Year Ender: What made ‘Headlines’ in Manipur in 2018


Dec 29, 2018:

This Northeastern state has witnessed a series of activities (in varied forms) this years, some of which are pleasant while others are quite ugly.

Here's what made Headlines in Manipur in 2018:

1. A University under siege

The Manipur University impasse and the way it was initiallyhandled was the cause of massive uproar in the state this year. The crisis wasarguable the university's worst in its 38-year history.

The University was shut down for months on end after studentbodies began protesting against vice-chancellor Adya Prasad Pandey, demandinghis immediate removal.

Several protestors were injured while rallying their causefor weeks but perhaps the worst of it all was the blitzkrieg on the midnight ofSeptember 20 when police and paramilitary forces entered the campus in convoysand raided the five boys hostels of the university, arresting 89 students andsix teachers, on the basis of an FIR lodged by Professor K. YugindroSingh. 

The impasse has since been resolved as the High Court ofManipur intervened and appointed former chief secretary of Manipur, JarnailSingh as "administrator" who is fully empowered to discharge the functions of theVice-Chancellor.

Read about the incident here: Manipur University under siege: future of students at stake

2. Mary Kom createsboxing history

2018 was undoubtedly Mary Kom's year as India's boxing acecreated history by becoming the first ever boxer to win six AIBA Women's WorldBoxing Championships in New Delhi on November.

The 35-year-old Indian legend got the better of UkrainianHanna Okhota in the 48 kg gold at the 2018 AIBA Women's World BoxingChampionships held in New Delhi.

16 years after winning her maiden World Championship – andeight years since her last – Mary overtakes Ireland's Katie Taylor as the firstfemale boxer to win six gold medals, and becomes only the second pugilist ever(male or female) to achieve the feat after Felix Savon.

The Olympic bronze-medallist Mary Kom was presented the AIBALegends award for her trailblazing boxing career at the International BoxingAssociation's 70th anniversary gala in Montreux, Switzerland.

3. Man lynched on suspicion of being a vehicle thief

India suffered a horrible epidemic of lynching in 2018 andthe north-eastern state of Manipur was no stranger.

A man succumbed to injuries that he suffered from a lynchingin Tharoijam Awang Leikai in Imphal West district.

The deceased was suspected to be a vehicle thief and wasbadly beaten by villagers. He succumbed to his injuries on the spot. Thevillagers then proceeded to burn the car the trio were in.

4. Manipur passes thePeople's Protection Bill after repeated demands

The new BJP-led government passed the People's ProtectionBill on July 23 during the fifth session of the eleventh Manipur LegislativeAssembly.

The Bill saw the demands of the majority community ofMeiteis in the valley met. The Bill defines "Manipuris" and "non-Manipuris" andseeks to regulate the entry and exit of the latter in order to protect theinterests and identity of the former. According to the Bill, Manipuri includedthe Meiteis, the Pangal Muslims, Manipuri scheduled tribes listed under theConstitution and Indian nationals who have been living in Manipur before 1951.

5. Journalist detained under NSA for criticising the BJP government and PM Modi

Manipur journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem has beensentenced to a year's detention under the National Security Act on December 19,nearly a month after he was taken into custody for allegedly targeting theruling BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a social media post.

Read all about the incident here: Journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem sentenced to 12 months detention for criticising BJP, PM Modi

6. Police personnelrevealed to have been involved in extra judicial-killings

The Central Investigative Bureau (CBI) on Mondaysubmitted charge sheets against 15 state police personnel in two cases of fakeencounters under Sections 302 (murder), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 201(destruction of evidence) and other relevant provisions of the IPC after theSupreme Court slammed the organisation for the pace of the investigation intothe killings by Army, Assam Rifles and the state police.

Read more here: Extrajudicial killings: Charge sheets filed against 15 police personnel

7. Manipur borderpillar conflict

The border pillar conflict began when Tengnoupal's districtcommissioner, Abujam Tombikanta Singh, told journalists that a border pillar,numbered 81, stood "at least three kilometres" inside Indian territory.

The district commissioner also  reportedly claimed the original border pillar81 had also been moved from its position and that, as a result, Manipur riskedlosing land. This caused chaos in the state, which is sensitive about its"territorial integrity".

Read analysis here: Manipur border pillar issue: Who created the border pillar conflict and for what?

8. Manipur's KamalaDevi named AIFF Woman Footballer of the Year

Kamala Devi was named All India Football Federation(AIFF) Woman Footballer of the Year on July 23 for her exploits in the gameduring the course of the year.

Read more here: Manipur's Kamala Devi named AIFF Woman Footballer of the Year; Sunil Chhetri wins in men's section

9. The state saw yetanother internet ban

Internet and SMS services in Manipur except voice calls weresuspended for on July this year to prevent "anti-national" and anti-socialmessages on social media, marking the third time ever that Manipur haswitnessed a suspension of internet services.

Read story here: Manipur | Internet services suspended for five days in the state

10. Mirabai Chanu wonIndia its first gold since 1995 at the Weightlifting World Championships

Mirabai Chanu won India its first gold since 1995 at theWeightlifting World Championships. The Manipur-born athlete broke the women's48-kg category CWG record by lifting 196 kg in total. During herrecord-breaking spree, she lifted 86 kg in snatch and 110 kg in the clean andjerk.