N Biren treasures gradual return of peace, normalcy
Source: Chronicle News Service / DIPR

Imphal, March 11 2024: Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Monday distributed welfare benefits under Accidental Death benefits and Natural Deaths in a function held at Hapta Kangjeibung, Palace Compound, here.

Organised by Manipur Building and Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board (MBOCWWB) under Department of Skills, Labour, Employment & Entrepreneurship, the function had CM handing over cheques to select beneficiaries (next of kin) of Accidental Death benefits and Natural Deaths.

The benefits will be transferred into the respective bank accounts of the beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer.

Addressing the gathering, CM Biren said that we are all together facing a hard time, but with the grace of God we are returning towards peace and normalcy.

He said that no one had expected that a simple rally organised by students on May 3 last year would lead to the prevailing conflict and attacks on a community.

However, the organisers and participants of the rally planned and coordinated the attacks at 2-3 locations, leading to the unfortunate situation we are in today, Biren said.

Expressing sadness over the loss of lives, properties, and miseries caused by the crisis, he stated that the government has taken up all possible steps to ensure that such unfortunate events do not recur.

Deployment of state security personnel in the foothills and vulnerable areas is already in place and will be complete soon, he added.

Stating that Manipur Rifles and IRB battalions in Imphal and nearby areas are being shifted to foothill areas, the chief minister assured that soon Manipur will return to normalcy, to the Manipur that once topped development charts of small states in the country within the next few years.

Appreciating the welfare schemes taken up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi especially for uplift of women and the poor, he pointed out that Manipur had a share of projects worth Rs 3500 crore during the launch of various projects by the Prime Minister for north-eastern states few days back in Arunachal Pradesh.

Biren highlighted a few projects including laying of foundation stones for seven natural football grounds (estimated to cost around Rs 8 crore each), Unity Mall (estimated at around Rs 100.49 crore) with stalls for the 34-35 recognised tribes, National Highways among others.

This means that despite all the disturbances, the government has not stopped working for the welfare of the people and development of the state, he added.

The chief minister further said that around Rs 17 crore (approximate) will be distributed to labour card holders, including select beneficiaries (next of kin) of accidental death benefits and natural Deaths.

So, people should appreciate the people-centric schemes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It was only after Narendra Modi came to power that the long-standing demand for Inner Line Permit was granted and it was extended in Manipur, he remarked, while urging all not to be influence by temporary emotions or sentiments.

The CM also spoke on the issues of border fencing and decision to scrap Free Movement Regime (FRM), stating that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, fencing of 10km has already been completed.

He said that before the border was fenced, the number of villages and outsiders increased in the state, with a record number of 996 villages in 2023 alone.

Thus, the fencing work is being carried out to save the estate from this imbalance, he maintained, adding that another 21km of the border will be fenced, in accordance to earlier announcement to fence 80km of the border at key locations.

"If the border had been fenced, the ILP enforced and FMR scrapped 20-30 years ago, would anyone be able to descend to the valley and launch attack, as is seen in present times" Biren wondered, urging the people to think on this matter, while adding, "I am not blaming anyone, but just stating the facts visible to the naked eye".

He asserted that his government has not worked against any community over the past six years.

The government had only acted against illegal drugs, poppy cultivation, deforestation and recording biometrics of those from any community who had entered the state illegally.

After the 'War on Drugs' mission was launched to save the youth of the state, around 3000-4000 drug dealers/smugglers have been arrested.

The cabinet sub-committee to identify those who entered the state illegally was chaired by cabinet minister Letpao Haokip with ministers Awangbow Newmai and Th Basanta Kumar as members.

Apart from these, no work has been done against any community.

As such, it begs the question what wrong has been truly committed, he asked, while inviting anyone to point out the wrong actions in this matter, assuring to "resign from his post immediately".

Biren continued that a politician should prioritise the interest of people and the state.

The people know that the central government stands for Manipur.

However, an attempt was made to remove PM Modi by moving a 'No Confidence Motion' over the Manipur issue.

He (CM) then mentioned that the ground reality of the Nongpok Sekmai incident was that after nine people were killed in Khamenlok, an enraged crowd attacked a village.

While the mob killed the families of the two female victims, the Meira Paibis and youth volunteers worked hard to save the two females.

Unfortunately, a photo was snapped of the rescue process and misconstrued by a Meetei politician, who was waiting for the parliament session to release the same.

Instead of highlighting how the two females were rescued and covered up, the incident was reported wrongly in the parliament so as to remove the PM.

But as fate would have it, the truth came out in the end, he remarked.

The CM then asserted the people should all live and settle together like before, but understand that those who were already there before 1961 are permanent citizens.

While we have no enemies, our future would be difficult without the central government and as such, we need to work with the centre.

If we stand against the centre, it would be difficult to fully protect the north east, considering the geopolitics, China's influence in Myanmar and Myanmar's in India, geography, community, population and other aspects.

Observing the instances of assaults on Nagas and Meitei Pangals, donation drives, robbing vehicles and fighting with non-locals every now and then; Biren remarked that there is no soul left with whom we do not have a disagreement with.

He urged all not to find or create enemies, forgive when needed and ignore when required.

He continued that if there is any suspicion during checks, contact the police first.

The present Manipur is highly sensitive and one should refrain from taking the law into their hands.

Any careless act portrays us people with criminal tendencies.

When such videos go viral on social media, what people would first assume is that the Meetei community is a wild, inhumane community, he cautioned.

Biren then said that the Manipur Building & Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board has also adopted the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan Dhan, with 50 per cent of the scheme money provided by the centre and the remaining 50 per cent by the Board.

He further informed that compensation for those farmers affected by the violence will be distributed from Tuesday onwards.

Funds for around 500 beneficiaries for construction of houses have been released.

Regarding displaced people, students are eing taught for free in government schools and a scheme of Rs 300 per month for private school fees announced.

Efforts are underway to resettle and rehabilitate the displaced people, to provide them with the same privacy and respect that everyone deserves.

Mentioning that the Election Code of Conduct may likely be announced on March 14, he said that launching election campaigns can be a form of gratitude towards the centre's efforts for Manipur.

He then urged for voting for BJP in the upcoming election and strengthening the PM Modi-led government, as an act of reciprocation.

In his speech, Skills, Labour, Employment & Entrepreneurship minister H Dingo said that the benefits will be distributed to around 26,000 and lauded the staff and employees of the Board for organising such an event.

On the other-hand, CM Biren distributed relief package to farmers affected by the present crisis in the state under a scheme initiated by the Ministry of Home Affairs, in a function held at the Durbar Hall of the Chief Minister's Secretariat, here, on Tuesday.

Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Biren disclosed that a total of 3483 farmers would receive the compensatory package in Phase-I, amounting to Rs 18.37 crore.

The Ministry of Home Affairs had sanctioned Rs 38.6 crore, as proposed by the state government, for providing compensation to affected farmers.

The CM highlighted the findings of a survey conducted by the agriculture department, which revealed that agricultural activities were halted in approximately 5127 hectares of land due to the unprecedented violence in the state..

Out of 5901 affected farmers verified by the respective DCs, 19 cases were cancelled due to duplication, while 2399 cases failed Aadhaar authentication and were referred back for re-verification.

Consequently, the remaining 3483 farmers were included in Phase-I, with plans for subsequent phases pending completion of re-verification.

Regarding the distribution of compensatory packages in Phase-I, Biren provided a district-wise breakdown of the beneficiaries.

Accordingly, 199 farmers from Imphal West, 360 from Imphal East, 1031 from Bishnupur, 25 from Thoubal, 51 from Jiribam, 142 from Chandel, 272 from Kangpokpi, 1137 from Churachandpur, 35 from Tengnoupal, and 231 from Kakching have been covered in the phase-1.Both events were attended by agriculture minister Thongam Biswajit, water resources minister Awangbow Newmai, education minister Th Basanta Kumar, member of parliament (Rajya Sabha) Leishemba, BJP Manipur Pradesh president A Sharda, MLAs, chief secretary Dr Vineet Joshi, and MBOCW-WB chairman K Sarat Singh, among others.

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