Erabot cries foul over effigy burning
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 11: A privilege motion moved by Wangkhei Assembly Constituency MLA Y Erabot in connection with the ‘derogating remarks’ of the Meetei Mayek activists which were published in Huieyen Lanpao daily and aired on ISTV cable network have been referred to the Privilege Committee of the House to discuss whether it amount to breach of privilege of the House or not.

MLA Y Erabot pointed out that Huiyen Lanpao in its August 8 edition had carried a news report in which the Mayek activists have been quoted as saying that the effigies of Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, Higher Education Minister Dr T Meinya and his own have been burnt to symbolize their last rites so that the three may be reborn among the Bengali speaking community, as they (the three whose effigies were burnt) prefer the Bengali script to their own script.

He clarified that all that he had said in the House, during the discussion of the private member's resolution jointly moved by Dr Nimaichand Luwang and L Ibomcha on the Meetei Mayek issue, which had been subsequently defeated by voice vote, was that it would not be proper to discuss it as it would be sub-judice since there is a case pending in the Court in this connection.

‘If my effigy is burnt and derogatory remarks are made against me for having said something in the Assembly, where are the rights guaranteed to me as an MLA’, Erabot asked, and asserted that the very act of burning his effigy amounts to breach of privilege of a House member.

Referring to the programme aired on ISTV on August 10 at 9 pm and its repeat telecast at 10 pm of the same day, in which the Mayek activists said that some 15 of them were inside the visitors' gallery of the Assembly when the House was discussing the Meetei Mayek issue and they were planning to jump down from the gallery and attack the members who were obstructing the discussion and plant a bomb elsewhere, Erabot said that it was not just a question of breach of privilege of the Assembly but one which has serious security implication.

Erabot also suggested that the records of the programme be seized from ISTV.

‘There is the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and a panel of speakers to preside over the House during discussion and every member has the right to air their views.

But if such rights are curtailed then it is serious’, he said, giving the reason for moving the motion.