TODAY -

Manipur : From demand for NRC, blasphemy, arms looting to Miss India pageant

Yambem Laba *



Manipur has been seeing a plethora of events for the last few days.

First came the vociferous demand for the implementation of the National Register of Citizens in the State. This is because there is a genuine fear that a large number of illegal immigrants originating from Myanmar belonging to the Chin-Kuki group have infiltrated into the State and have found themselves in the electoral rolls and have obtained Aadhar Cards etc., which is poised to alter the already fragile demographic balance in the State.

The demand for the implementation began from New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, the venue for demonstration and demands in the National capital. There, groups of various Manipuri Civil Society Organisations had converged and raised the demand hoping to catch the eyes and ears of the Mandarins that rule over New Delhi’s North Block and attract the attention of the National media at large.

The student bodies comprising various valley based groups as well as the all Naga students unions then submitted a memorandum to Union Home Minister Amit Shah to implement the National Register of Citizens in Manipur. This was on 20 March.

Earlier in 2022, the Manipur Legislative Assembly had adopted a resolution to establish a State Population Commission and also to implement the National Register of Citizens in Manipur. Then they converged at Imphal and took out a huge rally comprising of the ‘emas’ women vendors that mans the huge Ema Keithel, the largest all-women market in Asia, and representatives of various student organisations and took out a rally towards the Chief Minister’s office but were halted halfway by the police.

Then they held a meeting at the market area where the president of the Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM) Leishangthem Lamyanba Meetei questioned as to how after 75 years of independence India has not been able to identify its own citizens and that this laxity has seriously affected Manipur and other North Eastern States and as a consequence, illegal immigrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh have occupied huge chunks of the land in the region.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh was quick to respond because on 31 March, he declared the formation of a State Population Commission. He said, “We have already constituted a Population Commission and have already appointed the members of the Commission.” As far as the implementation of the NRC was concerned, he clarified that it required the approval of the Central Government, while in Assam it was done at the instance of the Supreme Court’s directive.

He also added that the Inner Line Permit was introduced in Manipur, after Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland, with a view to prevent the settlement of non locals in the State, revealed that since its implementation so far 3,52,311 ILP permits including 3,17,715 temporary permits have been issued till December last. He also said that a house-to-house survey was on the cards to identify bona fide citizens the same time CM Biren announced that 9 Revenue Officials have been suspended from work for manipulation of land records.

Amidst the cry for detection of illegal immigrants, the Congress Party has cried foul over the discovery of 1,33,556 ‘photo similar’ entries in the electoral rolls of the State. Protesting to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Manipur, a Congress delegation led by S Shyamacharan of the Party’s Legal Department has asked for the cancellation of these ‘bogus’ voters with valid photos.

He gave a complete Constituency wise breakdown of the double entries with Churachandpur District having the highest with 24,159 entries. He cited Rule number 26 of the Registration of Electors Rules 1960 and asked to remove them from the electoral rolls so that the next elections can be held in a free and fair manner.

In the meantime, a charge of blasphemy against a Christian Pastor has evoked an uproar across the sections of people across the State. The Pastor in question, one Takhellambam Ramananda, a Meitei Hindu converted to Christianity, had mocked first the ethnic Meitei population both those belonging to the Hindu faith as well as those belonging to the indigenous Sanamahi faith by mocking at their death rituals and spitting on the floor to prove his point.

Then he turned his attention to those belonging to the Muslim faith by mocking them for inserting chillies in their backsides to chase a runaway cow on which he had earlier inserted chillies. Then he picked up on Satjal, an occultist group having a strength of about 1,00,000 cadres.

A highly infuriated titular king and member of the Rajya Sabha Leishemba Sanajaoba declared that the Pastor would be skinned alive and face the consequences whether as an MP or not. Then members of the Aramba Tenggol (Battalion), came to his house but he was soon missing. The Rajya Shaba Member instead of venting out his anger in public should have just written a letter to the Director General of Police to take cognizance of the crime and it would have carried out a lot of weight and withstood political pressure.

However, on 1 April the Imphal Police Station picked the Pastor up and lodged him in the lock up after his blasphemous speech went viral and a complaint was lodged with the police. But even as the news went around that he had been picked up, a tribal lady MLA landed up at the Imphal Police station and whisked him away. The identity of the lady MLA has not been made public till now.

This writer had called up the Police authorities to ask if an FIR had been lodged against the Pastor or not but was unable to give an answer. Subsequent calls were not answered from the police side. The questions to be raised now are the following:-
1. Whether an FIR was lodged against the Pastor or not.
2. If so, how was he handed over to the MLA without producing him before the Magistrate ?
3. Was he taken into protective custody by the Police ?
4. If he was placed under protective custody, then what was the term and condition of handing over the culprit ?
5. The identity of the Tribal lady in question should also be made public.

No one has dared to ask the identity of the MLA in question in public.

Then as a sideshow, members of the Kuki Independent Army (KIA) on 9 April looted the armoury of the designated camp of the Kuki National Army under a truce of Suspension of Operations with the State and Central Government. Apparently, only four KNA cadres were present at the Horeb SoO Camp at Chongkhazou in Henglep Subdivision in Churachandpur District.

The haul included quite an arsenal enough to raise a rag tag militant group. The KIA is not a signatory to the SoO truce. The question arises as to how the armoury is to be placed under two sets of locks one belonging to the groups and the other to the State.

An embarrassed CM Biren did not rule out the possibility of inside hands in the looting. He has also declared the setting up of a committee to investigate the matter and did not rule out the possibility of an underhand tie up between cadres of the KNA and the KIA. He also added that the Government did not take the matter lightly and all levels of governance would be activated to resolve the matter as swiftly as possible.

In the meantime, the State Government had entered into an agreement with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and hosted the trination football tourney in Imphal. India, Myanmar and Krygyz participated in it.

Played to a packed capacity of 30,000 in the flood lit Khuman Lampak Main Stadium, India won the tourney. Then to liven things up, CM Biren had arranged for the final crowning of the Femina Miss India Contest in Imphal and thirty beauties from across the country landed up in Imphal for the final moment dropping every one’s jaws.

Keeping all the football, beauty contests, blasphemous charges and arms looting apart, there has been an acute shortage of water with a 1,000 litre tank of semi treated water being sold for Rs 600 and a total disappearance of PDS rice from the market. Rice agents for the PDS rice have complained that they have not received any rice since January. As a result, a bag of Punjab Superfine rice which used to sell for Rs 600 for 50 Kg bag has now shot up to Rs 1700 per bag.

Perhaps if you are not getting rice or water you are at least getting to see Miss India being crowned in front of your eyes seems to be the answer.


This article was first published in The Statesman.
Views expressed here are of the writer



* Yambem Laba wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is a senior journalist at The Statesman.
This article was webcasted on 26 April 2023

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • Haats (Weekly Markets) of Guwahati
  • Shillong gears up to host Durand Cup
  • Lip care during Monsoon
  • Gaikhangam in his elements, again
  • Anti-Repression Day @ MDU #1 : Gallery
  • You are wrong, but it's okay
  • Growing call for 100-100-100 to end AIDS
  • Pelvis as the body's emotional junk drawer!
  • World Youth Skills Day & our environment
  • Insanity at its worst
  • 55 kms per day on Imphal-Jiri stretch
  • Justice Kotiswar: First among equals
  • Kang Chingba @Govindajee #2 : Gallery
  • Introducing Thang-Ta in school curriculum
  • N Kotiswar - Judge Supreme Court of India
  • Meitei Professors' Invention Patent [Upd]
  • Boeing crisis hits India, air fares to shoot up
  • Scholarship: Rs 4 crore for civil service
  • Out on the streets against extortions
  • Mandate against party-hopping
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #10
  • Bamboo Bio-toilets at Champu Kangpok
  • Decarbonisation for human survival
  • Book Release to promote physical education
  • "ST status for Meetei" @ Langmeidong
  • Condemns the Killing of CRPF Jawan
  • Rahul Ji, let us talk solution
  • Targeting Central security personnel
  • The monster outgrowing its creator
  • Aftermath of Imphal Flooding #2 : Gallery
  • World Plastic Surgery Day 2024
  • A new front of 'power politics' in Nagaland
  • 2nd Meghalaya Pineapple Fest at Delhi
  • Super 20 batch for UPSC 2025 announced
  • Why is PM not meeting Manipur leaders ?
  • Justice to displaced people
  • Imphal Art College Exhibition #1 : Gallery
  • Scholarship for Johnstone Hr Sec given
  • Will #PutPeopleFirst drive HIV response?
  • Open Letter to Amit Shah, Home Minister
  • The Power of Poppy - 39 :: Poem
  • World Population Day 2024
  • Beating of the Retreat #3 : Gallery
  • Liar's lair :: Poem
  • The Richest Man in Imphal
  • Gamcha, the Assamese Scarf
  • Meghalaya Govt launches OTT platform
  • Comprehensive Coverage in NE Telecom
  • Battered and tattered roads
  • Let there be transparency
  • Kanglei Thokpa @ Sagol Kangjei : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2024 #3: Gallery
  • Historic Premiere: 'Chilli Chicken' at Manipur
  • Effective Unified Command for Resolution
  • Music & Quiz: Drug Abuse amongst youth
  • Visionless and headless DMU
  • When is the right time & situation for PM visit
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #37: Download
  • Inspirations from Scientists of Manipur: Book
  • Manipur crisis: Treat the disease, not symptom
  • 133rd Durand Cup Trophies Flags Off
  • NEET droppers vs freshers
  • Death : Only future to look at ?
  • Mental health of displaced people
  • Aftermath of Imphal Flooding #1 : Gallery
  • When was the last time we smiled ?
  • Appeal to Stop Unbearable Monetary Demand
  • 'Oppenheimer' links with Supreme Science
  • 'Preventing from holding a press conference'
  • Travel tips during Monsoon
  • Look at it via ground reality
  • Making the 'Balak Buddhi' wiser
  • Kang Chingba @Govindajee #1 : Gallery
  • Release Ebo Mili & Stop large dams in ArP
  • Rainforests are the lungs of Earth
  • Education suffering from political interference
  • Inflated bill main vote plank, law dont cut graft
  • From the Lok Sabha to Manipur
  • Third visit of Rahul
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #9
  • International Day of Yoga #1 : Gallery
  • Lord Jagannatha's processional chariot fest
  • World Zoonoses Day 2024
  • PM 'bola' in Parliament
  • Acknowledging the stand of UNC
  • Embracing tree plantation as a new trend
  • 17th N Tombi Equestrian C'ships #2 : Gallery
  • The spirit & the creed of the Olympics
  • Kang Chingba (Rath Yatra) : Book
  • 'Economic blockade: Rumors baseless'
  • The Power of Poppy - 38 :: Poem
  • Balancing children's academic performance
  • Imphal flooded (again) [Jul 3] #2 : Gallery
  • Covid, Ngari, Yu and Loktak
  • Rural people struggling with network problem
  • English certificate courses for BA student
  • 6th July is International Day of Cooperatives
  • Clogging the waterways with plastics
  • Diverting public attention from core issues
  • Manipur Kanba Khongchat #2 : Gallery
  • Gateway of Assam
  • Integrating GIS & EWS for flood management
  • The Dopamine overdose
  • Free workshop on civil service exams
  • Bucket of cold water after a hot shower
  • Breaking the silence
  • Imphal flooded (again) [Jul 3] #1 : Gallery
  • Embracing 'Sharra - Kashar-ot'
  • Drug abuse & illicit trafficking in Manipur
  • Nudity being served to increase followers
  • Record high temperature
  • Bangladesh FM Hasan Mahmud's Riyadh visit
  • Indigenous call for NRC
  • Come home to the electorates
  • Meiteis must unite for survival
  • Flood advisories issued
  • State & District Control Rooms
  • Green Hydrogen for a clean environment
  • Need for an Emergency
  • Monsoons beauty
  • Calling out the indifference of Delhi
  • Questioning the silence with a roar
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #8
  • Problem & prospect of floriculture in Manipur
  • WomenLeaders India Fellowship 2024-25
  • Naga Peace Talks and Narasimha Rao
  • Arunachal Minister visits Oil Palm @Godavari
  • Clear cut stand from the Nagas
  • Crisis resolution in 100-day plan ?
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur: A battleground of imperial geopolitics
  • Wangkhem Suresh @ Higher Defence Course
  • Shoppers Stop's 1st Store in Dimapur
  • Stop razing rail station, divert 25k Cr to Signal
  • Has Imphal completely lost the plot ?
  • Time to take responsibility
  • Tarpon chaklen katpa @ Andro #3 : Gallery
  • July Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • Letter to Prime Minister of India
  • International Day of Parliamentarism
  • Skill Development Course at Lumshnong
  • The Power of Poppy - 37 :: Poem
  • Radio E-pao: Manipuri Film OST (130+ song)
  • Manipur Kanba Khongchat #1 : Gallery
  • Multiple Openings @ JCRE Solutions
  • Our mass addiction to predicting future
  • Bonsai - A play with another aspect : Review
  • Timely diagnosis to stop misuse of medicines
  • Impactful tool- Instagram marketing strategy
  • Essence of the June 28 rally
  • Birds of the same feather
  • Scientist of Manipur: Satyendra Thoudam
  • Education and the fate of Manipur
  • Centre not mind talking to Kitovi or Alezo
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Nambol
  • Why Bangladesh urge military diplomacy
  • MoU : Assam Don Bosco Univ with Cambridge
  • Understanding beyond the coup
  • Donning the role of LoP
  • Rally @ Jiribam [June 26] : Gallery
  • Umananda Island- World smallest river island
  • Breaking the impasse
  • Fantasies of a sinister childhood
  • Program: developing women entrepreneurship
  • Microlearning is impacting talent acquisition
  • Looking for the way forward
  • The message
  • Moirangthem Robi - Mr Universe India 2022
  • Parthenium Menace in Indo-Myanmar : Book
  • Respect & recognise domestic worker
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hiyanglam
  • One test not for India
  • Include tomatoes in your skincare routine
  • Raising ST call a notch or two higher
  • United in grief, but...
  • Panthoibi Phijol Hongba @Mandalay : Gallery
  • Open Letter to Hon'ble CM of Manipur
  • Slavery in the machine world
  • 'Either Rio regime delivers or it fails'
  • No need for NEET or NET
  • Walkathon to promote health at Guwahati
  • Paradox of arming & disarming citizens
  • Meaningless statements
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #7
  • You are king of web, then slave
  • A Groundbreaking HIV Prevention Option
  • Board of Studies at Assam Don Bosco
  • Public Services as a career choice
  • Manipur violence and state
  • Last minute cancellation
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #36: Download
  • Saraighat Bridge - An Expedition
  • Meeting with MP Dr Bimol Akoijam
  • Manipur: 11 medal (5 gold) @ Natl Taekwondo
  • Socialization and the Two "Meads"
  • The Power of Poppy - 36 :: Poem
  • Scientist of Manipur: Raghumani Ningthoujam
  • Chilli Chicken Delivers a Flavorful Punch
  • International Day of Yoga 2024
  • Antimicrobial Resistance: Top 10 health threat
  • Indo-Naga Talks (From 2012) :: Timeline
  • Taste vs Health
  • Fiasco of UGC-NET, NEET 2024
  • From NEET to NET: It's time to fix NTA
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #1 : Gallery
  • Ema Panthoibi Phijol Hongba at Mandalay
  • Proposed Palm Plantation behind Jiri violence?
  • 'Why Impose War on Us'
  • Why workers most affected by scorching heat?
  • Coup of 2021 not the only push factor
  • Last chance not to fall from grace
  • Ibudhou Cheng Hongba #1 : Gallery
  • Kind attention 'Your Lordship' CJ of India
  • 'Opposition-less Govt in Nagaland is rhetoric'
  • Xorai - Assam's cultural symbol
  • Natural ways to lighten dark underarms
  • Is Delhi doing the right thing ?
  • Set the priorities right
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #3 : Gallery
  • Modi's arduous journey & fate of Naga peace
  • Autism: Why fit in, when you can stand out?
  • Bloodstained Masquerade :: Poem
  • Dharamvir Singh: Forgotten hero of TV
  • What is keeping the clash going on ?
  • Warning of a coming politico-military storm
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #6
  • The Great June 18 Uprising : Timeline
  • The Great June 18 Uprising : Gallery
  • Are we on track to end AIDS by 2030 ?
  • 3 writers from Manipur for Sahitya Akademi
  • Manipur's traffic, parking: A big nuisance
  • Career in elderly care
  • Keeping the folks under a state of confusion
  • Nothing neat about NEET
  • Aid to relief camps @ Jiribam : Gallery
  • Gastronomy tourism in Manipur : Gallery
  • Eid-ul-Adha: Embracing sacrifice
  • Bike Rally - Sekmai to Kangla : Gallery
  • Tarpon chaklen katpa @ Andro #2 : Gallery
  • 2nd Annual Art Exhibition #1 : Gallery
  • Education Fair @Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #2 : Gallery
  • Scientist of Manipur: Laishram Shanta
  • Bimol Akoijam (Cong) wins Inner PC : Gallery
  • 'Ishanou' Selection @ Cannes #2: Gallery
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #3 : Gallery
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #1 : Gallery
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #2 : Gallery
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #1 : Gallery
  • Licypriya meets Italy PM & Pope Francis
  • HSLC (Class X) 2024 : Full Result
  • HSLC 2024 : Important Info & Grading System
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Private Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Aided Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Govt Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Statistical Abstract
  • HSLC 2024 : Comparative Statement
  • Scientist of Manipur: Jayanta Manoharmayum
  • Scientist of Manipur: Amom Ruhikanta
  • Preserving Thang-Ta :: Rare Photos
  • Malemnganbi Laishram : Science Topper
  • Thokchom Sheityajit : Arts Topper
  • Aiena Naorem : Commerce Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Science Topper
  • HSE 2024 : Subject Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : District Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : Candidates with Highest Marks
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Science Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Arts Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Commerce Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Arts Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Commerce Topper
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing : Full Book
  • A ferocious hailstorm @Imphal : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Ngangkham Nimai
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD