Crisis in Manipur 2 – Damon Corrie alert, Jiten in papers

Crisis in Manipur 2 – Damon Corrie alert, Jiten in papers

For those who have missed on the latest from Damon Corrie. Although under Indian police custody, it is a relief that Manipuri Jiten Yumna is walking despite the reports of torture.

In the photograph, Jiten is second from left in white shirt and jeans. Here’s what his affiliates have to say;-

Jiten Yumna, member of the Coordinating Committee of the Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (APIYN), was arrested at Imphal Airport around 12:30 pm (India standard time). On the same day, at around 3:00 pm, seven identified executives of the All Manipur United Club Organization (AMUCO) were also arrested after a combined team of Singjamei Police and Imphal West Police Commandos raided their office. The seven executives were Sungchen Koireng, Likmabam Tompok, A. Soken, Irom Brojen, Toarem Ramanda, G. Sharat Kabui and Thiyam Dinesh.

Reports stated that an FIR case has been registered against the eight arrested men (including Jiten Yumna) and booked under Section 121/121-A of Indian Penal Code (IPC), Section 16/18/39 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Section O of the Official Secret Act. Section 121/121-A of the IPC deals with ?attempting to wage war? and ?conspiring to commit offences against the state?. Sections 16/18/39 of UA(P) deal with ?unlawful acts of supporting or motivating? of what the State considers as ?insurgents?.

Aside from being a founding member of the APIYN, Jiten Yumna is also the Joint-Secretary of Citizens? Concerns on Dam and Development (CCDD) that had been vocal and active in motivating youth engagement in constructive dialogues with Governments in the background of development aggression and militarization in North East India. Jiten Yumnam has also demonstrated great wisdom and boldness while raising public awareness against construction of Big Dams, besides his in-depth knowledge of the way International Financial Institutions (IFIs) design and fund mega projects in the name of climate change mitigation. Jiten Yumnam, by the time of his arrest, was actually on his way to Bangkok for another international meeting on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and shall proceed to New Zealand for the Indigenous Climate Connections (ICC) afterwards.

Jiten Yumna also worked dedicatedly to raise awareness of the youth and the people by being a field reporter of Imphal Free Press and as freelance writer in Manipur Mail, The Sangai Express and the Imphal Free Press. He also published several materials that shook the Government like the ?Insidious Intrusion of International Financial Institutions in India?s North East? (2008); ?Militarization and human rights violations in Manipur? (December 2006) published by Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong; ?Mapithel Dam amidst Militaristic Development in Manipur? published in The Sangai Express last 14 December 2008; ?Damned Hearings of Tipaimukh High Dam in Manipur? published in New Nation, Bangladesh last May 5, 2008; and ?Development Aggression: Imphal Airport and University Expansion? published in the Imphal Free Press (March 15, 2008).

We express grave concern for the arrest of indigenous youth activist Jiten Yumnam and the AMUCO officials. The arrests last September 14 are not isolated cases, but actually part of the Government?s efforts to repress and oppress criticisms from its concern people. India is known to have used undemocratic Federal and State legislations to charge activists in attempts to immobilize processes that embarrass Governments.

We also express serious alarm over the impunity with which citizens of that region are subjected to. These unjustifiable acts should end now. We demand that Police and law enforcement elements take the issue with utmost seriousness.

This is part of what Jiten’s employer, the Imphal Free Press, has to say;-

Anti Dam activist and former IFP staff Jiten Yumna along with three activists of the AMUCO who were arrested by the Imphal West police on September 18 on charge of instigating the present public agitations in the state in connection with the July 23 Khwairamband Firing incident were detained under the NSA by the state government.

Jiten along with six activists of the AMUCO were produced before the Chief Judicial Megistrate Imphal this afternoon. Three members of the AMUCO however were released with surety bonds of 5,000 rupees each.

It may be mentioned that, Imphal West police arrested the former staff of the IFP Yumnam Jiten of Kwakeithel Mayai Koibi presently working as joint secretary of the Citizens Concern for Dam and Development from Imphal Airport on September 18 while he was trying to board a flight for New Delhi en-route to Bangkok for attending an international conference on climate change.

The police further arrested another nine representatives of AMUCO from their office at Kwakeithel and all of them were remanded to judicial custody till September 29.

In the meantime the representatives of AMUCO who were detained under NSA by the state government after they were produced before the CJM Imphal were identified as Brojen, 40, of Haorang Sabal, assistant finance secretary AMUCO, Amom Soken, 41, of Wangoo Tera, assistant secretary AMUCO, and Taorem Ramanand of Patsoi Part-I, assistant secretary, AMUCO.

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