Babloo refuses to apologise before privilege committee for `Mithibong mitambal` comment on TV

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IMPHAL, February 9: Human Rights Alert executive director Babloo Loitongbam has refused to apologise in connection to a notice of alleged breach of privilege and contempt of the Assembly regarding a comment he had made during a TV show.

Speaking to media persons after appearing before the Committee of Privilege and Ethics of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, Babloo said he was summoned to attend the meeting of the committee regarding a privilege motion moved by parliamentary secretary Vungzagin Valte and AITC MLA Dr I Ibohalbi.

He said the motion was moved against him for his comment aired on July 22, 2014 in a private TV channel during which he had used the word `Mithibong Mitambal` while speaking on the Inner Line Permit System.

He said while clarifying his stance before the committee, he had told the committee that he had never said all 60 MLAs are mithibong mitambal, as alleged.

`I was only referring to a specific behaviour pattern of abdicating responsibility and beating up of innocent children who are come out on the streets because of their irresponsibility as Mithibong Mitambal.`

`Rightly or wrongly, the people seem to have sensed a divergence of priorities between themselves and their elected representatives on the core issue facing the State. As a citizen of the State, I too feel burdened by this sense of unwholesome divergence. I submit that my used of the term, Mithibong Mitambal should be understood in this light,` he had said before the committee.

Babloo also said that he stands by his words and is firm in his conviction that the members of the Manipur State Assembly have not lived up to the expectations of the peoples.

`The public protests are pointers towards the same.`

`I also wish to categorically state that, the issue of lowering the dignity of the House does not arise at all, as we respect the long historical tradition of Manipur Legislative Assembly and the dignity of all its Members and are only anxious that they are not only upheld but also continued in practice,` he had told the committee according to the statement.

The committee had asked him to apologies following which the allegations against him will be withdrawn, said Babloo.

He however steadfastly declined to do this.

Babloo Loitongbam also informed the media that the Privilege and Ethics committee will hold another meeting without him following which its report will be presented before the Assembly and appropriate action will be taken.

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