In a statement issued to the press today, the student body said that it condemns the attempts to tarnish the image of the Power Minister, after carefully studying the report of alleged misuse of funds in the Power Department (As reported in the April 1 issue of TSE).
‘The ZSF rejects and gives no credibility to the so called expose’ by The Sangai Express on the mere basis of some verbal utterances by the ex-Chief Engineer, Power. It is also interesting to note that The Sangai Express is the only newspaper that keeps publishing negative press on the Minister,’ alleged the student body and added that the actual issue does not merit to be even called a graft charge as the newspaper itself had clearly stated that funds were diverted for payment of long pending Department Liability Lists, which was prepared by a Committee headed by the CE, Power.
The Minister himself had also clarified on the matter and it should have ended then and there, asserted ZSF.
Terming the reports as a well orchestrated smear campaign against the only Zomi representative in the Cabinet, the ZSF alleged that it is a covert ongoing policy to undermine and marginalise the Zomis in the State administration.
Recalling that two senior most police officers belonging to the Zomi tribe were killed by militants, the student body said that the State Government has till date done nothing to book the culprits.
Now a nexus of certain media elements, bureaucrats and politicians combine have launched this repeated campaign against one of the senior most Zomi leader for obvious political gains, asserted ZSF.
Denouncing the ‘partisan and biased role by The Sangai Express,’ the student body questioned whether the only objective of a newspaper is a scoop, expose’ or sensationalism.
‘Has this particular newspaper scrutinised fund release, utilisations and misappropriations in other Engineering Departments,’ asked the student body and further questioned whether any demand for a probe was raised when police raided the residences of MLAs/Ministers and arms including a rocket launcher were seized.
‘Why the deafening silence when army produced documents for huge monetary contributions made by leading politicians to certain militant groups,’ countered the student body. The statement also questioned whether the MLAs shouting hoarse on the issue know or care about the impending Mautam famine somewhere in the State.
Elimination of two Anal women, Chandel bodies adopt firm stand, warn
By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Apr 8: Serving an ultimatum to the State Government to translate Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh’s assurance to track down culprits involved in the murder of two Anal women into action within April 13, bodies seeking justice in the case have warned of intense agitation.
Speaking to news- persons at Nungourok office of IRCORD near Chandel district head-quarters today, president of All Tribal Women’s Orga-nisation (Chandel) Ms Amita declared that along with Chandel People’s Action Committee and other civil society orga-nisations widespread agita- tions would be launched in case demands placed be-fore the Government within the stipulated period is not considered positively or fails to evoke acceptable response.
recounting a previous memorandum, which was submitted to the Chief Minister on March 23 and O Ibobi reportedly assuring a delegate to identify within 48 miscreants involved in the murder of the two Anal women, Amita said that the eerie silence maintained by the Government on the issue is not only unbearable but is despicable as such inefficiency reflects discriminatory attitude of the SPF Government.
It is pertinent to note that the bodies of PS Snowy Anal alias Julie d/o Angshong Anal of Anal Khunou village in Chakpikarong sub-division of Chandel district and Esther Anal s/o LH Angno Anal of Charongching village were recovered with bruised marks and bullet wounds from Khekman Wangmataba Oinam Leirak area in Thoubal district on March 22 morning.
Fuming at the lethargic approach of the Government in the case, the ATWO president said no more memorandum or reminder on the matter would be submitted to the SPF Government even though plans are afoot to call on Governor Dr SS Sidhu tomorrow to air their grievances.
Observing that undermining womanhood and animalistic attitude towards the fairer sex in the society had been responsible for the brutal murder of the two Anal ladies, Amita strongly advocated that as in a democratic set-up and upholding the spirit of democratic principle there should be no laxity on the part of the Government in pulling up the cul- prits and subjecting them to appropriate punitive action which is not conceivable under the present regime.
She also demanded that Government prove the claim that cause of death of Snow-y and Esther were from gun-shot wounds as initial post mortem report had highlighted.
Regarding the series of agitations lined up by the ATWO and other bodies, Amita announced that in the first line of action bandh/blockade would be imposed along the NH-39 besides closure of shops and offices throughout Chandel district.
Further lack of positive response from the Government would compel the bodies to enforce bandh in all the hill districts followed by a state-wide bandh, she detailed.
Joining the media briefing, ATWO vice president BD Meenalhring Anal slammed the State authorities for failing to maintain law and order inspite of the fact that crores of rupees are being pumped in to upgrade security apparatus, purchase modern weapons and recruit security personnel in thousands.
While condemning inaptitude of the Government and describing law and order scenario in the hill areas as no better than anywhere else, Meenalhring gave a clarion call to the people to distance themselves from armed activists and desist from providing shelter to unlawful elements.
Speaking at the occasion, ATWO general secre- tary Hechin Haokip made a fervent appeal to all concerned to protect women from all forms of violence and acts of felony. she also expressed strong resentment that State Government is yet to extend assistance through introduction of rehabilitation programme to facilitate women of the district who had been maimed in land-mine blasts sustain livelihood.
While ATWO co-ordinator contended that inaction of the Government on the killing of Snowy and Esther is a testimony of the SPF Government pursuing discriminatory policy of segregating the people on community line, convenor of District Women Committee (Chandel) K Shangnaida Tontang cautioned that failing to act in the right perspective in the present case is likely to embolden anti-social elements to commit more atrocities upon womenfolk of the society.
Recounting that about ten women/girls had been killed in between March 18 and 28, Tontang said weapons purchased with the public money is only to protect life and properties of high ranking and influential individuals of the State with the commoners exposed to uncertainties arising out of the friction between State and non-State actors.
Apart from demanding punitive action against perpetrators of the criminal act, other proposal of the bodies is to extend ex-gratia/compensation to families of the victim women.
Rationalising PDS process, Govt revises system to plug loopholes
By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Apr 8 : With the Public Distribution System failing to reach the lowest denominator, the SPF Government has adopted a slew of measures to revise the existing system and ensure that the loopholes are plugged.
The decision to revise the existing system was taken during a marathon meeting held at the Chief Minister’s official bungalow today from about 4 pm and attended by all the MLAs, belonging to the ruling as well as the Opposition.
Significantly, the Chief Minister also chaired a meeting of the Congress Legislative Party to discuss the same last evening.
The slew of measures to be taken up to address the present shortcomings include, placing the indents of the PDS items by the Deputy Commissioner concerned to the Director of the Food and Civil Supplies Department, the respective Directors of the FCS to issue allocation order for the indent prepared by the DCs according to their permitted quota.
After minutely deliberating the issue, the meeting decided that the MLAs concerned will sign on the permit and deposit the cost of APL rice/BPL rice/AAY rice and levy sugar and other items for the agent concerned of his Constituency except for Chura- chandpur, Tamenglong and Chandel, where bamboo flowering is on.
It was also decided that all MLAs will issue permits to his representative to take over PDS items from this official representative of the district at the godown and store the same at a designated place. MLAs will also issue PDS items to all FPS under his AC.
The meeting further agreed that the representative of the MLA will lift the PDS items appointed by him from time to time in case of the valley districts while transportation bill should be submitted the DCs concerned.
An official notice which has been issued outlining the decision of the Government further said that transportation of all PDS items from PDC to PDSCs and FPS will be the responsibility of the DCs con- cerned in the hill districts.
The MLAs also decided that the respective DCs will issue Utilisation Certificates on the report of the receipt and distribution of PDS items on the basis of the reports submitted by the MLAs concerned through the authorised representatives, noted the order and added that the Director of the FCS will issue the next allocation on the strength of the utilisation certificates issued by the DCs.
The Sangai Express