Furore over sleaze in Churachandpur
Delhi-based freelance contributor Ninglun Hanghal reports that on 25 June a man and a woman were caught in an “immoral act”, allegedly stripped, assaulted and abused by four India Reserved Battalion personnel near the Khuga Dam in Manipur&’s Churachandpur district. The entire act was recorded on a mobile phone camera and uploaded on the Internet. It immediately went viral on social networking sites. The local press reported the matter three days later, that too only after an activist had filed a case in the local police station. In a place like Churachandpur, such cases are normally not made public. Members of civil society organisations hit the streets in protest. The Churachandpur Joint Women Organisation demanded that the offenders be handed over to it.
Of late, the district has witnessed several cases of rape and murder of women. Many of these have gone unreported and some minor ones amicably settled.
The incident should serve as an opportunity to set many things right. This calls for stringent laws and a relook at some of the traditional customary practices and make these more relevant and contextual. Importantly, this calls for a change in attitude in the treatment of women within and outside society and the community.
Welcome back to Umroi
Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, which suspended its services to Umroi, near Shillong, last year is reportedly all set to resume flights beginning this week. It will operate four flights a week from Kolkata. Picturesque Umroi is a state- of-the-art airport but cannot handle bigger planes.
However, more land is being acquired to extend the runway. Alliance gets subsidies from the North Eastern Council. It discontinued flights last year allegedly on non-payment of its dues amounting to Rs 200 by the NEC.
Resumption of flights to Assam&’s Lilabari and Tezpur, discontinued last year, is also likely in the next few weeks.
A report in the Imphal-based Sangai Express says the Manipur government has decided to build a cargo handling terminal at Tulihal airport. At a 29 June meeting of the central cabinet committee on infrastructure, presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Tulihal and Bhubaneswar airports were accorded international status and Rs 2,000 crore was earmarked for the construction of facilities. The Ibobi government is keen to inaugurate regular services to Mandalay, Yangon and Bangkok beginning this month. During World War II, Tulihal served as the main supply base for the allied forces fighting on the Burma front.