It Is Not Just Militant Attacks, There Are Issues That Media Need To Cover In Manipur

Many houses in-low lying areas of Imphal city and those located near the bank of rivers were inundated by the river water

It Is Not Just Militant Attacks, There Are Issues That Media Need To Cover In Manipur

It may be termed “unfortunate” when  a heavily-armed group of rebels killed 6 Assam Rifles personnel in Chandel district of Manipur on Sunday. This is the same district where 18 personnel of the same security forces were killed in June, 2015. National media covered the two incidents like it is the only problem and news that matters, in this north eastern state.

In course of this news, the Sunday’s incident would be, evidently, taken up in their self-claimed No 1 news channels’ Noise Hour programmes, like they had exaggerated in the last year’s incident. Unfortunately, the same state and its people have been facing distress due to the incessant rain and an unending protest which is demanding a Bill to protect its indigenous people in the past few days. But, it seems like media has turned a blind to this.

In the last few days, torrential rain wreaked havoc in many parts of the state. It severely affected Imphal Valley and also in many parts of hill area, where landslides and rockslides were reported due to the continuous down pour. NH-37, the Imphal-Silchar national highway is already blocked and the border town of Moreh is cut off. Many houses in Imphal East and Imphal West located near the bank of Nambul river and Imphal river are inundated by the flood waters. The water level is reported to be rising by the day.

In Thoubal district, many areas 0f Wangjing, Salungpham , Keirak, Wabgai and places at Kakching were flooded as Sekmai River overflowed. Many fish farms, and other cultivable area are reported to have been destroyed in the deluge, while hundreds of houses have been submerged. Flood water also entered the Mayang Imphal power sub-station forcing officials to shut it down. The hill district of Tamenglong which has been cut off from other parts of the state has been without power for several weeks.

Even as the state is hit by the natural calamities , the state was on an almost shut down condition due 38-hour cease work strike called by the JCILPS (Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System) to protest the delaying of ILPS (Inner Line Permit System-a Bill to protect indigenous people) implementation by the state government.

At least five agitators were injured in police action during the strike. Most business establishments and government departments were shut down during the JCILPS’ protest. After the 38-hour strike, a shutdown have been called for in select routes to keep up the momentum of protests.  A school student had died in police firing in Imphal city, and 9 others died in Churachandpur district during the same protest last year.

In another protest, a public curfew was also imposed on 23 May  by another  Joint Action Committee, demanding arrest of three unknown youth who had open fire at a women group on April 11, in Lilong police station area of Thoubal district.

These news are also worth covering. Why a “full-stop” only on militant’s attacks?