Drug user group flays State Government

An emergency executive committee meeting of the Care Me Group an association of the drug users of Moreh was held today in their office at Moreh and deliberated on the numerous problems faced by the drug users in the light of the ongoing bandh on Imph…

An emergency executive committee meeting of the Care Me Group an association of the drug users of Moreh was held today in their office at Moreh and deliberated on the numerous problems faced by the drug users in the light of the ongoing bandh on Imphal Moreh route Source The Sangai Express

Prominent Naga Leaders Endorse Sharmila’s anti-AFSPA Campaign

DIMAPUR, Sept 3 (NNN): Prominent Naga leaders have endorsed the movement launched by Irom Sharmila against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958. Writer Charles Chasie, Neichute Duolo, former vice…

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DIMAPUR, Sept 3 (NNN): Prominent Naga leaders have endorsed the movement launched by Irom Sharmila against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958. Writer Charles Chasie, Neichute Duolo, former vice…

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NAPM To Launch Nationwide Signature Campaign On “Save Sharmila”

IMPHAL, Sept 3: Showing solidarity to the decade-long struggle of Irom Chanu Sharmila for the repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958, the Delhi-based National Alliance for Peoples’ Movement…

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IMPHAL, Sept 3: Showing solidarity to the decade-long struggle of Irom Chanu Sharmila for the repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958, the Delhi-based National Alliance for Peoples’ Movement…

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Breast Cancer Case High In Manipur Among North Eastern States

IMPHAL, Sep 3: With cases of breast cancer in Manipur said to be very high among the States of the North Eastern region, president of Breast Cancer Patients Benefit Foundation Dr Sameer Kaul today…

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IMPHAL, Sep 3: With cases of breast cancer in Manipur said to be very high among the States of the North Eastern region, president of Breast Cancer Patients Benefit Foundation Dr Sameer Kaul today…

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ULFA Signs Ceasefire Agreement With Centre

NEW DELHI, Sept 3 – Nearly seven months after ULFA and the Centre had met for what was described as an ice-breaking meeting, the three sides, including Assam government, on Saturday formally signed a…

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NEW DELHI, Sept 3 – Nearly seven months after ULFA and the Centre had met for what was described as an ice-breaking meeting, the three sides, including Assam government, on Saturday formally signed a…

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RTI Petitioners Demand SIC’s Termination

IMPHAL, Sep 3: Three RTI petitioners, namely Ayekpam Keshorjit, Mutum Maipakpi Devi and Titus Kamei announced their decision of taking the help of the law court if the Governor fails to take up…

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IMPHAL, Sep 3: Three RTI petitioners, namely Ayekpam Keshorjit, Mutum Maipakpi Devi and Titus Kamei announced their decision of taking the help of the law court if the Governor fails to take up…

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NEC Scholarship For The Academic Session 2011-12

IMPHAL, Sep 3: Director of University and Higher Education has informed all the students pursuing post-matric higher professional courses/streams of studies in different institutions inside and…

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IMPHAL, Sep 3: Director of University and Higher Education has informed all the students pursuing post-matric higher professional courses/streams of studies in different institutions inside and…

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ZYF decries imposition of CrPC 144 on highways – KanglaOnline

ZYF decries imposition of CrPC 144 on highwaysKanglaOnlineIMPHAL, Sept 3: The Zeliangrong Youth Front (Assam, Manipur and Nagaland) has condemned the imposition of Section 144 of CrPC on the National Highway No. 37. A release of the ZYF stated that Sec…

ZYF decries imposition of CrPC 144 on highways
KanglaOnline
IMPHAL, Sept 3: The Zeliangrong Youth Front (Assam, Manipur and Nagaland) has condemned the imposition of Section 144 of CrPC on the National Highway No. 37. A release of the ZYF stated that Section 144 CrPC is a tool which is often misused by the
Naga organization opposes imposition of Sec 144 on NH-53Times of India
UNC condemns 144 Cr PC along NH-53MorungExpress

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Stipend and book grant – KanglaOnline

Stipend and book grantKanglaOnlineIMPHAL, Sept 3: The directorate of University and Higher education, government of Manipur in its official notification informed to all students pursuing post matric higher professional courses / streams of studies in d…

Stipend and book grant
KanglaOnline
IMPHAL, Sept 3: The directorate of University and Higher education, government of Manipur in its official notification informed to all students pursuing post matric higher professional courses / streams of studies in different institutions inside and

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BCPBF in state to impart cancer awareness – KanglaOnline

BCPBF in state to impart cancer awarenessKanglaOnlineThe said camp is organized by BCPBF in collaboration with IMA (Manipur chapter) and Shija Hospitals Pvt. Ltd. Briefing mediapersons at Classic Hotel, Sameer Kaul, president of the foundation stated t…

BCPBF in state to impart cancer awareness
KanglaOnline
The said camp is organized by BCPBF in collaboration with IMA (Manipur chapter) and Shija Hospitals Pvt. Ltd. Briefing mediapersons at Classic Hotel, Sameer Kaul, president of the foundation stated that the objective of the visit is to set up cancer
Cancer on the rise in North EastAssam Tribune

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BSEM KL Govil Memorial Award 2011

IMPHAL, Sep 3: Board of Secondary Secondary Education Manipur has informed that the Board will conduct a preliminary test in Mathematics for award of KL Govil Memorial Scholarship at 11 am on Sep 14….

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IMPHAL, Sep 3: Board of Secondary Secondary Education Manipur has informed that the Board will conduct a preliminary test in Mathematics for award of KL Govil Memorial Scholarship at 11 am on Sep 14….

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Manipur Pineapple Festival 2011 Held

IMPHAL, Sep 3: The 4th State Level Pineapple Festival, 2011 was held under the aegis of Manipur Pineapple Festival Committee at Khuman Lampak complex here today. In all 65 stalls participated in the…

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IMPHAL, Sep 3: The 4th State Level Pineapple Festival, 2011 was held under the aegis of Manipur Pineapple Festival Committee at Khuman Lampak complex here today. In all 65 stalls participated in the…

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Jennifer Huidrom Wins Gold In 16th All India Children’s Painting Competition

IMPHAL, Sep 3: Class I student, Jennifer Huidrom of Twinkle Star Academy, Pishumthong won gold medal in the 16th All India Children’s Painting Competition. The event was conducted by Vijay…

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IMPHAL, Sep 3: Class I student, Jennifer Huidrom of Twinkle Star Academy, Pishumthong won gold medal in the 16th All India Children’s Painting Competition. The event was conducted by Vijay…

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Meeting Notes: Anna Hazare and Sharmila Irom

  By Chitra Ahanthem It was 1997, the year India was marking her 50th year of Independence. There would have been many celebrations of this momentous occasion but only one… Read more »

 

By Chitra Ahanthem
It was 1997, the year India was marking her 50th year of Independence. There would have been many celebrations of this momentous occasion but only one unique observation of this historical timeline stays on with me: a NGO based in Mumbai was taking about 250 young people from India and across the world to places of India’s history and future in a train specially reserved for the purpose! The announcement was made on a popular cultural TV program (which we don’t see the likes of now) called Surabhi beamed on Doordarshan and various other newspapers. It was a happy moment when I got confirmation that I was to be one of the said young people on the train that would ultimately travel for 11 days across the country facilitating interactions with people who were inspiring: Mark Tully, Abdul Kalam (then with ISRO and who talked us then of the possibility of an Indian moon mission which did become a reality!), Bunker Roy of Tillonia (married to Aruna Roy and behind hugely successful rural enterprises, water harvesting, adult literacy among others in Tillonia in Rajashthan), Kiran Bedi (much before her controversial stint in Mizoram) and Anna Hazare who was known at that point of time mostly for his pioneering work in Ralegan Siddhi, a village in Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra.

The said rail yatra was mainly organized to instill in young people the essence of leadership, innovation and social development. The routine was that we would be traveling in the train non-stop till we reached the places we were meant to be and then getting back to the train for the night. So, there was an air of curiosity when we were told that we would have an overnight stay at Ralegan Siddhi to meet a Gandhian who had taken up rural conservation and community work. The villagers took us around the place and we were told how small canals had been dug up to generate water flow. But it was two things that impressed me greatly: a school for juvenile children and the practice of Shramdaan or volunteer work as a form of social charity. The school had classrooms but if the children so wanted, classes would be held under the shade of trees in the open. There were yoga classes for “anger management” while most constructions in the village: the small dams, solar panels, wells, places of worship were all built through Shramdaan.

In the evening, we sat in a community hall and then, in walked Anna who spoke of his “second life” (he was the lone survivor during an enemy attack during an India-Pakistan war). We talked then mostly of philosophy and working for social upliftment. Like many of my fellow yatris, we thought nothing much about questioning his rigid stand against alcoholics (they were beaten up, period) and I even piped in my two bit and told him how Nishabandi women in Manipur were also doing the same! It would take me some years to understand the concept of public health and harm reduction and see that the greater crime of punitive measures on substance abusers only marginalizes them and do nothing about addressing the dependency. Anna Hazare’s activism against corruption started later and one cannot say much of what happened in between. But personally, the posturing Anna that one sees on TV (wagging fingers and dictating terms) is a very different person from the Anna I met all those years ago. The Anna then actually asked us young people on what we thought he should incorporate more into his work in his village in terms of forest and water conservation etc. The Anna one gets to see now refuses any kind of disagreement with his thoughts and beliefs.

November 2000 and a young woman called Irom Sharmila decided to fast to protest after 10 civillians were gunned down at Malom. My first reaction then (and I am/ not ashamed to own up to this now) was that it would be some token fast. Some days later, there was the “fast against AFSPA till the act is taken off” context and I thought that hers was an illogical/irrational and totally crazy stand to take. I also shrugged it off as “some group must be behind her” motive. I totally bought the “AFSPA is necessary till there are insurgents” theory for quite a long time till my own readings on militarism and armed conflicts around the world and conflict resolution/reconciliation processes made me sit up and engage in some serious questioning.

The first meeting happened in March 2009 during her customary yearly release. It was total chaos: there was a meeting of over 50 odd woman journalists from all over the country happening in Imphal and they all wanted to meet her. And then, there was the usual local media attention too. The first meeting was more of a brief sighting especially since I did not believe I needed to add my own questions to the many that were being addressed to her.

The second meeting happened in a unique setting: something that I have only shared with a few friends but one that can be let out in the public domain now. January 2010 saw me with very high fever after a trip to Bangkok and my Uncle, a doctor asked me to get a swine flu test done. Since he was with Jawarlal Nehru hospital then, I went there. Those who follow news would be aware that I was tested positive for swine flu but much before that news broke, I was raising hell over the state of the isolation ward at the hospital. What I did not want to call attention to the media then was that while I was standing outside the isolation ward with the face mask on, waiting for hospital staff to find the keys to the room (they took about an hour and a half!) I saw a familiar figure some 10 metres away from me. It was Sharmila Irom! My heart plummeted inside me: here was this one person I wanted to talk with and I was supposedly at risk of an infection that I could pass on to her. I have a small face and the mask covered most of it and I saw Iche Sharmila looking quizzically at me. I rolled my eyes at her and hoped that she would not come near (I did not want to be responsible for her health!). When eventually, my test results came in positive, I wasn’t too worried about my own health (I did not take Tamiflu medication) or my family (they did not have any fever) but I obsessively kept an ear open for any news on Sharmila’s health!

In May 2010, I got third time lucky and I had a long meeting with Iche Sharmila. I was going along as a sort of translator for a journalist and writer. We talked mostly of non-political issues: of her books and poetry we talked at great length. And then she took both my hands and said solemnly, “remember when you were at this hospital with your mask on?” And then she laughed and told me, “you don’t know the amount of activity and consternation that happened here after you left!” There was no air of moral superiority following the status of icon-hood that has settled on her: I was face to face with a unique person yes but also a normal human being, a young woman kept in isolation but very aware of the world around her.

End-point:
Many people have pitched Anna Hazare’s crusade against corruption and Sharmila Irom’s stand against AFSPA. But their stands are different and the battlefield totally apart from each other. My own interaction with both of them happened at different times and stages of their journey. But what stays on following my interactions with Iche Sharmila are the little ways in which she is so much a person than an icon. It is something that one does not get to see in other people who take on the mantle of greatness.

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Learning Can Be Fun

  By Bobo Khuraijam Other than petrol, cooking gas and diesel we desperately need something else. A book on ‘how to do it’ series or an educational video showing us… Read more »

 

By Bobo Khuraijam
Other than petrol, cooking gas and diesel we desperately need something else. A book on ‘how to do it’ series or an educational video showing us the same is urgently needed. Sure, we can also teach to the world of doing so many things with perfection. Those of us who resides along the highway can teach to the world about how a blockade is carried out; on how to pelt stones to the vehicles plying on the highway, how to aim only to the driver so that maximum damage is done to him, how to burn down a vehicle and push it down to the gorge without getting your fingers burned, how to collect tax like the man in uniform without wearing any uniform, how to choke the vital supplies of almost the whole populace by staying alive. We can also teach about enacting theatrics of scarcity. The teachers would be none other than our business fat cats who resides in Paona Bazar. They can teach you how a fake sense of helplessness is acted out to the customers. Maan laaktre eikhoisu upai leitre – we are helpless, the goods hasn’t arrived. But one thing is not. The water taps may run dry; the gas stations may smell dry but colorful liquors ‘made in everywhere’ are available in abundance. There is open sale in festive seasons. Bottle of any brands are sold on the pavements like vegetables. No Nisa Band or Meirapaibi worth their salt dare to enter this zone. This place is guarded by the statue of Rashtra Pita Mahatma Gandhi, and by those whose duty is to bag notes printed with the Mahatma from the fat cats. Those running this can teach what a BOLD business is and how it should be run. Reputed business schools with all kinds of names are invited to get admitted. Admission forms are available at MG Avenue. Last date of form submission is till the economic blockade last.

SOME MORE LESSONS: which no other human species on earth can teach. That is discipline and spirit of perseverance. We are the best in that field. The place of learning is time and space specific. Best season would be when there are economic blockade along the highways. We can teach how vehicles of all kinds are to be parked in a queue, in a row. One has to be informative of whether fuels will be issued by the stations or not. First come-first position, to be followed by the next vehicle and the next; nobody jumps the queue. No traffic control police on this earth could enforce that kind of discipline. The vehicles are parked one night ahead before the faithful morning. Each and every owner has to surrender their sense of security of the vehicles by leaving it behind. The poor vehicles happily spent the night together – A vehicular orgy of one night stand. When morning falls, the owners return to the spot where they had left their vehicles; waiting for one’s turn, without taking over the other needs perseverance of a strange kind. We do not know how many of them actually follow traffic rules on regular days. But for the miraculous act displayed at the gas station during the time of economic blockade is certainly a lesson to be imparted to the world.

WHY WE NEED: the ‘how to do it’ lessons? To demand for something rightful or to protest against something unacceptable to our collective self, as expert commentators put it, is an epitome of a modern democratic society. But there are pitfalls when we try to picture on the ‘how to’ part. We may claim ourselves to be a nation rich with the heritage of powerful revolts and uprisings. The last century saw two uprising where women took to forefront. There was also the revolt against the mighty English colonisers. We lost some and won some as well. They are engraved for posterity so that the present generation and the generations to come could revisit the events, if possible, reinterpret them and place them across the board for a better comprehension, and make a new meaning out of it. That would help us envisage a future free from the present maladies. the means of getting a rightful demand, or means of championing it, always ask for an imaginative exercise for the structure of the  then social order have changed now, the nature of the one who is going to give the demand have changed. No wonder, the air is much more polluted now. In recent times, we have seen many groups demanding their rights. Protests are taken out in different forms when the demands are not met. On the other hand the ‘right giver’ would use coercive force in the name of maintaining peace and order. At times they would engage in systematic witch hunt of those who are at the helms. This kind of action destroys the moral fabric of the agitating side. Moreover the ‘right giver’ is over-equipped to man any group or individual who dare to assert their right. We have many a times seen the ‘right giver’ maintaining a solemn silence; as if they are the kings and kin of the mythological Hindu epic Ramayana, where everyone is happy and prosperous, and nobody have a complaint of any sort. However, having said that, at this critical juncture would it be an exaggeration to plead to our brothers who are presently taking out agitations on the highway to use their imagination a bit to champion their cause. If they think that strangulating someone is a rightful means of asserting a demand, then there is a serious crisis of error of judgment, thereby defecating on their own sense of wisdom, and trampling the rightful cause by their own insensible boots. There are lessons which we can always learn and unlearn together.

FOOTNOTE: a journalist who went to cover the Anna episode took an autorikshaw for the return journey. The driver charged unreasonably, he said he will drive with the meter when the Lokpal Bill is passed. Leipung Ningthou calls it, “Chinese na Olympic ta gold medal louraroi haiduna washakpa”.

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Nero Fiddled when Rome Burned: It is for real

  By Amar Yumnam Nero was an Emperor of the Roman Empire in the beginning of Christian era. He is considered by history as one of the most irresponsible, irresponsive,… Read more »

 

By Amar Yumnam
Nero was an Emperor of the Roman Empire in the beginning of Christian era. He is considered by history as one of the most irresponsible, irresponsive, non-transparent and gory ruler. In fact, he symbolises any ruler who rocks and rolls when his empire is in danger.  We never imagined that Nero would ever be a reality in our part of the world. We have had, not very distant in the past, a ruler who sacrificed and risked everything to protect the image, prestige and glory of our kingdom in King Gambhir. It goes beyond our farthest imaginations that in this land of Gambhir and people who still cherish the legacy of him, we would be experiencing a situation similar to the era of Nero. While the people have been longing for a return of the Gambhir era of pride and progression, they have instead been presented with a Nero treatment.

Fire Upon Fire: We have been living, we have been experiencing and we know for sure that the last few decades have not been an era of progression for Manipur, state or non-state. We also know that these years of negative experiences coupled with the lack of responsive and responsible governance have taken a heavy toll on the body polity as well as body society of Manipur. The last few years have been particularly damaging in this respect. Although we still encounter the problem of contestation of state, we now have to face what I have repeatedly called the fractionalisation of the society of Manipur along ethnic lines. So the society and polity of Manipur now faces the biggest challenge of remaining intact and coherent. Manipur is no doubt burning. This longer run burning is now manifested in the most acute crisis of availability of essentials for modern life and livelihood. This being the situation facing the land today, the question naturally arises as to whether Nero should be indulging in rock and roll. Should Nero be leaving his kingdom behind at all at this historically critical juncture of acute multiple crises?

The Issue: Nero leaving his homeland behind in the mercy of an engulfing fire is no problem if he were just a commoner. But here the reality is that he is the ruler. Now this ruler has much larger implications than the original Nero of the first century in the sense that the former is Nero under democracy. Being so, he is head of the people. The moment we talk about the head of the people, the implications get multiplied. Being head of the people and in his capacity as head of the governance machinery, he represents the state and the state speaks through him. This is where the issue begins when Nero leaves his kingdom behind.

The state, which is represented by Nero in socio-politico-economic manifestations, is the highest form of institution evolved by human beings. But the state as prevailing in Manipur yet has not reached the stage of ensuring participation, inclusiveness, stability and growth. While it has yet to attain the stage of naturalness and stability with the masses, it is not even the “composite reality and a mythicized abstraction” of Foucault. Manipur is now at the stage of political evolution and political economic dynamics where the state should rather be seen as “a practice….inseparable from the set of practices by which the state actually became a way of governing, a way of doing things.”  We are now at that very stage where we need to revisit the state again and again in order that it acquires an innate capability to evolve practices of governance adequate enough to ensure participation, inclusiveness and social stability.

This requirement is all the more significant in the case of Manipur and given the post-World War II experiences of civil war. The prevalence of mountainous regions, the existence of multiple ethnic groups and fractionalization among them, and the lack of growth have been given prominence among the most prominent factors facilitating the onset of civil war. The heart shudders to imagine of Manipur in this context of global experience and the messages the fractionalized population might deduce from the absence of Nero at this point in time.

International Dimension: Now let us see if we can somehow justify the leaving behind of his kingdom by Nero. International relations do no doubt constitute a very important element of modern governance. So let us grant our Nero a provisional space of being contemporary in his approach, and endeavouring to attract investment to his kingdom. Well, here we have three reservations. Japan is a country which now symbolises “years of stagnation”. In this age of active pursuance of integration in Asia by both ASEAN and Asian Development Bank, can we justifiably think of leapfrogging over South East Asian brothers and closing on the East Asian ones.

Further, attracting investment is no joke. In other words, it necessarily involves arousing the “animal spirits” of the investors (a phrase coined by the indomitable twentieth century economist, Jon Maynard Keynes). In this something like the birds of the same feather flock together prevails. Once a set of investors enjoy the spell of animal spirits in Manipur context, other investors would as well follow. But here arises the critical reality. No burning Rome can arouse the animal spirits of investors anywhere. Indeed, the Roman civilisation declined.

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The colorful Id-ul-Fitr of Manipur – TwoCircles.net

The colorful Id-ul-Fitr of ManipurTwoCircles.netImphal: Id-ul-Fitr was celebrated on 31st August in the north-eastern state of Manipur. The auspicious occasion was celebrated in all the Muslim inhabited areas of the state with full religious fervor, po…

The colorful Id-ul-Fitr of Manipur
TwoCircles.net
Imphal: Id-ul-Fitr was celebrated on 31st August in the north-eastern state of Manipur. The auspicious occasion was celebrated in all the Muslim inhabited areas of the state with full religious fervor, pomp and gaiety.

New district demand booms in Manipur – MorungExpress

New district demand booms in ManipurMorungExpressImphal, September 3 (NNN): There have been new districts demand boom in Manipur. The latest has been the Tongjei Marin District Demand Committee (TMDDC) reviving its latent demand for creation of separat…

New district demand booms in Manipur
MorungExpress
Imphal, September 3 (NNN): There have been new districts demand boom in Manipur. The latest has been the Tongjei Marin District Demand Committee (TMDDC) reviving its latent demand for creation of separate district by bi-furcating the existing districts
New district demand booms in Manipur, Tongjei Marin district demand revivesKanglaOnline

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Support for Sharmila’s AFSPA fight from Nagaland – MorungExpress

The HinduSupport for Sharmila's AFSPA fight from NagalandMorungExpressDimapur, September 3 (MExN): Iron Lady of Manipur Irom Sharmila receives support from Nagaland in her fight against the black law the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. A number …


The Hindu

Support for Sharmila's AFSPA fight from Nagaland
MorungExpress
Dimapur, September 3 (MExN): Iron Lady of Manipur Irom Sharmila receives support from Nagaland in her fight against the black law the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. A number of citizens from Nagaland today wrote a letter encouraging the marathon
'Trying for consensus on lifting spl powers act'Hindustan Times
Sunday Magazine Mail BagThe Hindu
I share activist Irom Sharmila's disappointment: P ChidambaramEconomic Times
Times of India –Assam Tribune –Daily News & Analysis
all 55 news articles »