Manipur Year-Ender 2020: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly



By Halley Nongmaithem

As 2020 comes to an end, it is noteworthy to sit back and look at all the series of events - the good, the bad and the ugly, that shook Manipur.

Here is a list of incidents that made headlines in Manipur in 2020:

> ILP comes into effect in Manipur

163 permits issued on the first day of Inner Line Permit regime in Manipur.

Manipur became the fourth state in the Northeast to have Inner Line Permit system which became effective on January 1, 2020.

> Northeasterners subjected to racial abuse in Delhi

A tribal woman from Manipur was racially abused when she was on her way in Vijay Nagar area in North Delhi on March 22. This is not a lone case; many people of the region were subjected to racial slurs as coronavirus was rapidly making its way into India.

> Manipur became the first state in the Northeast to report COVID-19 positive cases on March 24.

A 23-year-old girl who is a returnee from the United Kingdom tested positive for the virus, making her the first case to be infected in the Northeast.

Manipur reported the first COVID-19 death on July 29 after a 56-year-old patient from Khongjom Sapam in Thoubal District passed away.

> Nine MLAs resign, join Congress

The BJP-led coalition government in Manipur headed by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on June 17 suffered a major setback after three MLAs of the ruling party tendered their resignation and six other legislators including four ministers withdrew support from the government.

> BJP's Leishemba Sanajaoba elected as Rajya Sabha MP

The BJP secured the lone Rajya Sabha seat on June 19 after BJP leader, Leishemba Sanajaoba defeated his closest rival, T Mangi Babu of the Congress by only 4 votes.

> Manipur ambush

Three Assam Rifles personnel lost their lives while four others were injured in an ambush by suspected insurgents of the People's Liberation Army in Chandel district near the border with Myanmar.

> Dr Rajesh Kumar becomes new Chief Secretary of Manipur

Dr Rajesh Kumar was appointed as the new Chief Secretary of Manipur on August 1.

> BJP-led coalition government wins power game in Manipur

The BJP-led ruling coalition in Manipur won the Confidence Motion in the Council of Ministers through a voice vote in the one-day State Assembly session held on August 10.

> Minister N. Kayisii appointed as interim president of NPP Manipur state unit

The National President of the National People's Party (NPP), Conrad K. Sangma, on August 24, appointed Manipur Minister N. Kayisii as the Interim President of the NPP, Manipur State Unit.

> Kangana Ranaut dons traditional Manipuri Phanek

The Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut on September 1 delighted her fans from Manipur after she flaunted the Manipuri 'Phanek', a silk sarong, giving a boon to the handloom industry in the state.

> Banker shot dead in Churachandpur, Rs 1.15 crore looted

A banker, identified as Arambam Ranjan Meitei (37), an employee of the State Bank of India (SBI), was shot dead and Rs 1.15 crore looted in Manipur's Churachandpur district on September 4.

> Manipur’s Rungsung Masakui is new High Commissioner of India to Jamaica

Manipur's R.Masakui, Indian Foreign Service (IFS, 2001) from Ukhrul district, who is presently the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Zimbabwe, was appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Jamaica.

> Kipgen-led NPP faction expels Dy CM from party

The infighting within the National People's Party (NPP) in Manipur took a dramatic turn on September 17 after the Thangminlen Kipgen-led faction of the party expelled Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar from the primary membership with immediate effect for six years.

> NPF expels 17 members from Tamenglong

The Naga People's Front (NPF) on September 14 expelled 17 of its party leaders for three years on charges of anti-party activities in Tamenglong division.

> Biren-led Govt goes through major reshuffle

On September 24, N. Biren Singh dropped three ministers from his party BJP, namely Education Minister Th. Radheyshyam, Social Welfare Minister Nemcha Kipgen and V. Hangkhalian, minister of Agriculture, Veterinary and Animal Husbandry.

> Journalist Kishorchandra Wangkhem lands in soup over derogatory remark

Journalist Kishorchandra Wangkhem, popularly known as Wangkhemcha Wangthoi, 41, was arrested for posting a derogatory remark against the Maram tribe on Facebook on October 9.

> Manipur named as champion state for successful implementation of PMVDY

Manipur was named as the “champion state” for the successful implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY) in the state in informative-cum-knowledge webinar organized by the Press Information Bureau in association with Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) on October 10.

> Former Manipur CS and Congress leader O. Nabakishore Singh joins BJP

Congress candidate for the Inner Manipur Parliamentary seat in 2019, O. Nabakishore Singh joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) October 12 in the presence of Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and BJP state President S. Tikendra Singh.

> BJP sweeps Manipur Bypolls 2020

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept the by-polls 2020 in Manipur by winning three seats of the four assembly constituencies on November 7.

> Former NPP president T Kipgen and 17 others join BJP

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) received a boost with the joining of the former state president of the National People’s Party’s (NPP), Thangminlien Kipgen, along with 17 others on October 27.

> Health Ministry releases ₹ 75 crore for Churachandpur Medical College

The Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare on November 3 released an amount of ₹ 75 crore as the first instalment for the Churachandpur medical college to be established in Churachandpur, Manipur.

> Gyanendro Ningombam is new Hockey India President

Manipur's Gyanendro Ningombam was on November 6 elected unopposed as the Hockey India (HI) president, taking over from Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad.

> Urmila Chanam wins ‘Laadli Media Award' for Gender Sensitivity 2020

Menstrual Health Activist and Columnist, Urmila Chanam from Manipur on November 21 received the Laadli Media and Advertising Awards for Gender Sensitivity 2020 in the English print category for her article — “A community awaits electricity and healthcare for 39 years”.

> Nongpok Sekmai of Manipur declared best Police Station by MHA

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on December 2 conferred Nongpok Sekmai Police Station in Manipur as the best police station in the country for the year 2020.

> Ngangom Bala becomes first Indian woman footballer to score in European professional league

Manipur’s Ngangom Bala Devi won her first competitive goal for Rangers at the 85th minute in their 9-0 win against the Motherwell Rangers Women’s Football Club on December 6, making her the first-ever Indian woman footballer to score in a European professional league game.

> Professor Amar Yumnam appointed new Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University

Manipur University appointed Professor Amar Yumnam as its Vice-Chancellor with immediate effect on December 14.

> Govindas Konthoujam appointed new party chief of MPCC

Congress National President Sonia Gandhi on December 15 appointed former minister in the Ibobi Singh Government, Govindas Konthoujam, as the new president of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC).

> Court acquits Lhukhosei Zou in drug haul case

Former Chairman of Chandel Autonomous District Council, Lukhosei Zou, was released after the Special Court (ND & PS) Manipur acquitted him in the drug haul case on December 17.

> Top cop Th. Brinda returns CM's gallantry medal after court acquits Lhukhosei Zou in drug haul case

Decorated cop Thounaojam Brinda, who is an Additional Superintendent of Police, Manipur Police Service, returned the Chief Minister’s Gallantry Medal after the ND&PS court acquitted Lhukhosei Zou in the drug haul case.

(Edited by Laxmi Chyrmang)

Also Read: Mizoram Year-Ender: Events that made headlines in 2020