Thursday, October 7, 2010

36,223 job card holder in Bisnupur


Imphal, October 06: On the second day of the three day Bharat Nirman Campaign organised by PIB Imphal and sister organizations at Loyalakpa Laibung, Keinou in Bishnupur District five topics were picked up for discussion. The topics on which deliberations were made by experts were NREGA, Total sanitation  programme, rural drinking water supply, RTI and Integrated Child Development Schemes (ICDS).
Today’s campaign started with the welcome address given by Smt. Premlata Loitam, MCO, PIB, Imphal. She said, Bharat Nirman campaign is a very rare campaign which can not be launched at the sweet will of a person or department. One can know a lot about the various programmes and schemes launched by the UPA Government at the centre by attending such rare campaign.
Speaking on the topic NREGA Shri S. Naba Singh  ADC Bishnupur said, NREGS which was passed by the Parliament in 2005 became an act in 2007. All the districts in the country have been covered by the NREGA.
He informed the gathering that the number of job card holders in Bishnupur District had reached 36,223. So far Rs two crores had been received from the concerned ministry since inception to pay to the job card holders.
“Prior to launching NREGA the Union Government introduced different schemes for the people living below the poverty line. All these schemes were amalgamated and NREGA emerged, which sees no barrier. All are allowed to get job cards,” he said.
Appealing to the job card holders to keep the cards in their custody he said the card could be used as identity and also in opening bank account without spending a single pie. “But lack of awareness among the job card holders has acted as a draw back. Beneficiaries are keeping their cards in somebody’s custody. That’s not a good trend. The fund released by the Union Government for Bishnupur District dimed set against the funds the other districts in the state were getting. This could be the fall out of the lack of awareness among the people in the district.”
Water harvesting, afforestation, tree plantation, irrigation, land development, renovation of water bodies and rural road connectivity are the areas on which focuss is made by the NREGA, he said. He also said discussions are held at gram panchayat level to decide the nature of work to be done by NREGA workers.
A local young man after listening the speech of the ADC complained that though the Union Government declared that job card holders would get 100 days work the reality is diametric to the declaration. A worker cannot get even 40 days work in a year. Shri Naba replied the matter will be taken up at the higher level.
The soft spoken ADC appealed to the workers not to misconstrue the meaning of job card. This is for those, who can work seriously. A young boy with a small knife, who seeks the shade when he should have gone in the pond to dig will be discouraged from getting NREGA benefits.
The interaction between the ADC and the listeners was heart warming. One man with a job card in hand put questions after questions to the ADC extracting as much informations he could. But on verification of the card it was found that man had committed the mistake of keeping the card in the custody of others. He will not do that again. That’s the benefit given by Bharat Nirman campaign.

Nagas from Manipur flooding into reserve forest:NSCN-K


Dimapur, October 05: The NSCN-K has been irked by the alleged threat to the Intanki Reserve Forest because of the flooding of Nagas from Manipur into the reserve forest in Nagaland in the last ten years. The NSCN-K, also called GPRN/NSCN said tonight that in the last ten years large number of Nagas from Manipur have settled in the Intanki Reserve Forest. It alleged that the Government of Nagaland evicts only the settlers from Nagaland from the Intanki Reserve Forest and not the Nagas from outside the state of Nagaland settling in the reserve forest.
“In the last ten years, the trend of bringing in new families each year from Naga inhabited areas of Manipur and planting them in the Intanki Reserve Forest in Nagaland has become the biggest threat to the treasured reserve forest. GPRN/NSCN would like to point out that the so-called encroachments by tribes from Nagaland state is paltry compared to the vigorous colonies and establishments taking place by transplanted Nagas from other states in many pockets of the Intanki Reserve Forest, yet surprisingly, all evictions are done only to settlers from Nagaland state. The Nagaland state government is a nervous spectator watching the sinister drama taking place at Intanki Reserve Forest,” the NSCN-K (GPRN/NSCN) said.
The Naga outfit advised that it is high time for the Naga tribal bodies in the state of Nagaland, NGOs and civil societies, student bodies and other concerned authorities to propose a spot verification in the Intanki Reserve Forest “because it is a National Reserve Forest and not a rehabilitation area”.

Bpr Police gun down 4 cadres of KCP (MTF) Kidnapped younger brother of Up-Pradhan rescued in police operation


Imphal, October 06: Bishnupur police commandos killed four suspected KCP (MTF) activists in a rescue operation of the kidnapped younger brother of an Up-Pradhan at Mutum Yangbi village under Nambol police station of Bishnupur district.
The kidnapped youth was rescued unharmed, Bishnupur additional SP (operation) Ishaq Shah told reporters today at his office chamber at Bishnupur district police headquarters.
A lathod gun with two lathod bombs, two 9 mm pistols with two magazines loaded with nine live rounds, a hand grenade and a mobile handset were recovered from the slain activists, he claimed.The four activists suspected to belong to KCP (MTF) were killed during a brief gun fight that erupted when a team of Bishnupur police commandos launched a rescue operation to rescue the kidnapped younger brother of the up-pradhan last night, at about 10 pm.
The additional SP said that the rescue operation was launched last night as soon as the police got information of the kidnapping of RK Sanayaima, the younger brother of up-pradhan RK Open of Ishok Gram Panchayat. Four suspects had taken away the youth from the house of the up-pradhan at around 8 pm last night. On getting the information, a team of commandos rushed to launch a search operation.
When the team reached Mutum Yangbi village some armed activists opened fire towards them to which they instantly retaliated resulting in a brief exchange of fire.Four dead bodies were recovered when the team conducted a further search operation after the firing ceased. Arms and ammunitions were also recovered from the same area, Ishaq told reporters.
Identities of two of the four kidnappers were established today. They are Ningthoujam Manaobi (20) son of late Tochou of Toubul Awang Leikai and Angom Prem (25) son of Arke (RK) of same locality. Their dead bodies are at RIMS morgue where the police sent for necessary official procedures.
In total contradiction with the police claim family members said that they were innocent youths involved in cultivation work. Naobi was also sometimes engaged in carpentry work while Prem had worked as a security guard in Bangalore and had left the work a year back.
They were both married men without children. They failed to come back after going to the lake yesterday afternoon for angling. Their dead bodies were found at RIMS morgue while the families were searching for their whereabouts, they said.
Identities of the other two lying at the morgue are yet to be established. Their ages seem to range from 25 to 30 years.
Police however suspect them to be activists of KCP (MTF) allegedly involved in the kidnapping of a lady doctor, RK Joymati of Mekola Primary Health Centre with one of her nursing staff Kh Kabita on September 13 and a grade-IV employee of Thoubal district social welfare office, Oinam Jugin.

Apang goes to jail


Former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Gegong Apang was arrested for his alleged involvement in a Rs.1,000 crore public distribution system
(PDS) scam.
The Special Investigation Cell (SIC), constituted by the Arunachal Pradesh Government under the supervision of the Gauhati High Court to
probe the scam, arrested Mr. Apang in State capital Itanagar when he had come to depose before it. Sources said the arrest was made after Apang, the longest-serving Chief Minister in the country after  late Jyoti Basu, gave “unconvincing” answers to a volley of questions besides material
evidence against him.“We had summoned Apang on three occasions earlier. He responded to the fourth today. However, none of his answers were convincing. He was subsequently arrested on four non-bailable clauses,” Superintendent of Police and SIC in-charge MS Chauhan said.
Soon after his arrest, the former Chief Minister was sent to Lakhimpur town in north-eastern Assam to be tried by a special sessions judge.
The Lakhimpur court remanded him in seven days police custody. The SIC claimed that it had enough material evidence against Apang.
A number of politicians, officials and contractors were allegedly involved in the scam. Mr. Apang was then the Chief Minister of Arunachal
Pradesh.The scam was unearthed after two individuals Domin Loya, former general secretary of All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union and Bamang Tago, chief of Arunachal Citizen’s Right, an NGO, had filed a PIL in 2004. Apang did not speak much except attributing his arrest to a “political conspiracy”. His defence lawyer termed the arrest as “illegal”. “There is no justification in arresting him because he was called as
witness in the case. We will now move the High Court for the law to take its own course,” the defence lawyer, Kardak Ete, added.
Steering clear off from the high profile arrest of former Chief Minister Gegong Apang by the Special Investigation Cell (SIC), the state government today said that it has no role in the arrest as the SIC is accountable only to the Gauhati High Court and does not take orders from the state government.
Apang was arrested on Tuesday when he appeared before the SIC in connection with the multi-crore PDS scam. He was later remanded to seven days police custody by the North Lakhimpur Sessions Court where the PDS trial is on. At the moment Apang, for health reasons, is admitted in the R K Mission Hospital under tight security.
 “The SIC investigating into the PDS scam is under the direct control of the High Court and is independent of any strings that can be attributed to the state government,” said Government Spokesperson and Power (Elect) Minister Jarbom Gamlin said.
Shrugging off allegations leveled by certain organizations on the government for instigating the arrest, Gamlin asserted that the SIC is investigating the scam under the directives of the High Court as an independent body and the government has no control over it.
 “The SIC may be a part and parcel of a state government department (Vigilance) but in the present case, it has been entrusted by the High Court to conduct an independent investigation accountable only to the Court,” he asserted.
Explaining the government’s inability to interfere in the functioning of the SIC as well as Investigating Officer M S Chauhan’s continuity as its head, Gamlin quoted the High Court directive, dated 15th June 2007, that says ‘To enable the remaining investigation to be conducted properly, independently and expeditiously we direct M S Chauhan, SP (SIC), Vigilance, who is personally present in Court today, shall head the investigating team. Shri Chauhan will be personally responsible for such investigation and will report directly to the Court and not to any other state agency.’
Further, on the question that is reportedly doing the rounds – Why Apang alone when there are several others accused in the scam? – Gamlin said that it was the directive of the High Court to register separate cases for all the PDS cases for efficient investigations. As per the directive, the Court suggested that for more efficient investigation all cases related to the scam encompassing the entire state be split up into clearly identifiable areas and separate cases be registered region-wise or district-wise.
“Now it is up to the SIC to decide which case to be taken up and followed first,” Gamlin reiterated hinting that Apang’s arrest may be the first one but certainly not the only one.
The high profile PDS scam that evidently occurred during the tenure of Apang as the Chief Minister came to the fore after a PIL was filed in the Gauhati High Court on June 13, 2004 by Arunachal Citizens’ Right (ACR) Chairman Bamang Anthony (Tago) and Domin Loya. The SIC was constituted by the State government on the directive of the High Court to investigate the scam.
The SIC had filed two cases related to the scam in the Court of Deputy Commissioner-cum-Special Judge, Western Zone, Yupia. However, taking cognizance of the fact that complete separation of the judiciary from the executive is yet to be taken care of in the state, the High Court suo motto transferred the cases to the Court of the District & Sessions Judge, North Lakhimpur. In the said directive of 24 September, 2009, the High Court said, “The number of accused involved till date being nearly 100, the sheer magnitude and proportions that the trial will, in due course, assume is another aspect that has been borne by us. We will not be wrong in taking into account the limited exposure of the judicial officers in Arunachal Pradesh to conduct such trials. These facts lead us to the conclusion that the present is a fit case where suo moto we ought to exercise our powers under section 407 CrPC to transfer the trial of SIC (Vig) P S Case Nos. 06/2005 and 08/2005 to the Court of District & Sessions Judge, North Lakhimpur so as to ensure that the trial of the aforesaid cases is conducted fairly, efficiently and without any delay or obstruction.”
“These directives from the Gauhati High Court amply clarifies that the state government has no role in the functioning of the SIC. The allegations, therefore, leveled against the government of arm-twisting the SIC to arrest Apang on political grounds is unfounded and baseless,” Gamlin added.
Meanwhile, the news of the arrest of former Chief Minister and veteran leader Gegong Apang in the multi-crore PDS scam has sparked spontaneous and mixed reactions from at least two organizations, one a student’s body and the other a unit of a national political party. While the former sniffs rat in the whole episode, the latter wants the whole Congress government to go.
The Itanagar unit of All Adi Students’ Union (AASUI), in a statement today, termed Apang’s arrest as pre-planned and questioned the lone arrest in the scam that has several others involved. It gave the SIC and the government 24 hours ultimatum arrest the all others accused in the scam.
“Is the SIC constituted only for Apang?” it questioned while throwing doubts over the integrity of SIC Investigating Officer MS Chauhan. It wanted to know if Chauhan was directed by the government to arrest Apang by any means. Citing Chauhan’s statement that Apang was arrested based on material evidences and statements given by the other accused in the scam, the Union claimed that the former leader has been framed to cover up for the real culprits amongst PDS contractors, officers and the beneficiaries.
The Union also negated Chauhan’s allegation that Apang had refused to cooperate with the SIC and claimed that he (Apang) had personally appeared before the SIC in presence of a large crowd on August 20 at the SIC office whereas Chauhan was absent himself. “The former CM also presented himself on August 24 on being called back in such a short time. So the question of non cooperation does not arise,” it said.
Alleging that SIC is inefficient to handle the high profile scam, the Union demanded that it be handed over to CBI. It claimed that SIC cannot be competent as it is ‘directed’ by people in power. On the other hand, the state unit NCP claimed Apang’s arrest as a slap on the face of the Congress party and the government ruled by it. In a separate statement, the unit’s Vice President Tad Tana claimed that it is only the tip of an iceberg and charged the Congress regime of corruption from top to bottom.
Blaming all the ills in the state on the ‘corrupt’ governance of the Congress, the party urged the SIC to arrest all the 40 accused in the scam. It maintained that unless all the accused are arrested, Apang’s lone arrest would prove to be a political vendetta by people in power.
While asserting the high-profile arrest as an eye-opener for other investigating agencies like CBI, the party unit expressed optimism that several other scams in fields like relief and rehabilitation, hydro-projects, PM package, RGVY, SPA, etc would be unearthed and culprits punished. In order to facilitate an impartial and free investigation into the present scam, the NCP unit demanded resignation of the Congress government.

Manipur govt to give award to state lifters


Expressing happiness over the opening of country’s medal account by two Manipuri weightlifters on the day-1 of Commonwealth Games, Manipur government announces Rs 3 and 2 lakhs cash awards for the silver and bronze medalists. State’s Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Nongthonbam Biren Singh
announcing the cash awards in Imphal on Monday said,”We would also give a cash award of Rs 5 lakh for the gold medalists”.
Altogether 16 sports persons and 19 officials from Manipur are taking part in the ongoing games in New Delhi.
Manipur’s Ngangbam Soniya Chanu,a resident of Lilong Chajing in Imphal west district bagged a silver medal while A Sandhyarani Chanu,a resident of Khongman in Imphal east district,clinched a bronze in the women's 48 kg class at the Jawaharlal Nehru sports complex today.
Minister Biren also informed that the government has decided to give a cash prize of Rs 2 lakhs to Thoudam Kalpana who win a medal,first ever by an Indian at the World Cup,held at Tashkent on September 25 and 26 last.Twenty one year old Kalpana is a constable with Indo-Tibet Border Police.