Adieu Ava Rishang Keishing

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Aug 22

Hymns echoed mellow at Mantripukhri as family members and well-wishers mourned the passing of Rishang Keishing, one of the oldest and most reputed politicians in the Northeast and a leading figure of Manipur politics. He was 98.

Medical report said Keishing died of multiple organ failure and sepsis. He was treated at RIMS intensive care unit since a month back. He passed away at 8.15 pm today.

Bereaved family members and relatives were condoled at RIMS, intensive care unit by MLAs and politicians including Gaikhangam, TN Haokip, DD Thaisii, Thangso Baite. BJP MLA of Konthoujam constituency Sapam Ranjan also came to pay his respects. “We have lost a great leader today,” Ranjan told Imphal Free Press.

Rishang belongs to Bungpa Khunou village of the newly created Kamjong district and was born to late Lungdi Keishing and late Mungshingla Keishing on 25 October, 1919. He is survived by his wife Khatingla Keishing and four sons and two daughters.

His condolence ceremony will be held at his residence at Mantripukhri on Wednesday morning. Later, floral tribute will be paid at MPCC complex at BT road. His mortal remains will be laid to rest at his native village of Bungpa Khullen on August 24.

He began his career as a teacher in Bungpa lower primary school when he was just 16 after finishing his sixth grade from Kangpokpi Mission Middle Elementary school in 1936. After a short stint of teaching he resumed his education at Churachand High school in 1937-38.

He continued his studies at Kohima government high school and passed matriculation examination from Jorhat Christian High school at Assam (1944-45). He studied his higher secondary education at St Paul Cathedral College at Calcutta and graduated from Calcutta University in 1949.

He later joined the Ukhrul Christian Junior High school as headmaster in September 1949.

He later resigned from his teaching career in 1952 and entered the political arena.He was elected as member of parliament to the first Lok Sabha from outer parliamentary constituency under the ticket of the Indian Socialist Party in April 1952 and continued till April 1957.

In 1962, he was again elected member of the third Lok Sabha under the same ticket till 1967. He had joined the Indian National Congress during that tenure in 1964 under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru. He got elected in 1972 and continued successfully for seven consecutive terms till 2002.

He was sworn in as a cabinet minister in 1975 and became the deputy chief minister in 1977 became the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee president in 1978. He was sworn in as the 11th Chief Minister on November 27,1980. He continued his chief minister-ship though not full five years tenure for another five terms.

He became a member of Rajya Sabha in 2002 and again got elected in 2008 which ended in 2014.

(*Ava means father in Tangkhul dialect)

Joint bodies want Sikh Regiment to apologise

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Aug 22

Joint bodies strongly condemned the daylong detention of a retired Assam Rifles personnel at Khoupum Dithaolong without any reason by the Sikh Light Regiment posted at Namkaolong Part-1, Khoupum, Noney district.

Speaking to media persons today at Manipur Press Club, Imphal  Rongmei Lu Phwan(RLP) Assam, Manipur and Nagaland, president, Panti Gonmei said that on August 17 retired Assam Rifles personnel, Aku Panmei son of Gikhongai Panmei of Taolingpung was picked up from his residence by the Sikh Regiment and forced him to hold an AK-47 rifles and took snap to make him look like an UG cadre.

Earlier in July month he was picked up by the same Sikh Regiment while he was working in his paddy field and wrongly accused him as UG cadre and they even refused to entertain his identity card shown to them, she added. The Sikh Regiment even rang him up and threatened that they can even arrest women if they want to, said the Panti.

She continued that such action of the Sikh Regiment created fear among the people of Khoupum. “The sepoys shamelessly disrobed their uniforms when a woman appeared to fetch water,” added the president.

The joint bodies asked the Sikh Regiment to delete the photo of Aku holding the gun and also asked them to apologise for their inhuman act.

Panti appealed to all citizens and civil bodies of the state to condemn and extend solidarity to the fight against human rights abuse.

3-day mourning announced, holiday today

IMPHAL | Aug 22

Chief minister N. Biren Singh has condoled the demise of former chief minister and parliamentarian Rishang Keishing. In his condolence message, the CM remembered Keishing as one of the longest serving chief ministers of the State.

He said, “Rishang Keishing’s contribution towards Manipur’s progress will always be remembered. I offer my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family of Rishang Keishing.”

The chief minister said Rishang was a people’s man and a pragmatic leader. The veteran politician was one of the oldest parliamentarians of India, he added.

As a mark of respect to the departed soul, a three-day State mourning will be observed, and the government offices and educational institutions will remain closed tomorrow.

The All India Congress Committee, AICC, in a tweet also condoled the death of the veteran and said the party’s thought and prayers will remain with his family.

Film forum appeals to stop giving hindrances to Manipuri cinema

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Aug 22

The Film Forum Manipur (FFM) maintaining that the Manipuri cinema is at the receiving end due to frequent interference, appealed to all concerned to refrain from giving further hindrances to secure the future of the cinema.

Speaking to media persons during a press interaction at the Manipur press club, S. Mangaoljao, FFM chairman, said it is a well-known fact the future of Manipuri cinema hangs in the balance for several reason. But, despite the fact, inference from various pressure groups continues putting the cinema at the receiving end, he said.

 The forum chairman appealed to all concerned to stop asking for donations and monetary demands of any forms.

Mangaolja further appealed to all concerned to avoid the trend of imposing frequent ban on Manipuri cinema for unintended error committee by film makers.

“As a human being we make mistakes. There may be loopholes while making a film but instead of targeting the film by banning it. We request any concerned groups to approach the forum and settle any issue amicably”, said Mangoljao.

The FFM chairman informed that the forum has reviewed its norm with regards to screening and producing Manipuri cinema.

Spelling of some of the new norms, he said that the forum will start conducting preview of film and music video weekly basis, every Saturday.

To do so film maker or producers are asked to approach the forum for the preview with relevant document on Friday, he said before adding that fine would be imposed if any of the film makers crosses the stipulated timeline.

He further informed that fine will also be imposed on producers or film makers, to seek registration of the title prior to filming.

To put up advertisement for films, to screen Manipuri cinema and music video through cable TV outside Imphal etc, permission should be sought from the forum failing which action would be taken against the producers, warned Mangoljao.

4 months rice not distributed in Yaiskul AC

MLA blames former government

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Aug 22

Charges have cropped up from a former councillor of Yaiskul Assembly constituency regarding pilferage of National Food Security Act rice. Allegation is that gross nepotism and manipulation have been conducted in the rice distribution.

Addressing a press conference at Manipur Press Club today, Y. Ratikanta, former councillor of ward number 19 of Yaiskul constituency stated that he sought information regarding the rice distribution through the RTI Act recently.

The reply he received from the consumer affairs, food and pubic distribution department mentioned that rice had been allocated for the constituency till April 2017. But, the signatures of distribution made in the beneficiaries ration books states that rice had been distributed for May, June and July of this year.

The month of January, February, March and April is blank in all the ration books. For evidence, he showed several cards which supported his statement.

He questioned the motive of distributing rice quota sanctioned for the earlier four months as rice quota for the latter three months. “What will happen to the rice of the last four months?” he charged.

Moreover, he alleged that the fair price shops and agents have been neglected as the distribution is done by a committee called Development Welfare Committee through its secretary namely A Joychandra.

Hinting political favouritism, he said that the CAF and PD department has turned a blind eye and the SDO concerned signs the utilisation certificate authorising the committee secretary Joychandra to receive the monthly quota. Joychandra is not a registered rice agent, he added.

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Further, he distributes the rice through his committee deriding the authority of the registered local distribution agents, said Ratikanta.

It was alleged that the ward members are also empowered to sign the rice quota utilisation certificate where only councillors concerned are authorised to do so. He mentioned that ward member of 19, Yaiskul a/c , namely T Gobind also signed for Ward number 18 among other discrepancies. Ratikanta stated that the rice quota for November and December were not distributed too.

In the regard, Imphal Free Press called up the concerned MLA Th Satyabrata. He clarified that he became an MLA in March 2017 and anomalies in rice distribution before his tenure is not within his ambit.

“I have started distributing rice from April onwards and there have been no lapses and there will not be any in future also” he added saying that if complaint arises regarding concerned rice agents, then it can be handed over to a welfare organisation in the interest of the public.

Imphal East district supply officer also commented that an agent can be removed if found indulging in any pilferage and another agent or a body can be deputed as an interim arrangement.

KSA calls of 48 hrs general strike

IMPHAL | Aug 22

Kangliepak Student’s Association (KSA) called off the 48 hours general strike which was scheduled from August 23 to 27 after coming to terms with the minister of CAF and PD, Karam Shayam and DGP L. M. Khaute, this evening.

Sources said that it was agreed between the two parties that a further meeting will be held along with the chief minister at 3 pm on August 25. It was resolved that the arrested students will be released without any conditions within the next 3 days, it said.

It was also agreed upon that the ongoing search and arrest of students is to be stopped altogether, the source continued.

Visually impaired Chaobi languishes without pension benefits

Visually impaired Chaobi languishes without pension benefits

From A Correspondent

THOUBAL| Aug 22

 Mainam Ningol Chaobi Devi (87), who is blind ever since birth, has been living without getting any pension benefits under government scheme. She hails from Thoubal district which is the assembly constituency O. Ibobi, the former chief minister who held the post for 15 long years.

Chaobi who lives at Wangmataba College Road, Thoubal can still hold conversations well even in her age. However, the family members have expressed disappointments regarding the matter towards the departments concerned.

Representative of social welfare department had visited her residence before and took her photographs, but nothing came from it. Choabi holds her disability certificate; however she has received not a single benefit from any of the departments concerned.

After it was being circulated in the social media regarding her conditions, this reporter went to her residence for an interview.  Brojendro, son of (L) Mainam Kunjo who was the younger brother of Chaobi, expressed that his parents told him that her aunt had lost her eyesight when she reached around four months after birth.

She has turned 87 years of age, and all her siblings have passed away. To make their Aunt’s life a little comfortable, they had been trying and pushing hard to deliver some benefits from social welfare department for the last 15 years, but unfortunately to no avail. 

Brojendro further said that they started requesting for her old age pension 15 years before, during the time when Leitanthem Tomba was the MLA of Thoubal district.  But nothing has been provided so far.

A former chairperson of Thoubal municipal council has also assured help. In this regard they had submitted all the required documents to departments concerned but no results had come out it so far.

Brojen said, “It is not that we are craving for the meagre pension provided by the government. But we wish to see her happy to receive her pensions as she has been left out from the rest.”

He further appealed to the departments concerned of the new government to look into the matter.  

Eye donation campaign fortnight

IMPHAL | Aug 22

With an aim to create mass awareness and to pledge for eyes donation after death, Saksham, Manipur Prant is organising the ‘Eye Donation Campaign Fortnight’ programme on August 25, at Iboyaima Sumang Lila Shanglen, Konung, Imphal. The campaign will continue till September 8.

Speaker Manipur Legislative Assembly, Y. Khemchand Singh and chairman MPCB & KVIB, government of Manipur L. Radhakishore Singh will attend as chief guest and president respectively, in the inaugural function of the campaign.

It is worth recalling that the National Eye Donation Fortnight is observed every year from August 25 to September 8.

Rio NPF group welcomes progress on Naga peace talk

Newmai News Network

DIMAPUR |Aug 22

The ‘watershed meeting’ of the first Naga People’s Front (NPF) central executive council (CEC) headed by Neiphiu Rio which was held today in Kohima adopted six resolutions.

 The first resolution said that, the “NPF welcomes the good progress and achievements made thus far” in the government of India and NSCN (IM) peace process and the NPF is content that the political dialogue has reached the final stage.

“While appreciating the fact that the negotiating  parties understands the difficulties and limitations of both the entities, the NPF urge upon the negotiating parties to expedite the peace process with more zeal in order to bring  about an amicable and honourable solution respecting the unique Naga history at the earliest,” it added.

 The second resolution stated that, “for too long, the presidential decisions and actions of Dr. Shürhozelie  Liezietsu was engulfed  within the perimeter of four deleterious  tenets .i.e autocratic, dictatorial, undemocratic and unconstitutional”. While suspensions and expulsions of the party legislators became the order of the day, Dr. Shürho abusively converted the NPF party into a family fiefdom, it alleged.

 “Therefore, in order to save the party from further destructions and mutilations, the more then 2/3rd absolute majority of NPF Legislature Party selected Neiphiu Rio three times chief minister and MP (Lok Sabha) and the tallest Naga Leader as the interim president, consequently a grace period of 15 days was served to Dr. Shürho to repent and resign from the president,” it added. The NPF CEC then supported and endorsed the decision of NPF Legislature Party taken on July 31, 2017.

 It also adopted another resolution that, with the expiry of the 15 days deadline on August 13,  for Dr. Shürhozelie to step down as the president, the NPF CEC unanimously agreed that Neiphiu Rio shall no longer be the “interim president” but will become the full-fledged president of NPF.

 The NPF CEC then fully endorsed the decision of the president to convene the NPF General Convention on September 20, 2017 at Dimapur and extended its supports and endorsed the constitution of Search Committee for the selection of President and Central Office Bearers (COB).

 “While the ongoing leadership dispute and the crisis in the party is unfortunate, the NPF CEC sincerely appeals the general public not to Panic but to remain steadfast with the leadership of Neiphiu Rio, president NPF and TR Zeliang chief minister as to ensure peace and tranquillity. Meanwhile, the NPF CEC is confident that the leadership dispute shall be settled soon by the ECI”, another resolution added.

The Neiphiu Rio led NPF CEC extended its “unwavering and unflinching support to the leadership of Neiphiu Rio, President and T.R Zeliang, Chief Minister and further appeals to the party men and women to come and join the majority group and support the NPF led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government”.

Meanwhile, the Dr Shurhozelie led NPF has announced today convene “an emergency Central Executive Council (CEC) meeting” on August 25.

“In exercise of the powers conferred on me vide Article No IV Clause c (ii) of the Constitution, I, Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu, President Naga People’s Front do hereby convene an emergency Central Executive Council (CEC) Meeting on the 25th of August 2017 (Friday) at 11 am in the Central Office headquarters in Kohima. Therefore, all the Central Executive Council (CEC) members are directed to attend the meeting without fail,” said Dr Shurhozelie in his notification issued today.

Home guards continue fast-unto death protest

Home guards continue fast-unto death protest

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Aug 22

Lamphel police pick up the five protesters of 13th batch, fast-to death protest of the Home Guard’s Association and the 14th batch of the fast-to death protest started from today’s afternoon.

It has been two weeks the home guards personnel took up agitation demanding to increase their monthly allowance as directed by the Supreme Court.

During a recent meeting with the home guard representatives with the chief minister and other officials, the chief minister told them that the government can increase only Rs 2000 in their allowance as the state has less resource. On the other hand the home guard personnel had claimed that 90 percent of their allowance is to be given by the central government.

As the government cannot fulfill the home guard’s demand during the meeting, the association had decided to wait for a positive response from the government till the last day of the month by continuing the fast-to death protest.

Lightning victim seeks financial support

IMPHAL | Aug 21

Porei Apunba Leimaron Meira Paibi (PALMP), Manipur has sought financial support for treatment of a woman who got struck by lightning on July 29 while working in a paddy field at Kharasom Awang Leikai, Imphal East.

Speaking to media persons today at Manipur Press Club, Imphal PALMP, secretary, K. Meirajaobi said that, treatment of Yengkhom Pakpi (59) wife of Y. Dhana of Kharasom Awang Leikai who got injured by lightening is currently going on at Shija hospital.

Currently the hospital bill has reached Rs. 6 lakhs and her family is not in a condition to pay the amount owing to their poor financial status, she added.

The secretary said “As it is an accident similar to natural calamity” PALMP want the government to give financial support for her treatment on humanitarian ground.

Meirajaobi appealed to all the kind hearted people and civil bodies of the state to financially support in Pakpi’s treatment.

Shyamkumar instructs officials to hasten Sangai conservation works

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Aug 21

Forest and environment minister, Th. Shyamkumar said that the government has been taking up certain steps and measures to conserve Sangai which is the only species found in the state.

He was delivering the chief guest speech during the inaugural function of the one-day state level sensitisation cum consultation workshop on “Conservation of Sangai” for legislators, administrators and media today at Hotel Classic Grande, Imphal.

The consultation workshop was organised by principal chief conservator of forest, head of forest force and director, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.

He asked the officials of forest department to not to wait for tomorrow in performing their duties and urged them to work at their best level to save the endangered animal with a sense of urgency. 

In order to conserve the animal which represents the state, the officials should also take suggestion from senior citizens who have ample knowledge of conserving and protecting the animal, he added.

Wildlife Institute of India, scientist-G, S.A. Hussain during his short presentation on Sangai conservation said that threat to the continuous survival of Sangai is largely because of single isolated small population, increased probability of diseases, deteriorating habitat condition, lack of connectivity for re-colonisation, biomass demand of the park and inadequate of staff, infrastructure and fund.

He said that considering the fact that the availability of land is a limiting factor in Manipur valley, increasing the size of Keibul Lamjao National Park which is the habitat place of Sangai will be a challenge.

So strengthening the population in the park by preserving and restoring the habitat, reducing mortalities and establishment of second population within the state is a way to conserve the environment, he added.

Moreover steps should be taken up to improve the habitat condition and protection measures, to mobilise the local communities through awareness and sensitisation programmes and to conduct applied research, continued Hussain.

The function was attended by principal chief conservator of Forests and head of Forest force, K. Angami, additional chief secretary Shambhu Singh, MLA, L. Radhakishore and MLA, S. Bira as presidium members.

Kidnapper sent to five days remand

From A Correspondent

THOUBAL | Aug 21

Moirangthem Lukhoi, who was arrested for trying to kidnap a 7 year old girl on August 19, was given five days police remand on August 20 at the court of CJM, Thoubal in order to carry out further investigations.

The police are still continuing with their investigative work after registering a kidnapping  charge against Lukhoi (22), son of Ibomcha from Umang Laikon, Heirok part I. Meanwhile, a public meeting was held at Heirok Bazaar regarding the kidnapping incident. Several resolutions were made in the meeting. It was resolved that a JAC of nine members will be formed to bring justice to the case of kidnapping. As the incident was reportedly related with drugs, it was also resolved that a meeting will be held on August 29 with NGOs, clubs, Meira paibis and law enforcement agencies to completely ban drugs and alcohol abuse in Heirok. This resolution was made to prevent further happening of unwanted incidents to the students of the school in future.

Lastly, it was resolved that a reward will be given to Moiranthem Tomba, son of Thambal from Hierok part II, who saved the child from the hands of the kidnapper. 

Tension mounts as Rio faction calls CEC meeting

DIMAPUR |Aug 21 (NNN)

Tension ran high as one of the two rival factions of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) is all set to hold central executive council (CEC) meeting in Kohima tomorrow.

Former Chief Minister of Nagaland Dr Shurhozelie Lizietsu who is leading the other faction of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) said the meeting of CEC of NPF led by Neiphiu Rio scheduled for tomorrow in Kohima as illegal and unauthorised.

“Take notice that this meeting is illegal, unauthorised by me or the CEC and is thus unconstitutional. Those who attend this illegal meeting will be doing so at his/ her risk of being automatically disqualified/ debarred/ suspended from the Naga People’s Front ‘s primary and active membership,” said Dr Shurhozelie Lizietsu in a statement.

Meanwhile, NPF led by Dr Shurhozelie said in another statement that, “it has come to the notice of the Naga People’s Front, central headquarters, that an unauthorised person by the name of Thangsat Kuki, formerly office secretary of the NPF and presently with the Rio group, has been circulating on the social media an illegal circular calling for a meeting of the CEC on August 22”.

Pointing out a clause in the party constitution, the Dr Shurhozelie group said, “Article IV (3) (c) (iii) of the Constitution of the NPF party clearly states that ‘any member of the Party may requisition a meeting of the CEC by presenting to the president a memorandum signed by 1/3rd or more of the CEC and such a meeting be convened within 15 days from the date of receipt.”’

Meanwhile, the Neiphiu Rio led NPF said that the ‘Media and Press Bureau’ of Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu “has no legality in propagating the agenda of the minority group since the voice of the majority in the Legislature and the Party set up is solidly behind Neiphiu Rio who has been popularly chosen to lead the NPF party”.

The Rio NPF camp also added, “If there is any illegality anywhere, it is with the minority NPF group and its ‘Misinformation and Propaganda Bureau’ which is relentlessly trying to confuse the people with concocted versions and misinterpretations of the laws of the country and the Constitution of the NPF.”

 The Rio led NPF then said that the rival group “utterly disregarded the voice of the majority” and contended, “It has now become incumbent upon Neiphiu Rio to function as the full-fledged President of the NPF party.”

Cementing ties with state diaspora needed, says Jayantakumar

By A Staff Reporter

AGARTALA | Aug 21

United Committee Manipur (UCM) in association with Programme Committee Tripura have organised the Tripura Manipur socio cultural meet at Sahid Bhagat Singh Youth Hostel, Agartala, Tripura. 

Minister of art and culture, L. Jayantakumar who attended the meet as the chief guest, said a statue of major Chongthamiya, who took a big role in the war against the British and later exiled from his birthplace, to breathe his last in Naran Kharam village, Tripura, will be erected in the village.

 The occasion was attended by member of Meetei Students Union, Tripura, Sahitya Parishad and representatives of civil organisations. Jayantakumar further expressed that the meet was crucial and necessary for strengthening the bond between those Manipuris who had been staying at the said village.

He further urged that the people should not shy away from trying to find out their identity. One must try to protect one’s identity. The Manipuris who had settled at different places should not feel disheartened for being a minority. They should rather try to maintain their identity. Otherwise, fear will enter their lives when they are unable to know their roots, he added.

 It may be mentioned that major Chongthamiya (1841 – 1908) whose real name was Chongtham Iboton, was sent as a spy in disguise of a Muslim by Chandrakirti to draw information from the Muslims who were revolting against him. Chongthamiya was successful in his task and prevented much bloodshed from happening.  

He was an individual who took a major role in the war against the British. On May 12, 1891, a death sentence was passed against him for conspiring against the queen of England. He was to be hung on May 15, 1891. One the day of execution, a new order was passed and he was exiled to Andaman Nicoabar where he stayed till 1896. After his release, he went to Radha Kunda and Brindavan as the British prevented him from returning back to Manipur.

He arrived at Tripura in 1898 to stay with his relatives at Naran Kharan village, and last breathed his last there in 1908.   

President of UCM, Elangbam Johnson speaking on the occasion said that the effort to maintain a good relationship with Manipuris who has settled outside is crucial. He said Manipuris who have settled outside the state should not be bogged down by inferiority complex. One should be proud to assert his/her identity, he added. Johnson further said that UCM will provide all necessary help to the Manipuris who are settled in Tripura to get equal political and social rights.

Veteran writer of Tripura, L. Birmangal Singh and chairman of the reception committee, N. Niranjan Datta Das also attended the function as presidium members.