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Manipur student bodies slam CM for “anti-tribal policy”

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Ibobi Singh source: thehindu.com

american-constitutionBy NewsGram Staff Writer

Guwahati: Pertaining to the prevailing situation in Manipur due to three controversial bills being passed in the Manipur state assembly, a number of tribal student bodies of Assam’s Karbi Anglong district have sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention.

After violence erupted last week following the Manipur government’s adoption of three landmark bills – Protection of Manipur People Bill 2015, Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Bill 2015, and Manipur Shops and Establishment Bill 2015, at least nine people were killed and 20 seriously injured.

This outraged the student bodies who subsequently, appealed to the prime minister.

In a joint memorandum, the Karbi Students’ Association, the Rengma Naga Students’ Union, the Hmar Students’ Union, the Kuki Students’ Union, the Students’ and Youth Council, and the Khasi Students’ Union have together appealed to the prime minister to look into the problems faced by their fellow tribal indigenous people in Manipur.

On August 31, the three bills were unanimously passed in the assembly when the ruling Congress, in order to enact three laws to protect the interests of the people, signed an agreement with the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) on August 25.

Demanding an inner line permit system in the state similar to the ones in force in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland, the JCILPS had been spearheading a month-long agitation. However, the state’s hill tribes have claimed that the three bills would directly undermine the existing safeguards for the tribal hill areas regarding land-ownership and population influx as the primary threat for the tribal people came not from outside the state but from the Meitei people of the valley itself.

In the memorandum addressed to Modi and submitted to the Karbi Anglong deputy commissioner on Tuesday, the students’ bodies blamed Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh for the loss of the nine lives and condemned his “anti-tribal policy”.

“As such, he (Singh) has no moral right to continue as the chief minister and he should step down to restore peace and harmony in Manipur state,” it stated.

The memorandum urged the central government “to immediately intervene on the bills in question and request the government of Manipur to repeal or revoke the said amended bills which affect tribal rights”.

“We also want you to address the issues raised by the tribal people of the state in particular and the north-eastern states in general which is to protect the lives and properties of the tribal indigenous people from such type of government set-ups,” it said, adding that the tribal people could govern themselves and determine their future freely.

 

(With inputs from IANS)

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Dalai Lama on Three Day Visit to Manipur

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Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama will be in Manipur on Tuesday. ians

Imphal, October 16: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama will arrive here on Tuesday on a three-day visit to Manipur, officials said.

This will be his second trip to India’s northeast after his April visit to Arunachal Pradesh.

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh told IANS on Monday that the government had declared the Dalai Lama a state guest.

“We will extend a warm welcome to him. He will be given all facilities as an honoured guest,” he said.

On Wednesday, the Dalai Lama will be given a public reception at the Convention Centre here. It will be followed by a felicitation programme at the same venue.

The Dalai Lama will interact with members of the public and dignitaries.

The Dalai Lama, who has lived in India in self-imposed exile since fleeing his homeland in 1959, is coming to Manipur at the invitation of the Speaker of the Manipur Assembly.

His Arunachal Pradesh visit had sparked a diplomatic row between India and China.(IANS)

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Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu launches construction of Indian Railway’s longest tunnel

The 111-km-long Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal new broad gauge railway project was taken up in 2008 and was soon declared as a National Project

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Suresh Prabhu. Image source: www.iisd.ca
  • Indian Railways have taken a holistic approach towards development and the 111-km-long new broad gauge railway line from Jiribam to Imphal
  • The 111-km-long line comprises 37 tunnels and the tunnel no 12 will be the longest in the Indian Railway at 11.55 km
  • The tunnel would not only connect two parts of Manipur by rail but it would also be a symbolic representation of the state getting connected to the Indian mainland

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Saturday, July 30, announced the commencement of works of the longest tunnel in the Indian Railway – on the Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal new broad gauge railway line in Manipur.

The 111-km-long line comprises 37 tunnels and the tunnel no 12 will be the longest in the Indian Railway at 11.55 km. Besides the longest tunnel in Indian Railway, the stretch also has another striking feature – the tallest bridge in the world, being constructed over Iring river with a pier height of 141 metres, almost equal to two Qutub Minar stacked over each other.

Prabhu made the announcement for the commencement of work on the tunnel while speaking at a function to lay the foundation stone of the proposed railway station at Yurembam village, 13 km away from Imphal.

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“Connectivity is the prime driver of development and the Railway Ministry would not spare any resources for bringing in speedy development of rail connectivity in the region. Indian Railways have taken a holistic approach towards development and the 111-km-long new broad gauge railway line from Jiribam to Imphal.

Manipur CM Image source: www.thehindu.com
Manipur CM Image source: www.thehindu.com

“This will not only connect Imphal to the rest of the country but also open up new vistas for economic development of the region,” said Prabhu in his address on the occasion.

“We are proud of our cultural heritage and therefore the proposed Imphal station had been designed incorporating the architectural elements of Kangla Fort Gate and Shri Govindji Temple -two historical monuments of Manipur,” he said, adding Minister of State for Railways, Rajen Gohain would be entrusted with monitoring progress of the projects so that they can be completed in time.

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Announcing the commencement of the works for the Tunnel No. 12, Prabhu said the tunnel would not only connect two parts of Manipur by rail but it would also be a symbolic representation of the state getting connected to the Indian mainland.

The 111-km-long Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal new broad gauge railway project was taken up in 2008 and was soon declared as a National Project. While the works for 12.5-km-long Jiribam to Dholakhal section has been completed and commissioned for freight train in March 2016, construction of 25 out of the total 37 tunnels on the 84 km Jiribam-Tupul section have been completed April this year. The works for the rest are also progressing well.

Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, while expressing his satisfaction and happiness for Indian Railway’s initiatives for bringing in better connectivity to the region, requested the central government to consider extending the railway line to Moreh from Imphal. (IANS)

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Radicals call for 24 hour ‘public curfew’ in Manipur

Despite the sudden closure of schools, several girl students had turned up and they were locked in a face-off with the policewomen.

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Protesters vs Security forces, (representational Image) Wikimedia
  • Notably, the schools and colleges are already closed for two days following a government order in view of anti-migrant agitations
  • On the other hand, for nearly a week women activists have been intercepting all Manipur-bound passenger buses to off-load migrant workers who come to the state without proper documents
  • However, the police have refused to file cases against them, contending that the migrants are all Indians

Protesting the police high-handedness, the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) has imposed a 24-hour public curfew in Manipur from Friday midnight.

Essential services and students have been exempted. Notably, the schools and colleges are already closed for two days following a government order in view of anti-migrant agitations.

BK Moirangcha (centre) leader of JCILPS. Image Source: www.thesangaiexpress.com
BK Moirangcha (centre) leader of JCILPS. Image Source: www.thesangaiexpress.com

B.K. Moirangcha, convener of the JCILPS, said, “After obtaining permission from the authorities, preparations were being made for a meeting to discuss the burning issues, including Khomdram Ratan, a former convener, being declared as absconder. However, a fresh order was issued banning the public meeting.”

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Despite the sudden closure of schools, several girl students had turned up and they were locked in a face-off with the policewomen.

Meanwhile, Justice N. Koteswor and Justgice Kh. Nobin of the Manipur High Court on Friday ruled that the plea of Ratan to review the government order declaring him absconder is “maintainable”.

24 hour public curfew in Manipur. Image Source: www.thestatesman.com
24 hour public curfew in Manipur. Image Source: www.thestatesman.com

On the other hand, for nearly a week women activists have been intercepting all Manipur-bound passenger buses to off-load migrant workers who come to the state without proper documents. So far, nearly 700 migrant workers have been handed over to authorities.

However, the police have refused to file cases against them, contending that the migrants are all Indians. On Friday, 71 migrant workers were caught without identity papers.

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State Home Minister Gaikhangam said, “Many persons are agitating against the migrants in public while privately they are letting out rooms in their homes.”

State Home Minister Gaikhangam. Image Source: www.nelive.in
State Home Minister Gaikhangam. Image Source: www.nelive.in

Hundreds of women are also launching sit-in protests in many parts of the valley districts against migrants. (IANS)

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