The central team led by Pankaj Kumar, Jt Secretary, Dept of Agriculture has comprehensively studied the situation in Mizoram and they have been apprised by the officials there including Chief Minister Zoramthanga before their arrival here. Immediately on their arrival at about 6 pm, the team was apprised of the situation by the district administration with a power point presentation. They also received memoranda from the district’s apex student body CDSU, Zomi Mothers’ Association and ZEPADA. Through its representation the CDSU made it known that their concern on the increasing rate of school drop-outs due to Mautam, and also the adverse impact of Mautam in the educational atmosphere of the hill tribes. The six member team comprising of Sarvan Kumar, Director Planning Commission, Nalini Pathak, Assistant Director Ministry of Finance, Sube Singh, Assistant Commissioner RD Ministry, Dr SK Biswas, Director Jute Board, Kolkota, MK Gogoi, General Manager FCI Guwahati and the Joint Director are set to immediately begin their field study early tomorrow. According to an informed source, they team is likely to split into two, one attending Guite Road and the other Tipaimukh Road. However, security concerns for the officials could jolt the preparation any moment so, until such time they practically leave for the interiors, their schedule will remain untold. The team is set to leave the State on Saturday in an Indogi flight, and in all probability have to furnish their findings by next Monday.
The Sangai Express
President’s Rule option being considered at Centre
By : A Staff Reporter 4/3/2008 1:48:00 AM
IMPHAL, Apr 2: Manipur chief minister O Ibobi Singh who is camping at the national capital since yesterday will fly back to Imphal tomorrow morning amidst media reports in New Delhi that the Centre is contemplating the option of a regime change, including President’s Rule.
A New Delhi based national newspaper, Indian Express reported that the issue of alarming reports of lawlessness, corruption and misgovernance was discussed at the highest levels Tuesday, quoting a government source stating that “the ball is now in the court of state Governor SS Sidhu and home minister Shivraj Patil.”
In the meantime, the state chief minister after attending a review meeting with officials of the Prime Minister’s Office and another meeting on the RIMS administration late this evening is arriving in Imphal tomorrow by the Indigo flight.
The state authorities have made security arrangements along the Imphal-Tulihal airport road for his return to the state capital. He is arriving at 9 am before the commencement of the sitting of the state Assembly which is schedule at 11 am.
The chief minister, mention may be made, flew to New Delhi yesterday after he was asked by the Prime Minister’s Office, PMO to attend a meeting to review the worsening law and order situation and other security related issues of the state which coincided with a meeting on the RIMS.
What transpired at the two meetings could not be officially known here immediately.
In the meantime, the Indian Express published from New Delhi reported that a discussion took place on the alarming law and order situation of Manipur at the Cabinet secretary level with the state chief secretary yesterday.
We are re-producing the report as published in the national newspaper in its Wednesday edition.
“Disturbed at alarming reports of lawlessness, corruption and misgovernance from Imphal and a virtually ineffective Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, the UPA government is considering all options for a regime change, including the extreme one of President’s rule.
The issue was discussed at the highest levels today and the ball is now in the court of State Governor S S Sidhu and Home Minister Shivraj Patil.
Government sources said that Manipur Chief Secretary Jarnail Singh today met Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrashekhar and apprised him of the situation in the state, where Naga and Meitei underground groups openly call the shots. Fourteen non-Manipuri migrant workers were killed last month.
It’s understood that Singh complained to Chandrashekhar that despite the state having no less than 21 IPS officers, not one is currently serving there. According to the Chief Secretary, these officers had opted for the “comfort zone” in the Intelligence Bureau in the capital.
The Governor is also in touch with the UPA government and is expected to send a report in the next couple of days.
Although sections in the party are worried over the high political cost of dismissing a Congress-led government headed by Ibobi Singh who was sworn in for the second consecutive time last March, the UPA leadership is said to be “deeply perturbed” by extremist activity in the state with NSCN(I-M) and Meitei groups openly extorting money in the face of an indifferent regime. Sources said both Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have been sounded out.
The fact is that despite the PM committing funds and laying the foundation stone for a secretariat and a Central university in Imphal in 2004-2005, nothing has moved on both these projects.
Even though the UPA was seriously contemplating changing the state CM after 18 of the 31 Congress MLAs came out openly against him, Ibobi Singh has “managed” to bring six MLAs back to his fold.
The high command’s choice for replacement, currently a state Minister, was threatened with dire consequences. Ibobi also has Home, Finance and Urban Development.”
The Imphal Free Press
Khuga Dam scam, Ex-IFCD officials in probe net
By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Apr 2: An official order has been issued to investigate conduct of six top officials of the Irrigation and Flood Control Department (IFCD), including two who has since retired from service.
The investigation concerns suspicion against these officials on abuse of power regarding diversion of an amount of over Rs 29 crore from the Khuga Multi-purpose Project fund through issuance of work orders not related with the said project as well as release of bills.
The probe also envisions recovery of misused fund amounting to Rs 16.26 crore from the officials that include two former Chief Engineers, same number of Additional CEs and two Executive Engineers under the provisions of Manipur Public Servant Personal Liabilities’ Act (MPSPLA).
According to an in-formed source, a State Cabinet meeting held some time back under the Chairmanship of the Chief Minister O ibobi Singh decided upon initiating the probe to fix responsibilities against those involved in the fund misuse and flouting prescribed guide-lines for the Project.
On the Cabinet recommendation a high powered committee with Chief Secretary Jarnail Singh as the Chairman was also constituted while the State Vigilance Commission was entrusted to investigate the scam.
The source further disclosed that with the Chief Secretary-headed Committee having collected related documents and recorded statements of IFCD personnel/officials, necessary processes and notices were served on the six suspects on March 17.
The suspects/accused are informed to be retired CEs -A Sashikanta and K Ibotombi, Additional CEs (II) K Rajmani and Kh Rupachandra who are in service, and EEs of Flood Control Division (II) S Dwijamani and K Bheigyachandra.
S Dwijamani is informed to be currently under suspension. The notices clearly specified that the recipients should respond within 15 days, the source mentioned while detailing that compared to issuance of 631 work orders out of context of the Khuga scheme work orders that comes under authenticated sanction is only 289.
Apart from the initial investigation detecting that some out-of-context work orders issued were found to be justifiable the IFCD authorities reportedly sanctioned bills amounting to Rs 11.25 crore, said the source while calculating that the Government would have to recover an amount of Rs 16.24 crore from the officials with the condition that actual recovery would be decided after submission/confession of the six. Mention may be made that the Khuga scheme was sanctioned/commissioned some 20 years back when prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was the Deputy Chairman of the Union Planning Commission.
The Sangai Express
KRA (U) admits killing KRA chief
By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Apr 2: Finally the KRA (U) has claimed responsibility for killing KRA chief Hangshing in November last year at Delhi.
Briefing media persons at a place somewhere in Kangpokpi today, vice-president of the KRA (U) Alen gave several reasons for eliminating Hangshing.
When he was the leader of KRA, Hangshing in connivance with the chief of Jalenphai village located under Saikul sub-division, bought the village in his name using party fund.
Infuriated with the activities of Hangshing, four cadres of the outfit linked up with Assam Rifles and started plotting to effect the arrest of party cadres.
In the subsequent development, Hangshing shot dead KRA deputy commander in-chief Paominthang alias Collins, captain Seilen alias Robert, maj Max, Jamthang of Kuki Inpi Saikul and Takhellambam Nando of Kairang.
The corpse of Nando cannot be located till date.
Further, Hangshing murdered Paolun Chongloi, Paocha Chongloi, Lalminthang Chongloi and Romen Chongloi, disclosed Alen.
Because of all these criminal activities, the KRA (U) was compelled to eliminate Hangshing, he stated.
He further clarified that the elimination of K Hangshing was not connected in any manner with Seitinmang Chongloi, Bungkholal Chongloi, Paojang Chongloi, Nejahen Chongloi and Guna of Kairang.
Stating that Seitinmang Chongloi was not president of the KRA (U), vice-president Alen informed that he has been acting as president of the outfit following the arrest of president David from Dimapur.
Terming the recent killing of four persons including Seitinmang Chongloi by the KRA for their alleged involvement in the elimination of Hangshing, Alen asserted that the activity cannot be related to the KRA (U).
The four went to attend a negotiation meeting aimed at ending the feud between Hangshing and Chongloi families.
But they were executed by the KRA on the false allegation of their involvement in the killing of K Hangshing.
Alen further informed that training of the newly recruited KRA (U) cadres will be completed soon.
The Sangai Express