Imphal : Manipur will go without newspapers and news magazines for one month beginning on Sunday as the sole agent in the state was forced to shut shop by the Kangleipak Students' Association (KSA).
The agent, M/S P.C. Jain and Co. were found stocking, displaying and selling copies of the Manipur General Knowlege written by R. Gupta and published by Ramesh Publishing House, New Delhi, which was banned by the KSA activists. As a "form of punishment", the KSA said it asked the agent's shop to be shut down for one month. Some KSA activists raided the two shops, M/s PC. Jain and Co. and its sister concern, M/s Jain Book Store, on Saturday and found several copies of the controversial book, Manipur General Knowlege. The KSA activists took out these copies to the street and made a bonfire of them. Meanwhile, the publisher is reported to have issued an apology for the "inadvertent mistakes" contained in the book. M/s P.C. Jain and Co. are the sole agent in Manipur for all newspapers and news magazines published in India. The company being forced to shut shop would mean the state will go without newspapers and magazines for a month. Some KSA activists said, "The distorted book is fraught with factual mistakes and hurts the religious sentiment of the people. Lai Haraoba is original religion of the Manipuris. However, the book says that it is the dance of Shiva and Durga along with other gods and goddesses." The KSA also took a strong objection to the longest serving former Chief Minister and parliament member Rishang Keishing being described in the book as a "freedom fighter". Keishing was not a freedom fighter but a politician, the association insisted. In the past, the KSA and the Manipur Students' Federation had banned some books for alleged misrepresentation of Manipur. One of the books was in the history of Manipur, which said Arjun, the great archer among Pandavas from the epic Mahabharata, came to the northeast and married a Manipuri princess. This was an unfounded story, the KSA said.