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CHURACHANDPUR AT PEACE

                                                                     -Sunzu Bachaspatimatum

Whenever I remember my son, the horrific image of him lying on the hospital bed with all his intestines protruding out come back to me and I remember him telling me, “dad, I’m in great pain. Kindly do something.”

This is the memory that haunts 70 year old Ginza Lian since the day his 42 year old son, K.Lam Khenthang got hit in his stomach by a police bullet while attempting to help another bullet wounded person in front of the Churachandpur police station on 1st September, a day after angry mob attacked the private residences of elected representatives of Churachandpur district. The mob violence was in retaliation of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, on 31st August 2015, passing three bills – the Manipur Protection bill 2015, Manipur Land Revenue & Land Reform Act 7th Amendment bill and the Manipur Shops & Establishment Bills. The violence that engulfed Churachandpur, the southernmost district of Manipur, bordering Myanmar, killed at least 9 protestors either in the mob arson attacks or in police firing. This protest subsequently came to be known as the antitribal bill movement. The Joint Action Committee, JAC against the three anti-tribal bills that was constituted by the protestors, demanded amongst others – adopting the 6th Scheduled, reinstate the Manipur Land Reform & Land Revenue Act of 1960, scrapping of the three bills and creation of a new district called Lamka by fragmenting Churachandpur districts. This issue became a rallying point for the different tribal communities of Manipur, those who were traditionally divided along ethnic lines, especially between the Chin- Kuki-Mizo group and the Naga groups and in unison Final farewell to the Martrys at Public Ground Churachandpur demanded the scraping of the three bills. They termed the bills as anti-tribal saying the bills propose to infringe upon the constitutional safeguards provided for land ownership of the tribal as well as deny citizenship to indigenous tribal of Manipur by declaring 1951 as the cut-off year for recognition in the registrar of citizenship of Manipur.

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CASH-FOR-JOB SCAM - AND THE GOVERNMENT

By Dwaipayan Dasgupta

There is possibly nothing that seems to afflict one’s mind more than depressing news that undeserving candidates have got jobs under the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) in the State only after giving bribes for them. Why is this phenomenon frustrating? Because if the money-for-job scam is not exposed, it will continue to prevail, as a result of which, it is the talented candidates with brilliant academic results, who will be deprived of plumb posts under the Commission which will indeed, be beyond the democratic norms and under no circumstances, be acceptable to the society.

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THE GODFATHER
of North-East Insurgency NO MORE (S.S Khaplang last interview
with Eastern Panorama
                                                                      -Sunzu Bachaspatimayum

The most feared Naga rebel leader, S h a n g w a n g Shangyung Khaplang, who waged a bush war with the Indian state died on 10th June 2017. The death of this elusive rebel considered to be the godfather of northeast insurgency movement by many, did not come during any surgical strike as India would have wanted it but due to prolonged illness. He was 77.

Khaplang, or Baba as he was fondly called by his associates, had been a force to reckon with, without whom, the momentum of the insurgency movement in the region, could not have gained the potency it has acquired today.

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Umkhrah : what has thou to tell? 

Dondor Giri Nongkhlaw
Geomorphologist

 Lately Umkhrah river has been a burning topic of discussion because of its dreadful conditions, it really is a topic of grave concern, environmentally in terms of pollution, culturally and spatially in terms of unplanned proliferation of settlements on its banks. It is a river that people have praised, that poetry have been composed and songs sung and as people have come so people have gone its name would be etched forever in the geographical landscape of the Shillong Plateau as long as it flows whether clean or dirty. 

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National green tribunal

steps over vague policies

Sumar Sing Sawian

The Lukha River in Jaintia Hills, near the border with Bangladesh, runs Gatorade blue due to sulphate pollution from Meghalaya’s coal mines.The state government is now in a quandary, as how to wriggle out, over the total ban of haphazard and wanton mining of coal in the state, which was imposed by the National Green Tribunal since April 17 in the year 2014. Because of the indifferent and callous attitude of the government, which had allowed for so long the primitive method of coal mining, the government has to now to bite the dust. Since the inception of Meghalaya, forty years ago, the state is now facing an annual revenue loss of rupees six hundred crores. The government had allowed the coal barons to rule the roost, at the cost of environmental degradation, which can never be recuperated overnight.

The financial wizards of the state, are now in a fix and have to possibly satisfy themselves in a shoe-string budget. It is indeed a lesson to be learnt in a hard way by the government, in taking for granted of the coal resource and also other minerals such as limestone, which cannot be taken for a ride. In fact the state government had prepared a policy on mining of minerals since the year 2012, but strangely enough, this policy had been kept in cold storage, less it offend the coal barons, who have been given a free hand in the exploitation of the miners, without any reserves.

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