and by god’s grace, that is something which we have not really run short of. Manipur is blessed with good fish production,” Sharmila Maibam, a homemaker, told IANS.
“My daughter, who got married last year, will be visiting us today and we have prepared a feast for her. My son has bought her a sari and other trinkets. It’s a happy occasion,” she smiled.
To liven up festivities, the state fishery department on Thursday organised a temporary fish market at a playground, Imphal Hapta Kangjeibung, to sell fish at cheaper rates. It was attended by thousands of people.
In addition, an angling competition was organised for the first time at the Kakching lake in the foothills of the state on Thursday.
Madhu Chandra, one of the organisers of the festival, said: “Ningol Chakouba is a very important festival of the Manipuris. Amid the misery of the blockade, we decided to organise this festival to encourage the people to have some fun and promote peace and brotherhood.”
“We had around 700 competitors from all over the state and over 10,000 people from Kakching and surrounding villages witnessed the event. The fishes were then sold to the people,” he added.
One of the specie most in demand is the indigenous Pengba. This is also being farmed at the Kakching lake.
“I bought a variety of fish yesterday, but more than anything, my sisters love the Pengba. Both of them are married and live out of Manipur, so they miss eating this more than anything else,” Mahesh Laba, a 26-year-old salesman, said. He, however, still had some last minute shopping to do at the Khwairamband bazaar.
“The market’s so crowded today! People seem to have forgotten that we are in the middle of some blockade and are celebrating wholeheartedly… I have come to pick up some bangles for my sisters,” Laba said.
“This festival means a lot to us, especially for my family, because it’s like an annual family reunion when my sisters come home. They dress up in their traditional best and I serve them food… after which they bless me. It’s a special time,” he smiled.
“Thank god, there is no dearth of fish,” said 50-year-old Amu Singha. “I went to the fish market yesterday and was happy to see that I could still rustle up a good lunch for my daughter, even though the other things, like sweets, have to be toned down because they are so expensive.”
As for the women, they too bought gifts for their families, and especially their brothers, before going home. “Things are so expensive now. But I have been saving for sometime. So I bought clothes for my parents and brother, and got some homemade sweets,” said Nira Singha, a homemaker, on her way home to celebrate the festival.
Courtesy: All India Radio Imphal.
IMPHAL, Oct 27 : Works Minister K Ranjit who went to inspect the Senapati mini-Secretariat was stopped from returning to Imphal by women activists of SHDDC and kept under virtual siege along with his team at Kangpokpi today. The Works Minister and his team were however ‘rescued’ by a huge team of Imphal West police […]
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The rights activists also took out a rally from North AOC to the birthplace of Irom Sharmila at Kongal where a public meeting was also held at the ground of Amateur Athletics Association.
The delegation of 28 human rights activists was led by Ilabhan Patkar. They were planning to meet Irom Sharmila on October 28, however, the permission for meeting her was denied by the state authorities.
The Jan-Karwan team along with Sharmila Kanba Lup will hold one-day hunger strike tomorrow condemning the state government for not allowing them to meet Sharmila on Ningol Chakkouba-the biggest festival of women in Manipur, stated Irom Shingajit, brother of Sharmila.
A member of Jan-Karwan team, Fazal Khan stated that the draconian law AFSPA has been put into practice forcibly by the government despite campaigns for the repeal of AFSPA from the country.
The whole country will support Sharmila in her struggle for the repeal of the draconian law, he added.
The ‘Jan Karwan’ march was flagged off from Srinagar on October 16. Many social activists including team Anna member Medha Patkar, Magsaysay award winner Sandeep Pandey and human right activists from across the country took part in the flag off ceremony. The team has already covered more than 10 states.
On October 19 on reaching the national capital, the team along with its supporters mostly students organized a rally wherein they were allegedly attacked by ‘Aam Hindustani’ a right wing body injuring five students besides leading to the arrest of more than 100 other supporters
A large number of women volunteers of SHDDC blocked the minister’s way to Imphal demanding immediate declaration of Sadar Hills district. However, works minister admitted that he cannot alone take the decision of granting Sadar Hills district. The matter has to be decided by the state cabinet, he stated.
Minister Ranjit held talks with the SHDDC representatives twice but remained inconclusive.
Following strong resistance made to Minister Ranjit, a special team of Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal and Bishnupur police commandos rushed to Kangpokpi to rescue minister Ranjit and his team.
The police commandos blank fired several rounds and also fired teargas and mock bombs to disperse the women who were blocking minister’s way.
Minister Ranjit reached Imphal safely at around 8 pm.
Two persons were injured in the police action.
Meanwhile, the blockade supporters burned down a truck of BRTF at Keithelmani at around 5 pm and also burned another mini truck at Kangpokpi at around 6 pm.
The homecoming ceremony organized by Red Shield Division was held at the Banquet Hall of the 1st Battalion of Manipur Rifles today. The function was attended by Chief Minister, Okram Ibobi Singh, DGP Y Joykumar,and Major General Binoy Poonnen,GOC 57 Mountain Division.
The Chief Minister in his speech appreciated the decision of the UTLA cadres to join the mainstream and to endeavor towards a life of peace and prosperity. He assured that the state government will do its best to provide for the needs and demands of the cadres. He also appealed to the cadres to adhere to the SoO ground rules and co-operate with the government while stating that there has been instances of certain groups who are presently in Suspension of Operation with the government but still carries out illegal acts of extortion and terrorizing the public.
DGP Y Joykumar also stated that the UTLA cadres joining the mainstream will be pivotal in bringing about peace and development along the Bangai range of Tamenglong district. Various hiccups faced by the state administration along the route including the construction of the Jiri-Tupul railhead will be able to advance peacefully. He also announced that the home department will operate a mechanized country made boat for effective police patrol in the waters of the area to check insurgency.
President of UTLA, Seipu alias Ishael in his address mentioned that the decision of the cadres to return to the mainstream was following in the footsteps of the other Kuki militant outfits that are demanding an independent land and are presently in talks with the government. “ We have come to this decision as we felt that we have been left on our own to struggle for our united demand and have felt that the effective way to rally for our demands will be through conducting talks with the government”, he said.
It may be mentioned that United Tribal Liberation Army (UTLA) was raised by James in 2003. However, at a later date after the death of James, the outfit was split into two factions called UTLA and UTLA (Max). UTLA (Max) over the period of time got neutralized and as of now majority of them are in jail. Due to leadership crisis and differences, president of UTLA Isheal and general secretary Seizahaou T Singsit ,along with 45 armed cadres were motivated to join the mainstream. On September 8, the two leaders announced formally to join the Suspension of Operation (SoO).
This is by far amongst the largest number of constituents of one single underground organization to suspend operation and join the national mainstream in recent times. The antecedents of the cadres have already been verified by the group members and village chiefs from the areas that they hail from. The others would follow suit shortly for which, a repeat ceremony will be held at Leimakhong, the army in a release added.
It further stated that, Robert and SK Thadou of UTLA were also approached, however they have not yet joined the peace initiative and have requested for more time, since cadres are dispersed over large distance and in some cases, beyond the state boundaries.
The home coming ceremony was orchestrated by 27 Sector AR under the aegis of Red Shield Division. The Army and Assam Rifles have welcomed the initiative of the cadres. A huge cache of arms and ammunition of the UTLA cadres were also displayed at the ceremony. Along with three members of the political wing, one major, one lieutenant, two sergeants, one sgt major, four corporal, four lance corporal and twenty seven privates gathered at the home coming occasion.