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Gaan Ngai Festival gets under way in Manipur

 IMPHAL, Jan 19 - Gaan Ngai – the biggest annual post-harvest festival of the Zeliangrong community of Manipur, Assam and Nagaland – began in the Zeliangrong-dominated areas of the State and other parts of the North Eastern region today. A holy fire is lit for purification of the entire community and colourful dance sequences by numerous Zeliangrong groups are held on the occasion.

The inauguration of the State-level Gaan Ngai Festival, marking the close of the old year and arrival of the New Year, featured congregational prayers and dances at Chingmeirong Kabui village here.

Forest and Environment Minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar Singh, vice chairperson of the Disaster Management Authority, Manipur, Adim Pamei and president of NEROCA FC Thangjam Arun Kumar, who is also the proprietor of Arun Enterprises, attended the inaugural function of the festival, which will be celebrated in the Zeliangrong-inhabitated areas for five days.

Invocation of God, offering of holy wine to deities and cultural programmes are the highlights of the Gaan Ngai festival.

Earlier, on January 16, a curtain raiser ceremony was held with State Governor Dr Najma Heptulla at the lawn of the Raj Bhavan here.

The event was organised by the State-level Gaan Ngai Celebration Committee, Manipur, in collaboration with the Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak Phuam, a religious body.

Veteran scribe passes away: Veteran journalist AK Sanaton, former president of All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU), passed away at his residence in Imphal East district after prolonged illness on Thursday. He was 71.

He is survived by his wife, two sons and one daughter. Sanaton had served as the Editor of the Ehou daily. He was instrumental in pushing through the pension scheme to which every working journalist is entitled today, after organising a big musical show in Imphal in 1996.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh, who also started his career as a journalist and editor, condoled the sudden demise of Sanaton, a resident of Singjamei Wangma Kshetri Leikai.

In his condolence message, Biren Singh said apart from being a journalist, AK Sanaton was a political and social activist as well. Local MLA and Works Minister Th Biswajit also condoled the sudden demise of AK Sanaton. A tribute ceremony was organised at the Manipur Press Club in Imphal on Friday under the aegis of the AMWJU.

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