18 January 2021

Manipur Journalists Detained After UAPA

Recently, Frontier Manipur has been reporting in detail on the sensational drug haul case involving a person said to be close to chief minister N. Biren Singh.

New Delhi: In yet another case of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Manipur government rounding up journalists in the state under draconian laws, two senior journalists Paojel Chaoba and Dhiren Sadokpam have been detained on Sunday. While Chaoba is the executive editor of The Frontier Manipur, an online news portal, Dhiren is the portal’s editor.

According to a police statement, a case under the Unlawful Atrocities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and Section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code has been filed against “the editors of the Facebook page of the news portal” along with M. Joy Luwang, the author of an article published in The Frontier Manipur on January 8.

Chaoba and Dhiren’s detention has come close on the heels of the arrest of another Imphal-based journalist, Kishorechandra Wangkhem, multiple times under several draconian laws, including the National Security Act and sedition. A well-known name in the state’s journalistic circles, Chaoba has a number of investigative stories under his byline at the Imphal Free Press, including about a Manipur police officer going on the record for the first time about carrying out fake encounters on innocent civilians in the insurgency-ridden state. Dhiren is the former editor-in-chief of Imphal Free Press.

Recently, Frontier Manipur has been reporting in detail on the sensational drug haul case involving a person said to be close to chief minister N. Biren Singh. State police officer Thonoujam Brinda had said in a sworn affidavit in the Manipur high court that she was under pressure from the chief minister to release the person from custody.

Even though the person, Lukhosei Zou, was arrested by the state police on finding drugs worth Rs 27 crore from his residence, a special court acquitted him in December. Following his acquittal, Brinda had returned the police gallantry medal accorded to her by the chief minister for her credible work in fighting the drug menace in Manipur.

The FIR filed by the officer commanding P. Sanjoy Singh on January 17, at the Singjamei police station in Imphal West district against The Frontier Manipur publishing the article mentions that it spotted the article with the headline “Revolutionary Journey in a Mess” on January 17, 12:30 pm. Soon the FIR was filed charging Luwang and the editors of the portal for “attempting to bring hatred/contempt/disaffection against government; criminal conspiracy and statements conducting to public mischief with common intention by being Sympathiser of unlawful organization punishable under 124A/120B/505B/34 of the IPC and section 39 of the UAPA Act”.

According to the latest information from Imphal, a police team arrived at Chaoba’s house at Thambeiband leikai of Imphal on January 17 morning and asked him to accompany them, but he refused. Later, when he reached the police station on his own, he was detained. Towards the evening, Dhiren Sadokpam too was summoned for interrogation and detained thereafter.

Advocate Gunadhar Singh, looking into the case, told The Wire, “It is not clear yet whether Chaoba has been arrested or still detained. Dhiren has been summoned for interrogation. Anyway, even if he is arrested, being a Sunday, he will be produced before a magistrate only tomorrow, following which we will submit our bail application in the court.” Around 9 pm, news came that Dhiren too had been detained.

The author of the article has not been detained so far. The police statement said that the author through the article “openly endorsed revolutionary ideologies and activities and expressed shock and dismay at the deteriorating character of the armed revolutionary leaders of Manipur in the recent decade”.

“He called out to the people of Manipur to become true revolutionaries….His article clearly expressed sympathy and support to the ideologies and activities of armed revolutionary groups and outrightly called the rule of law of the union and state governments As colonial law thereby attempting to bring hatred, contempt and feeling of Enmity against the rule of kaw and government which is likely to cause fear ir alarm in public inducing them to commit an offence against the state thereby posing serious threats of internal security issues,” the police continued.

Interestingly, though the same article was published earlier in Imphal Times and Kangla Pao, these news publications have not been named in the FIR. While the article in Kangla Pao was published in Meitelion in October 2020, the same report was published in Imphal Times on January 3.

The Wire tried to contact the Singjamei police station multiple times for more information on the case, but has failed to get in touch so far.

Chaoba’s wife A. Sanahanbi Devi has submitted a letter to the president of the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU), informing them of his detention and urged it to do the needful. Sources in the AMWJU have said that its executive members would meet on Monday to discuss the issue.

On Monday, the Foundation for Media Professionals issued a statement condemning the journalists’ detention. The statement points out that the Centre has for years been engaged in talks with insurgent groups, and leaders of such groups have often subsequently become minister or prominent politicians. “They were not charged with sedition or terrorism,” the statement reads. “…It is therefore odd that mere publication of an OpEd article on some such groups should draw extreme charges upon editors.”

Also on Monday, the Editor’s Guild of India criticised the Manipur police, the action indicates “no media organisation is safe from the irrational use of these laws”. It demanded the immediate release of the two journalists, adding that the cases pose a threat to free expression and democracy itself.

Note: This article was updated at 4:44 pm on January 18 to include the statement issued by the Editor’s Guild of India.

Mizoram Schools To Reopen For Classes 10, 12 From Jan 22

AIZAWL, JAN 18 : Mizoram will reopen schools for students in Class 10 and 12 from January 22 and places of worship from February onwards, according to new unlock guidelines.

Schools and hostels will reopen from this Friday. The new guidelines require students intending to join hostels to produce a Covid-19 negative certificate obtained within 96 hours of entering the premises.

The guidelines also said churches will be allowed to open with 50 per cent seating capacity or 200 attendees on every Saturday and Sunday at noon from first February.

Churches in Christian majority Mizoram are closed since March 22 last year due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Higher institutions for undergraduate and postgraduate students will be allowed to open from February and training or coaching institutes will also open with either 50 per cent sitting capacity or not more than 50 students from now onwards, the order said.

The maximum number of attendees in funeral and marriage reception has been raised from 35 to 100.

The number of attendees in indoor games, cinema hall, auditorium, community hall and social events (indoor) is fixed at 50.

However, games and sports practices and social events held outdoors will be allowed with 100 attendees.

In any function related to organisation or party, the number of attendees allowed is 100 but deputy commissioners can allow up to 150 attendees by special permission.

All business shops, establishments and commercial activities will function normally under strict Covid-19 protocols.

Any individual, who is returning from other parts of the country, will have to be placed under quarantine at designated facility but those who produce RT-PCR or TreuNat labs negative test certificate, which is not older than four days, will be exempted from the quarantine protocol.

Any state resident, who goes outside and returns to the state within four days, need not go for quarantine.

However, any person returning from Europe will be placed under quarantine at designated facilities and will not be allowed for home quarantine facility.

Night curfew will remain in force in Aizawl and other district headquarters from 8.30 pm to 4.30 am every day till further orders, it added.

13 January 2021

IRFC IPO: First IPO of new year 2021 opens Jan 18

 The company aims to raise Rs 4,633.4 crore at the higher end of the price band.

State-owned Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) has decided to open its maiden public offer for subscription on January 18 and has set the price band at Rs 25-26 per share.

The three-day public issue will close on January 20. The company aims to raise Rs 4,633.4 crore at the higher end of the price band.

The initial public offering of up to 1,78,20,69,000 equity shares consists of a fresh issue of 1,18,80,46,000 equity shares and an offer for sale of 59,40,23,000 equity shares by the Government of India.

The issue includes a reservation of equity shares worth Rs 50 lakh for subscription by eligible employees. The issue will constitute up to 13.64 percent of the post issue paid-up equity share capital of the company.

The dedicated market borrowing subsidiary of the Indian Railways is going to utilise net fresh issue proceeds for augmenting equity capital base to meet future capital requirements arising out of growth in the business; and general corporate purposes.

The company will not receive any proceeds from the offer for sale and the same will be received by the Government of India.

Bids can be made for a minimum of 575 equity shares and in multiples of 575 shares thereafter.

The primary business of IRFC is financing the acquisition of rolling stock assets, which includes both powered and unpowered vehicles such as locomotives, coaches, wagons, trucks, flats, electric multiple units, containers, cranes, trollies of all kinds and other items of rolling stock components as enumerated in the Standard Lease Agreement, leasing of railway infrastructure assets and national projects of the Government of India and lending to other entities under the Ministry of Railways, Government of India (MoR).

IRFC is registered with the Reserve Bank of India as an NBFC and is classified under the category of an 'Infrastructure Finance Company' of the Reserve Bank of India Act.

The book running lead managers to the issue are DAM Capital Advisors, HSBC Securities and Capital Markets (India), ICICI Securities and SBI Capital Markets.

Who will win Burnley vs Man United

Is Pogba Lone Strike Enough to Send Solskjaer’s Men Three Points Clear at Top

Burnley vs Man United: The game was heading for a draw when a Paul Pogba volley ended the stalemate with the visitors surviving a late onslaught to hold onto their slim lead. 


Burnley vs Man United: Pogba Lone Strike Enough to Send Solskjaer's Men Three Points Clear at Top
Anthony Martial (left) and Paul Pogba (Screen Grab)

Manchester United fought hard for a 1-o win over Burnley that sent them three points clear at the top of the Premier League standings on Monday. The game was heading for a draw when a Paul Pogba volley ended the stalemate with the visitors surviving a late onslaught to hold onto their slim lead. 

United needed just a point to move ahead of their rivals and defending champions Liverpool in the standings and for most part of the contest, marred by VAR controversy, it seemed headed for a goalless finish with both teams squandering chances. 

A foul on Edinson Cavani by Robbie Brady just outside the danger zone was overruled after a long review with Luke Shaw instead being booked for a foul on Johann Gudmundsson. Then United were harshly not awarded a goal when Harry Maguire headed home a cross from Shaw for a foul on Erik Pieters. 

However, with 19 minutes left, Marcus Rashford picked out Pogba from the right who then fired home the winner ahead of a crunch clash with Liverpool this weekend. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer later revealed that emptions were running high in the dressing room during the half-time thanks to the VAR controversy.

“You’ve got to calm them down at half-time because emotions are running high because they disagree with the things that happen out there,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports. “So we have to take back control and we played really well in the second half and we held out at the end.”

Solskjaer though refused to comment on the decisions that went against his team. “I’ve not watched any of the decisions so I can’t really say. Might’ve been a foul by Luke apparently so that’s probably the right decision, definitely not a foul for Harry for his goal. If you can’t jump and head it in like this, I don’t believe that’s anywhere near a foul. Delighted with the response after a bit of a tough first half-hour,” he said.

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Congress Announces Names Of Candidates For Civic Body Polls In Mizoram

 State Congress president Lal Thanhawla alleged that the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) government headed by chief minister Zoramthanga has "completely failed" in financial management, which adversely affected the state's economy.

Congress Announces Names Of Candidates For Civic Body Polls In Mizoram

State Congress president Lal Thanhawla announced names of 19 candidates. (Representational

Aizawl, Jan 13:

Opposition Congress on Tuesday announced the list of candidates for the Aizawl Municipal Corporation (AMC) election in Mizoram.

State Congress president Lal Thanhawla announced names of 19 candidates, including six women at a function.

Lal Thanhawla also inducted 103 new members into Congress during the function.

He alleged that the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) government headed by chief minister Zoramthanga has "completely failed" in financial management, which adversely affected the state's economy.

Meanwhile, state election commissioner Laima Chozah said the poll panel is yet to notify the AMC polls.

There are 19 seats in AMC, of which six seats are reserved for women.

The term of the corporation ended on December 10 last year.

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Earlier, the state government has appointed the AMC commissioner K Laldingliana as an administrator to exercise all power and function vested on the municipal authorities till elections are held.

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With 4 new cases, Mizoram's COVID-19 tally reaches 4,303

Aizawl (Mizoram) [India], January 13 : With four new COVID-19 cases reported in Mizoram, the total caseload in the state reached 4,303 on Wednesday, informed the Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR), Mizoram.
As per state government data, 4,200 people have been discharged in the state after recovering from the infection. There are 94 active cases in the state, while the death toll due to the virus stands at 9.
The three new cases were confirmed through the TrueNat test, and one case reported by Rapid Antigen Test.
The first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive is scheduled to start from January 16.
The two vaccines, Coaxin and Covishield developed by Indian companies will be given free of cost to 3 crore people in the initial phase and the entire cost will be borne by the centre.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that the central government is having close collaboration with states and union territories for vaccine roll-out.
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Hundreds of villagers use ropes to pull truck out of gorge in Nagaland, video goes viral

Videos being widely shared across social media sites show the villagers using ropes, bamboos and vines to pull out the truck.

 nagaland truck rescue, villagers pull out truck, nagaland villagers truck rescue, nagaland news, north east news, viral videos, good news, indian express

People on social media were moved by the efforts of the villagers.

In a unique rescue operation, hundreds of villagers in Nagaland came together to pull out a truck of a gorge that was nearly 70-feet deep. A video of the unique feat is now being widely shared online.

According to local reports, the truck carrying ginger was headed to Dimapur when it suddenly lost control and fell into the gorge. But villagers of the Kutsapo village in Phek district promptly responded to the incident and managed to pull the truck back onto the road.

Videos being widely shared across social media sites show the villagers using ropes, bamboos and vines to pull out the truck. They even sang in unison to encourage one another as they worked.

Nagaland state legislator and BJP national spokesperson Mmhonlumo Kikon took to Twitter to share the video hailing “the spirit of unity” that made the operation successful. The video has since been viewed over a million times.

Another video shared by Abu Mehta, adviser to the Nagaland CM and Secretary General Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), shows the operation from a different angle. Commenting about the rich cultural heritage of Naga society, Mehta added: “This video from interior #Nagaland exemplifies & showcases the strong social bonds that is so deep rooted in #Naga society.”

Speaking with EastMojo, Kutsapo village council chairman Zashevezo Rhakho said that men from the village who were “fit and not sick” were called upon to help and “about a hundred of men positively turned up for the rescue operation”. He added that it concluded quicker than expected.

The chairman explained that assistance from the villagers was needed since the remote village had no heavy machinery.

“The truck fell few metres down the road at a turning point. We tied ropes to the truck and build steps with bamboo to prevent the truck from skidding down when we pull it. We cleared the areas where the tyres will roll-up. That is how we managed to easily pull it off,” he told the outlet.

The truck had eight passengers including the driver, but no one was severely injured, the report added.

Traditionally, stone pulling rituals to commemorate achievements are pretty common in some tribes of the state. Many commenting on social media drew parallels between the ritual and the technique used to pull up the truck. However, many also criticised the poor condition of the roads that caused such accidents.

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Manipur bans poultry from other states in light of bird flu

 

The ban comes into force with immediate effect and will remain in force until further orders, said the government.

PUBLISHED ON JAN 13, 2021 10:21 AM IST

The Manipur government has imposed a “temporary ban on entry of poultry and poultry products such as eggs, meat and live birds including ducks, guinea fowls, turkey and quails” to the state in the wake of growing cases of bird flu in the country.

The Commissioner (Veterinary and animal husbandry) H Gyan Prakash of the government of Manipur issued an order in this regard on January 11.

The order stated that the ban has been imposed as a precautionary measure through all the National Highways connecting the state and at the airport in the interest of preventing escalation of the disease in Manipur and other north eastern states.

The disease is said to be highly contagious avian disease having zoonotic potential of causing huge loss in terms of mortality and trade of poultry, according to the order.

“The Deputy Commissioners, District Superintendents of police and District Veterinary officers of the border districts shall take all necessary steps to stop the movement of birds and eggs mentioned above,” says the order.

“The Director Veterinary & Animal Husbandry, Manipur shall take immediate steps for active targeted surveillance against the disease,” it added.

The ban comes into force with immediate effect and will remain in force until further orders, it further added.

Last week, the Centre had asked the states that are still unaffected by the bird flu to keep a vigil and to report any unusual mortality among birds immediately.

It may be worth mentioning here that Manipur was once hit by avian influenza (Bird flu)in July 2007 and April 2015.

Bird flu in domestic and wild birds has been reported in many countries since it was first identified in Hong Kong in 1997, according to reports.

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