Sadar Hills blockade supporters ‘detain’ Ranjit and team for hours at Kangpokpi SHDDC redefines ‘intensifying agitation’ [The Sangai Express]

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 commandos later in the evening at about 8.

A strong posse  of police commandos, made up of 35 teams comprising six cops in each team and led by the SSP of Imphal West police rushed to Kangpokpi and managed to clear the way for the Minister and his men. The police team had to fire tear gas shells to disperse the womenfolk and open fire in the air while escorting Ranjit out of Kangpokpi.

A woman received a bullet injury on her right thigh.

Following the intense stand off at Kangpokpi a Mini-truck belonging to the BRTF was set on fire at Sa-permeina at about 8.15 pm.

The bullet proof vehicle win which Ranjit was travelling was also hit by a bullet. This was confirmed by police while inspecting the damages on the glass of the vehicle at Imphal. The Minister said that this was an attempt on his life and the shot was fired deliberately.

Chairperson of Sadar Hills Women Union, Ngan-boi Momin said that the Minister refused to entertain their plea to have a brief talk and instead asked a senior officer of the district administration to talk with the womenfolk.

The request to talk was conveyed when the team arrived at Kangpokpi after the inspection at Senapati.

The conduct of the Minister was strongly decried by the womenfolk, said Momin.

Our reporter who went to cover the Minister’s inspection tour informed that the Minister and his team were returning from Sena-pati when they were blocked by a large number of women at Kangpokpi Bazar at about 3 pm. The women piled up boulders and stood in rows on the highway holding festoons.

In addition to his security escorts, Ranjit’s team was also accompanied by the Senapati SP and SDPO.

The team halted about 100 metres away from the spot where the highway was being blockaded.

Then the SP and the SDPO went ahead to talk with the blockaders but the latter insisted that they would talk with the Minister himself. At this, the SP asked the protesters to select two or three leaders to talk with the Minister.

Subsequently, K Ranjit talked with three women activists. They demanded that Sadar Hills district should be officially declared before the election.

The Minister responded by saying that the Government has genuine intention to declare Sadar Hills as a full fledged district  but it cannot be done in haste.

The women urged Ranjit to give a written assurance that Sadar Hills district would be created but he declined . As the negotiation was on, women blockaders who   were not present at the negotiation started shouting the slogan “We want Sadar Hills district”.

As the Minister’s team retracted beyond Kang-pokpi bridge, the women blockaders opened the highway and let other vehicles move. Nevertheless, they checked all the vehicles.

In the meantime, another  group of women blockaded the highway on Taphou Kuki side.

At about 6 pm, four women came from Taphou Kuki side and asked the Works Minister to declare Sadar Hills as a full fledged district by November 10.

They also asked why Kangpokpi ADC building has not been inaugurated yet though the construction work has been completed whereas the Government is planning to inaugurate Senapati mini-Secretariat on November 2.

To this, Ranjit explained that the Government was planning to inaugurate the Kangpokpi ADC building first but it could not materialise because of bandhs and blockades.

The ADC office can be inaugurated before the mini Secretariat if the people wish so, Ranjit said.

Again, when Ranjit said ‘ADC office building, Kangpokpi’, the women activists insisted that it should be spelt as ‘Sadar Hills DC office building’.

To the repeated insistence of the women activists to give a written assurance for declaring Sadar Hills as a full fledged district by November 10, Ranjit explained that his assurance would serve no purpose as Cabinet decision is mandatory for creation of a district.

The Minister and his team are currently stranded on the highway under a situation of virtual siege.

Earlier, after observing the little progress made in the portion of the Senapati mini Secretariat which would be occupied by district level officers, the Works Minister stated that due procedures would be initiated to blacklist the concerned contractor.

Yet, Ranjit maintained that all efforts would be put in to  ensure that everything is ready before November 2 when Union Home Minister P Chidambaram would inaugurate the building.

Saying that the mini-secretariat  is a property of Senapati public, he invited all and one to the inaugural function.

Source: The Sangai Express


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NEC official picks holes with devt works in State Tardy pace of work likely to put off NEC [The Sangai Express]

IMPHAL, Oct 27: Planning Advisor of the North Eastern Council (NEC) J Lhungdim has catego-rically stated that pace of development projects undertaken in the state is not satisfactory.

Interacting with The Sangai Express on October 25 evening, Lhungdim, who is Indian Defence Accounts Service officer, cautioned that slackness in the implementation of development projects might lead to the NEC losing interest in funding projects in Manipur.

He regretted that inspite of regular inspections by NEC officials and to some extent even warning the state Government to accelerate implementation of development schemes, work progress of various projects is not upto the mark.

Citing an example, Lhungdim said despite plan of the state Government to invite Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to inaugurate various projects including the Inter State Bus Terminus only frontal portion of the Terminus was found to have been completed when inspected.

The NEC Planning Advisor, who arrived for assessing status of various projects which the Prime Minister is slated to inaugurate on November 15, revealed that final phase allocation of Rs 5.5 crores for the Bus Terminus has already been released to the Government of Manipur.

Informing that a meeting  with the Principal Secretary (works) Ramnganing Muivah and PWD Chief Engineer Lokendra was held on Ocotber 24 to review progress of various road development works under NEC funding, Lhungdim maintained that development of Tamei-Kangpokpi and Bishnupur-Nungba roads figured prominently at the review meeting.

Conveying that he held discussion with the Principal Secretary (Power) LP Gomei after inspecting the Yurembam Power Sub station, the NEC official disclosed that out of four power projects submitted by the State’s Power Department to the Council for fund allocation, sanction for two projects is likely to be approved in the current financial year.

Lhungdim further opined that NEC sanction for the Yurembam Power Sub Station might be stalled unless the Kongba power station work is completed within the December deadline.

With regard to the Yurembam power project he said three separate units of 30 megawatt each will be initiated.

Acknowledging woeful situation of power supply in the State, he suggested stringing of 400 KV power line from Jiribam upto Imphal and acquisition of power from the Paltana power project in Tripura and Assam’s Bongaigaon power project to address the problem.

Stating that Manipur faces 70 percent loss of power in transition, the NEC Advisor expressed confidence of preventing the loss to a great extent in case 20,000 pre-paid meter system acquired by the State’s Power Department is installed in the greater Imphal areas.

The State Government is also planning to instal the pre-paid meter system in other parts of the State, he added. Inspection of the Tribal Hospital at Rengkai in churachandpur district is also in the itinerary of the NEC official.

Source: The Sangai Express


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Lamlai fish fair makes a statement with reasonable rate [The Sangai Express]

Fish put on sale at Lamlai during the fairIMPHAL, Oct 27: Under the joint initiative of All Manipur Nupi marup Lamlai Area Committee and All India Youth Federation Lamlai Local Council, a Ningol Chakkouba Fish Mela has been organised for the very first time in Lamlai area at Irawat Park, Chalou Lamlai today.

Inaugurating the first fish fair as the chief guest, Agriculture Minister Ph Parijat said the fair has been organised under the objective of promoting fish farming in Imphal East district.

Stating that various fish varieties would be made available to the public at Rs 25 less than the rate fixed by the Government, the Minister informed that a common fish rearing pond of four paris in size would be developed at  Leimakhong near Lamlai. Noting that there is shortage of fish production in  Imphal East district areas, he expressed confidence that on completion the Leimakhong pond would be able to contribute to fish  production.

Imphal East district Fishery Officer Y Ibobi Singh recounting that the Fishery Department had been organising fish fairs every year since 1976 in connection with the Ningol Chakkouba festival, asserted that efforts would be made to organise fish fairs in Imphal East district.

In all fishes were sold at five stalls while chicken were put on sale in six stalls  at the fair. The rate of fish sold at the fair was fixed at Rs 125 per kilogram for Rohu (Rou) variety, Rs 115 for Grass Carp and Rs 75 for Silver Carp, while chicken was available at Rs 110 per kg.

It is informed that the total quantity of fish at the fair is 3400 kgs and 1000 kg chicken.

The fair inauguration programme was also attended by AMNM LAC president O Lembi Leima, Lamlai Nagar Panchayat Chairperson Ng Robin Singh and CPI Lamlai Local Council secretary Y Megha Singh.

Source: The Sangai Express


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Ningol Chakkouba greetings [The Sangai Express]

IMPHAL, Oct 27: Governor Gurbachan Jagat and Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh led others in extending warm greetings to the people of the State on the joyous occassion of Ningol Chakkouba.

In his message, Gurbachan Jagat said that the festival rejuvenates family ties and strengthens the bond of love and affection, mainly between married women and their brothers which ultimately help in preserving and promoting unity and integrity in the society.

The Governor also expressed hope that the festival would be celebrated in true spirit with the involvement of people from different communities.

O Ibobi Singh in his message said, Ningol Chakkouba reinforces the fraternal and protective bond exists between brothers and sisters and parents and daughters since time immemorial.

Though the festival is originally observed by the Meitei community, the celebration has now extended to other communities of the State thereby promoting unity and emotional integration in the State, the Chief Minister added.

O Ibobi said, “Let us imbibe the ideals associated with the festival to foster the spirit of amity, harmony and goodwill in our lives.”

Greeting the people of the State, MPCC President Gaikhangam said, the festival brings communal harmony in the State as it is now celebrated by hill and valley people together. He also wished the festival brings peace, development, communal harmony and prosperity in the State.

Manipur State Janata Party and All Manipur Rickshaw Drivers’ and Pullers’ Welfare Association have also greeted the people of the State on the occasion of Ningol Chakkouba.

Source: The Sangai Express


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Moreh to petition CM [The Sangai Express]

IMPHAL, Oct 27 : Obser-ving that Moreh hospital is unable to function like a hospital while construction work at Moreh Gate No 2 is not satisfactory at all, community leaders of Moreh have decided to lodge complaints with the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary.

Though a number of equipment and machines have been installed in Moreh hospital since October 27, the hospital has been unable to function properly.

This matter and other issues were deliberated at length during a meeting of community leaders of Moreh at the office of Hill Tribal Council this morning.

The meeting decided to appeal to the Chief Minister to make Moreh hospital worthy of being a hospital.

Though ultrasound machine was installed in the hospital recently in addition to X-Ray machine and operation theatre already installed there, none of these machines have been ever put to use.

The meeting discussed the inconveniences faced by denizens of Moreh when nurses and Grade IV employees posted in Moreh Hospital left their stations.

It agreed on urging the Government to recruit locals as Nurses and Grade    IV employees for the hospital.

The meeting also hailed the initiatives taken up by the Government to ensure free  movement of transporters along Imphal-Moreh highway in the backdrop of the ongoing blockade and counter-blockade.

Deliberating on the need to enhance trade volume between Imphal and Moreh in view of the protracted blockades on highways connecting Manipur with other States, the community leaders decided to urge the Government to make necessary arrangements so that vehicles can leave Imphal for Imphal and vice-versa between  7 am and 12 noon everyday in place of the existing one-way system.

Another resolution of the meeting was increasing the number of security personnel detailed for ROP duty on Imphal-Moreh highway.

Regarding the construction work of Moreh Gate No 2 which would be an important gateway to Myanmar and beyond, the meeting decided to submit a memorandum to the Chief Secretary so that the gate is constructed strictly according to guidelines without any compromise on its qualitative aspect.

The meeting was attended by Hill Tribal Council president Jamang Haokip, Meetei Council Moreh president N Pulindro, Manipur Muslim Council  Moreh president Md Hussain, Tamil Sangam general secretary Ravichandran and leaders of Bihari and Gorkha community leaders.

Source: The Sangai Express


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Govt slams Sharmila door on rallyists [The Sangai Express]

Members of the Jan Karvan on arriving at Imphal being receivedIMPHAL, Oct 27: The 4,500 km long Srinagar to Imphal Jan Karvan march, which was flagged off on October 16 by social activist Medha Patkar in Srinagar reached here today.

The march was taken part by a team of Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign comprising of 25 activists including eight women from 12 States.

The intention of the rallyists to meet Sharmila tomorrow has however been nipped at the bud with the Government refusing to give the permission to meet the hunger striker.

To lodge their protest against the decision of the Government, a one-day hunger strike will be staged in honour of Sharmila tomorrow.

A large number of people, including represen- tatives from different social organisations, welcomed the team on their arrival at North AOC this morning.

Later, a peace rally was taken out from North AOC to Kongpal, birth place of Irom Sharmila.

Shouting save Sharmila and anti-AFSPA slogans, the rally passed through Minuthong, Hatta Golapti, New Checkon crossing and reached Porompat to move towards JNIMS, where Sharmila is lodged under custody.

However, a team of Imphal East district police blocked the rallyists at Porompat crossing and diverted them to DC Office complex to reach Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) complex and a public meeting was organised there.  Imphal East district police made adequate security arrangements through- out the rally and at AAA complex. The rallyists shouted slogans like, ‘Save Sharmila’, ‘We do not want bullets’, ‘We are one’, ‘Repeal AFSPA’, ‘We support Sharmila’.

On the sidelines of the meeting,  Faisal Khan a rallyist from Kashmir, said that attack on Save Sharmila campaigners in Delhi happened due to misunderstanding.

However, the matter was resolved after a thorough deliberation, he added.

Expressing optimism on Sharmila’s movement, Faisal Khan said that her campaign would succeed.

He added that anti-AFSPA movement would be successful if the people of the whole country campaign against the draconian Act.

Source: The Sangai Express


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Bomb attacks galore, two hurt [The Sangai Express]

IMPHAL, Oct 27 : While one security personnel and a driver sustained injuries in a grenade attack at the residence of PWD Chief Engineer, another grenade exploded at the private godown of a man who is preparing to fight the forthcoming Assembly elections in Thongju Assembly Constituency.

Meanwhile, another grenade was delivered at the residence of an Executive Engineer of Planning and Development Authority.

A police source informed that unidentified persons lobbed a hand grenade at the Canchipur (opposite to Heijigang bus terminus) residence of PWD Chief Engineer M Lokendro  and it exploded at about 10 pm yesterday.

The bomb landed at the foot of a sentry post and its shrapnel hit 7th MR personnel Thingujam Ngouba of Thoubal Kiyam and Lokendro’s private driver Johnson of Singjamei Kshetri Leikai.

Both the injured victims are undergoing treatment at different private hospitals.

Decrying the bomb attack, local people staged a protest demonstration at Canchipur today.

Half an hour earlier, another grenade exploded at the godown of Thongam Bishwajit at Thongju Part II, Koirou.

Incidentally Bishwajit is preparing to contest the Assembly elections in Thongju AC.

The grenade hurled by some unidentified persons landed beside a vehicle and went off. However no one was injured in the bomb attack.

On the other hand, unidentified persons delivered a hand grenade at the residential gate of PDA EE Loitongbam  Kesho at Kongjeng Leikai. The grenade was discovered this morning . Meanwhile a bomb exploded near the quarters of the Assistant Engineer of PHED at Phungreitang in Ukhruil district headquarters today at about 6 pm.

The AE has been identified as SY Peter.

Source: The Sangai Express


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43 UTLA men eye SoO, surrender [The Sangai Express]

The surrendered UTLA cadres pose with the Chief MinisterIMPHAL, Oct 27 : With an intention to come under the Suspension of Operation (SoO) pact, altogether 43 cadres of the United Tribal Liberation Army (UTLA) led by its president surren-dered before Chief Minister Ibobi today.

The UTLA cadres who surrendered to the Government through the Army were accorded a warm reception at a home-coming ceremony organised by the    57th Mountain Division at 1st MR banquet hall this afternoon.

Speaking at the occasion, Ibobi stated that some groups under SoO pact have been extorting money from the public thereby violating SoO ground rules.

Stating that the Government has been giving assis- tance including money to the groups under SoO pact, the Chief Minister warned that the Government will not tolerate violation of ground rules.

To a query raised by journalists after the home-coming ceremony, Ibobi clarified that he never asked the Union Home Minister to repeal AFSPA in totality.

DGP Y Joykumar said that UTLA operated in Vangai range, Jiribam and Nungba area.

They also used to pose hurdles in the railway track laying work.

57th Mountain Division GOC Maj Gen Binoy Poonnem appealed to all sub-groups functioning under UTLA to come to the path of peace.

The Major General said that due process was underway to bring UTLA within the fold of SoO pact.

UTLA president Izeal said that they came out to join SoO pact as they desired peace.

At present, the surrendered UTLA cadres are being housed at Uchathol, Jiribam.

The home coming ceremony was also attended by Commander 27 Sector AR Brigadier VS Ranade and Commandant 46 AR Colonel Vikas Chawla, said a PIB (DW) release.United Tribal Liberation Army was raised by James in 2003.

However, at a later date after the death of James, UTLA split into two factions called UTLA and UTLA (Max).

UTLA (Max) over the period of time got neutralized and as on date majority of them are in jail.

Due to leadership crisis and differences, President of UTLA Izeal and Gen Secy Sehjahao 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) as had been reported in all leading daily newspapers of Manipur.

Now, 75 United Tribal Liberation Army (UTLA) cadres have decided to come home, claimed the PIB (DW) release.

Antecedents of the UTLA cadres who have joined the mainstream today have already been verified by the group members and village chiefs from the areas that they hailed from. The others would follow suit shortly for which, a repeat ceremony will be held at Leimakhong, it informed.

The home coming ceremony was orchestrated by 27 Sector AR under the aegis of Red Shield Division.

Source: The Sangai Express


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Two found dead [The Sangai Express]

 IMPHAL, Oct 27: Police have recovered a bullet-riddled body from Senjam Chirang under Sekmai police station while corpse of an Assam Rifles personnel has been fished out from the Kangla Moat this morning.

According to police, body of a youth likely to be in his mid-20s was found abandoned at senjam Chirang Maning Leikai in the early hours today.

Locals claim to have heard gun-shots at around 10.20 pm yesterday.

the deceased person with a bullet wound on the head is clad in a pale-blue jean pants, coffee-colour shirt and is attired in sports shoe with a thread on the right arm.  Police reportedly recovered an empty case of AK rifle from near the body, which has been brought to RIMS morgue for identification and post mortem examination.

Meanwhile, body of an AR rifleman later identified as TP Ashe (45) of Ward No. 9 in Tamenglong district headquarters was found floating in Kangla Moat near the M Sector section of the Moat at around 7 am today. TP Ashe is said to have been posted at Noney post of 103 Assam Rifles.

According to relatives, Ashe was on leave and had gone to Chandel district along with his wife. While cause of death of Ashe could not be ascertained injury mark was visible on his facial portion.

Source: The Sangai Express


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GOC, IGAR (S) greet [The Sangai Express]

IMPHAL, Oct 27: GOC 57 Mountain Division, Major General Binoy Poonnen and Inspector General Assam Rifles (South) Maj Gen UK Gurung have greeted the people of Manipur on the auspicious occasion of Ningol Chakkouba festival.

The GOC extending warm greetings to the people said “Ningol Chakkouba is a significant festival for the married women in the State.”

The festival is celebrated to rejuvenate family ties and strengthen the bonds of love and affection between the parents, brothers and married sisters/daughters.

In a press release made by Col Ajay Chowdhry, PRO Defence, Gen Poonnen has said, “May this festival also strengthen the bonds of love and affection between all the communities of the State, to usher in a new era of peace, harmony and reconciliation in Manipur”.

Meanwhile, Inspector General Assam Rifles (South) Maj Gen UK Gurung and all ranks of Assam rifles greeted the people of Manipur on the auspicious occasion of Ningol Chakkouba, which will be celebrated tomorrow.

Conveying ‘very warm greetings and sincere goodwill’ to the people, the IGAR (S) expressed that the festival herald an era of peace and brotherhood amongst the warm and friendly people of the State.

Source: The Sangai Express


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