IMPHAL, Mar 30 : The rice mafia has struck again with matter coming to light that 3000 quintal of rice meant for the months of October, November and December last year for the people of Senapati district doing the Houdini act and disappearing into thin air after the same was lifted from the FCS godown.
Since the rice for the said three months has disappeared into thin air, no utilisation certificates have been furnished and this has added to the woes of the people of Senapati as the Government has put a ban on lifting rice for the months of January, February and March this year pending the submission of the utilisation certificates.
Disclosing this to The Sangai Express an official source said that the district administration of Senapati has already been instructed to furnish the utilisation certificates for the said months of October, November and December, 2007.
However the district administration has not been able to furnish the same till date, said the source and added that instead of producing the utilisation certificate the district administration has been repeatedly submitting written intimations to the Chief Secretary that the rice quota for the three months have been misappropriated.
The Deputy Commissioner of Senapati district should report the matter to the police and register a case so that investigations may be conducted to unearth the truth, opined the official source and added that till date no case has been registered with the police.
The Government has taken a very serious note of the matter, said the source and added that it has already been made clear that the pending rice quota will not be released until the utilisation certificates for the unaccounted quota are submitted.
In direct contrast with the case of Senapati, the other districts of the State have submitted the utilisation certificates for the rice quota till March this year, disclosed the source further.
When The Sangai Express contacted an official of Senapati district, the official, on condition of anonymity, said that following numerous com- plaints from the local people that they have not received their rice quota from the FCS, a preliminary investigation was set into motion.
During the course of the investigation, it has been confirmed that the rice for the said three months have been lifted from the FCS godown, said the official.
However it is yet to be confirmed whether the rice was actually distributed to the people or not, said the source further. On the other hand it has been confirmed that no utilisation certificates for the said months have been furnished, admitted the official.
It is yet not known who was or were responsible for lifting the said rice quota and there is as yet no lead on how it has disappeared into thin air.
In the face of failure to make any headway in getting to the heart of the matter, the district administration of Senapati has already submitted intimations numerous times to the Government said that said rice quota has been misappropriated, said the source.
Asserting that the best efforts are being made to make rice available to the people of the district, indents for the rice quota of January this year has been booked.
This however has failed to cut ice with the Government as the Government has made it clear that no rice would be allowed to be lifted pending the submission of the utilisation certificates for the said three months of October, November and December 2007, said the official from Senapati.
Targeting the migrant workers
By and large the killing of 15 migrant workers on the 17th and 18th March 2008 was a very unfortunate incident. This is a cause of concern in serious forms for every Manipuris. The recent upsurge in killing migrant workers might be the work of organised or disorganised groups that melted away after banding together briefly with the limited purpose of formenting chaos and violence.
Clearly, the method, the modus operandi and the systematic organisation of the act of killing the migrants and labels patened up on the back of the dead bodies which read ‘Go back to your state’ suggest the grievances run deep. Looking from this angle or point of view the deed of killing or the violence had been organised, not mindless or chaotic and adhoc. Actually the design shows that these actions are being taken up to promote agenda for a serious problem faced in the state from a very long time which on the surface seems to have stirred passions and lead to violence of such kinds.
In 1980, The All Manipur Students Union brought up the issue of “foreigner” contemporary with the same foreingner issue in Assam launched by AASU. But ‘Foreingner’ in the context of Indian Constitution in brief belongs to those who are not citizens of India. People coming illegally from Bangladesh, Nepal etc is a real concern for the people living in the North Eastern states. But the more problem for Manipur is the influx of migrant workers from other states specially from Bihar, West Bengal and Northern Indian states. So the problem and the fall out which leads to violence are not only the problem of law and order but also address larger questions pertaining the living condition of the people of Manipur. These larger questions belong to political, economical and social activities of the society of the state.
On the political front, Manipur was merged to India on the 15th October 1948 and became a part of India. Article 19 of the Indian Constitution guarantees its Citizen, freedom of movement to pursue activity for livelihood at any place within the country. If anyone or group oppose it, then it is against the law of the land. So evacuation or expulsion of migrants from Manipur cannot be done physically. Some states which have got “Inner line permit” can check the migrant workers to some extent. Such system is not enforced in Manipur as yet. So from this point of view the recent killing of some migrant workers is an unlawful activity in the legal eyes and a mindless act in the eyes of the general public.
On the economic front, or point of view, ther are many questions which must be answered by us before taking up violence means to expel those from the satte who share our bread.. Why do the migrant workers come to Manipur? At the surface, the answer is very easy. “To seek their fortune”. “In search of livelihood” by working here as skilled or unskilled labours.
Over the years, Imphal has been depending on the so called ‘outsiders’. Now it becomes a must for Imphalites to seek help at least to these people in daily activities. It becomes a reality.
Frist in Imphal city, slowly and silently it spreads upon the whole of Imphal valley and now it reaches upto the district headquaters and towns of all the hill districts. Certain jobs in the city such as that of cobbler, Richshaw driver, Pan and tea stall owners have to be associated with migrant workers from North India specially from Bihar. Evidently, the very fact that their jobs do not require any specials or skills make them easier to get.
At the same time, Manipuris seem not have been accustomed to the jobs as mentioned above. It may be due to the standard of living as Manipuris have been habituated in a very sound economic foundation during the period of our forefathers and in the preceding generations. Still now, Manipuris think it a vanity to take the job of a barber or a cobbler or a washerman.The apparent view is that the dignity or the flase pride or high handedness in valour is still in our blood. This has made us to depend upon the migrant workers who do many lowly paid but essential jobs in the unorganised sector.
It is also common phenomenon that the migrant workers work hard. They are actually driven out from their homeland for their stomach. To them, Manipur is a state full of green fodders. The grass is greener in our state which compels outsiders to come here.
To most of the migrant workers returning to their homestate means unemployment again which will ultimately lead to starvation then to death. So they prefer to live here, to die here because it is a fair gamble for them.
Last wednesday, I went into a hair cutting saloon to get my hair cut. There was a long queue as a good number of hair cutting saloons had got their shutter down in fear.
I asked the man doing my hair (his name was Ravi Prasad Tiwari) whether the recent killings had causeed him a fear psychosis. He said, “There is no fear for my safety. In fact, I am safer here tham in my own village in Bihar”. Like other migrants he was attracted to Imphal by its promise of a better livelihood. He visited his family in Bihar once in a year. During his absence he put a fellow Bihari in charge of the saloon. The city has been good to him and so he believes that the recent attack on migrant workers will fizzle out soon.
There are many Tiwaris to get aclimatize here. But how long a Bihari or a Punjabi remain in Manipur with their stomachs empty? So the best and natural way to expel the migrants will be to give them no room for earning here by doing thoses works by ourselves.
If every Manipuri does not polish his shoe to a migrant cobbler but to a Manipuri cobbler, if every Manipuri promished to cut his hair only by the hands of othe Manipuri, if every Manipuri engaged Manipuri workers in mannual works such as building, digging etc, then outsiders cannot remain here in Manipur.
Let every Manipuri tries hard to regain the lost work culture of our forefathers of not depending to others, then the issue of influx of migrant workers will die a natural death from the soil of Manipur.
The Sangai Express
Ibobi says harsh measures against militants unavoidable, Militants not sparing even temples, observes CM
By : A Staff Reporter 3/31/2008 2:07:19 AM
IMPHAL, Mar 30: Manipur chief minister O Ibobi Singh Sunday charged the militant groups operating in the state of collecting money from even the donations given in the name of God at various temples.
Ibobi who was speaking as chief guest at the inauguration function of the Shija Trauma, Emergency and Burn Centre at the Shija Hospital and Research Institute, Langol also justified the killing of militants stating that it had become unavoidable in ensuring the security of the civil populace in general and also considering the increasing harassment meted out to the public by these miscreants.
“Don’t say the government is coming down too hard on them. It is a must to check their excesses on the public and government,” he said.
He also observed that the government was spending a huge amount on counter insurgency operations even though it was aware how much development could be witnessed if the amount was invested in development works. But the government was doing so only to safeguard the lives of the common people, he added.
Regarding the collection of percentage from feasts offered in the name of god, the chief minister said that the charges per individual taken by the temple authorities was Rs. 30 per head earlier. But now it had increased to Rs. 50 as the militants collected Rs. 5 to 10 per head from those offering the feasts.
Ibobi also blamed the bad law and order situation for the fall in the inflow of tourists to the state which affected the potential income which could be generated from the tourism industry.
Improving the law and order situation in the state requires the cooperation of the people, he said adding that without the cooperation of the people it was impossible to usher in an era of peace and tranquility in the state.
Terming the recent serial killings of non-local labourers as an “unfortunate incident”, the chief minister expressed concern over what would happen to the Manipuris residing in other states of the country if such acts continue here.
While lauding the Shija hospital authorities for installing latest equipments, Ibobi said it had reduced the number of people going outside the state for treatment.
Minister for health and family welfare, Ph Parijat Singh, who also attended the function as guest of honour said that providing latest equipments and methods for treatment of patients, something which could not be done by the state run health centres, was laudable for the private entrepreneurs. Its an indication of development in the state, he added.
He also said that the state government was in the process of establishing a nursing college in the state in collaboration with the Shija hospital. He also cited the efforts of the government to set up a nursing council.
Parijat also congratulated the hospital on becoming one of the premier hospitals in the country and on its inclusion in the Guiness Book of World Records.
Mention may be made that the hospital was included in the Guinness Book in the year 2003 for removing the largest neck tumor in the world from a 12-day old baby.
The inauguration function was presided over by Dr. Kh Palin, chairman cum managing director, Shija Hospital and Research Institute and after the lamp lighting the oath taking of the second batch of the nursing students was held.
The principal of the Shija Academy of Nursing administered the oath to the nursing students in presence of the chief guest and president of the function.
Shija Hospital, Langol which is certified with ISO 9001:200 and has a capacity of 160 beds is a pioneer private healthcare institute providing secondary and tertiary healthcare.
A total of 460 trained staffs are serving in the hospital.
Economic compulsions force non locals to get back to work
By : A Staff Reporter 3/31/2008 2:05:22 AM
IMPHAL, Mar 30: Inadequate allocations of basic requirements at all the 24 temporary relief camps for non local residents run by the state government in all the four valley districts of the state have become a major concern for the respective district adminstrations following the failure of the state government to supply basic requirements after opening the relief camps.
It may be mentioned that the state government following the incidents of serial killing of 15 non-local in the state on March 17 and 18 opened several relief camps in the valley districts of the state including three at Bishnupur, five at Thoubal and another 16 under Imphal West and Imphal East districts with tight security provisions.
The question of the failure to provide the daily requirements came up when the concerned government officials or the concerned district administration failed to visit the respective relief camps since the last two days.
The non local residents are now eager to resume their usual works in the state as they have been under detention since March 19 at the relief camps and have no way to support themselves unless they make their daily earnings.
In the meantime, a majorty of the non local residents who were confined at the relief camps have voluntarily left the camps to resume their normal works of labourers although fear still lurks at the back of their minds on what may happen to them next.
On the other hand, the resumption of normal activities by the non local labourers and small traders also seems to be an indication that the apprehensions regarding their safety have slowly receded.
As a matter of fact the state government, considering the existing free movement enjoyed by the non locals since the last few days in the greater Imphal areas have relaxed the night curfew hours imposed in the valley districts.
Man with psychiatric problems cuts off private part
By : A Staff Reporter 3/31/2008 1:59:09 AM
IMPHAL, Mar 30: In a very rare incident of its kind, a man apparently having psychiatric problems Sunday cut off his private part and refused to let it be replanted despite strong insistence from the police, doctors as well as his family.
The man was identified as one Hidam Jiten, 37, hailing from Jiribam and currently residing at Thangmeiband Lourungpurel Leikai. The incident reportedly occurred at around 7.30 pm today at a house at Thangmeiband Lourungpurel Leikai and the man was brought up to the RIMS hospital at around 8.25 pm.
He was living with his second wife at Lourungpurel Leikai and he had earlier also hurt himself with a knife at his neck some two months back.
At that time also he was admitted at the same hospital, RIMS.
The man whose private part was totally cut off was hospitalized in a serious condition with excessive bleeding at the wounded part.
The doctors at the hospital insisted on the man to tell where his private part had been left for replanting it suggesting that if necessary operation was conducted within less than four hours, it would be possible to revive the organ.
But despite the strong insistence, the man did not tell where his organ had been thrown out. Police at the RIMS picket also intervened to urge him to tell the whereabouts of the organ.
The man told them that he had thrown it out at a open place without telling the exact spot. But on the strong insistence of the police personnel on duty at the hospital, he told the truth.
Later, the family member collected the organ from underneath his bed at his house at Thangmeiband. But he strongly rejected the proposal of the doctors and the family to replant the organ, hospital sources said.
Helpless doctors later performed an emergency surgery to stop the blood oozing out and after implanting an artificial pipe for urination, he was admitted to unit-3 of the male surgery ward of the hospital. His condition is out of danger now.
Doctors believe the man had psychiatric problems as earlier around two months back he was admitted at the same ward with several cut marks at the neck caused in an apparent attempted suicide.
CAU appointments irregularities continue
By : A Staff Reporter 3/31/2008 2:00:36 AM
\IMPHAL, Mar 30: The non-appointment of regular staffs in various important posts in the Central Agriculture University, CAU, Iroishemba since its inception 14 years back and the current manner of appointment of vacant posts of teaching staffs in various faculties in the colleges under the university, show that there are some discrepancies which the concerned higher authorities are surely aware of.
Even though the CAU is based in Imphal, the process for appointment to vacant posts in the College of Agriculture, Imphal, right from the collection of application forms to holding of interviews, is done at the office of the liaison officer of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi for reasons best known to the authorities only, many complained.
Due to the appointment process being held at New Delhi even though the headquarter of the university is based in Imphal, many local aspirants have been disappointed as they could not appear in the DPC for the posts, they said.
Mention may be made that the CAU on December 3 last year invited applications for filling up of teaching posts at its constituent college, the College of Agriculture, Imphal. The advertisement asked the applicants to submit applications in the prescribed forms to the Liaison office, CAU opened at room no. 202, Krishi Anusandhan Bhavan-II, Pusa Road, New Delhi.
The interview for the same was held on March 10 last at New Delhi at the campus of the ICAR.
Many aspiring candidates who could not appear in the interview were unhappy with reported unfair practices in the appointment of teaching posts by the authorities of the Central Agriculture University, Imphal at around the middle part of 2007 and expressed that the attitude of the authorities could not only dampen the spirits of the students but also many qualified candidates who were willing to apply for the posts.
The DPC was related with the filling up of various posts including professors, associate professors and assistant professors of different disciplines.
“We doubt that the higher authorities of CAU are holding the interview outside the state only to conceal their past mistakes and to avoid any complaints while manipulating the recruitment process,” a teacher serving in the College of Agriculture, Iroishemba who did not want his name disclosed said.
Disappointment with the authorities of the university, which is the only one of its kind in the entire north eastern region of the country has been prevalent since long.
As for instance, the university even though established in 1993 has not been filling up important posts like registrar, deputy controller, director research, director instruction etc. since its inception 14 years back.
Many questions on the non-filling of these posts have been raised from various quarters since long, They even suspect that some people holding higher posts in the university are doing the same for their own vested interest. They even question if the posts are not being filled up for the convenience of taking bribes while appointing on contract basis.
Interestingly, the post of registrar has been held by an in-charge for the last more than eight years.
Apart from this, even though the session of another post graduate studies course opened at Barapani, Meghalaya is nearly completing one year but so far except the dean, other staffs for the college have not been appointed on regular basis.
Mention may be made that last year a students body banned the process of appointments over the alleged malpractice in the selection process for the appointment of the professor, associate professor and assistant professor of the university charging that it was not in accordance with the recruitment rules of the university.
The university authorities’ holding of interviews nearly two years after the advertisement for the posts had been made was also contested last year.
The advertisement inviting applications from qualified candidates was notified on August 26, 2005 although the last date for submission was on December 20 of the same year.
After remaining silent for around two years, the interview was held on May 25, 2007 and the results were declared on June 18 the same year.
There was no strict rule that re-advertisement should be done if the process of the first advertisement was not completed well in time but it is unclear why the interview for the first advertisement was done after a long gap of time, an assistant professor of the CAU said on condition of anonymity.
“It is very wrong on the part of the university authorities to hold interviews for the first advertisement which was issued many years back even as there were no strict rules for cancellation of the advertisement,” he added.
Conducting of interview for vacant posts after two years without re-advertisement or allowing entry of fresh applicants amounts to violation of rights of the teachers who served as assistant professors and were desirous of applying for the posts, observed the source.
Interestingly, it may be recalled that the advertisement for appointment of professors and associate professors was issued on the same date as the College of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry, Mizoram, College of Fishery, Tripura and College of Home Science, Meghalaya, all constituents of CAU, Imphal. But for all these three constituents, DPCs were held well on time and appointments were also over within 2006 while the DPC of the College of Agriculture, Imphal was held with a delay of one year and nine months.
Another irregularity that was detected was that of the interview for appointment of associate professors for agronomy and entomology. For these posts, after screening for qualified applicants, only one each applicant remained.
But the interviews of the same were held even as recruitment rules stated that if eligible applicants be less than three, re-advertisement should be done inviting more candidates. However, this was not done except for postponing the last date of submission of applications, the source said.
The interview was held violating the notification issued by the registrar of the CAU dated November 2000 regarding the counting of past service rule.
The notification states that previous service, without any break as a lecturer or equivalent in a university, college, national laboratory, or other scientific organization, for example, CSIR, ICAR, UGC, DRDA, UGC, DRDO, ICSSR, ICHRI and as a UGC research scientist, should be counted for placement as lecturer in senior scale/selection grade under certain conditions which were stated clearly in the notification.
Long distance passengers suffer as bus owners call impromptu strike
By : A Staff Reporter 3/31/2008 2:02:58 AM
IMPHAL, Mar 30: Passenger services along the Indo-Myanmar road (Imphal-Sugnu) was severely disturbed today as drivers of buses serving along the Indo-Myanmar Sugnu road stopped services Sunday to protest against the kidnapping of a driver by a militant group on March 28.
The suspension of services which took place all of a sudden without any prior notice caused great inconvenience to the passengers.
A heated argument erupted this afternoon between the bus drivers and passengers after the drivers refused to resume service even after the sit in-protest ended. Some people even attempted to smash the parked buses which police on duty nearby prevented.
Later, considering the problems to be faced by the passengers the buses agreed to take the passengers upto Sugnu in the late afternoon.
The driver of a bus (MNA 867) named Heikrujam Inao Singh, hailing from Khongjom in Thoubal district, has been missing since he was abducted by suspected militants of the United Kuki Liberation Front, UKLF from Sugnu in Thoubal district on March 28.
He was reportedly kidnapped by the militant group on an extortion demand served on the owner of the vehicle on March 28 from Sugnu while he was in the parked bus at Sugnu.
Denouncing the act of the militants the drivers staged a sit-in protest at the Thoubal parking at Keishmapat this morning after the first trip. The owners of the buses also joined the protest later.
During the protest placards with slogans like ‘UKLF, release the driver’, ‘Don’t kidnap drivers for ransom’, ‘Don’t harass drivers’, ‘Stop kidnapping people for money’ etc. were displayed at the site. The protest commenced from around 8 am and went on till 2 pm.
A driver participating in the protest disclosed that on many instances underground elements harassed the drivers in many ways. They threatened to kill them sometimes for not meeting the monetary demands served on the owners of the vehicles.
“Why do they make us the scapegoat,” he asked.
On the sudden stoppage of the services many questions were raised by the passengers who could not head back home. “If they were to stop plying why did they pick up people this morning. Whatever the situation, they should consider the plight of the passengers too,” they lamented.
The passengers got even more angry when they saw the buses at the parking. They asked why the vehicles were parked there if they had suspended services. “The kidnapping incident took place some days back, why have they taken a hurried decision instead of announcing it earlier,” the anguished passengers said.
Imphal Free Press