The year 2018 was a dark year for the journalists’ community in Manipur. Nine senior journalists including four former editors passed away untimely.
Noted journalist Khelen Thokchom passed away due to cardiac arrest at his Tera Tongbram Leikai residence in Imphal West district on April 1. He was 58 and is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
Khelen who started his journalism career in the early eighties as a reporter of local dailies – Manipur News, Ningtam Lanpao, Aryabharta and Hueiyen Lanpao, before writing for Eastern Clarion,The Sunday, North East Sun, wrote for The Telegraph till his last breath. He was also with editorial team of Manipur’s popular English dailies Imphal Free Press, Manipur Sangai Express and The Sangai Express.
Senior journalist Khamkhanthang Valte alias KK Valte of Manipur Express passed away on February 23, 2018. Suresh Luwang, former editor of Nongallakpa, a vernacular daily also passed away on April 29, 2018.
After a gap of about two months, Joint Editor Ningthoukhongjam Gitchandra of Manipur Mail died due to heart attack at his Uripok residence on June 8 night. He was a former national level badminton player.
Later video journalist, Kakchingtabam Bipin Sharma of Impact TV, a popular local cable TV in Imphal passed away at his Imphal East home on November 10.
Thirty-eight-year-old Bipin who is survived by wife and two daughters, started his career as a photo journalist. Later, senior reporter N Bishorjit Singh also from Manipur Mail expired untimely on November 18.
About a week later, former editor Dinamani Haoba of ‘Ihou’ and ‘Wayel Kati’, a vernacular daily has died at his Imphal home on November 26.
Dinamani had served as the president of All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union from August 14, 1987 to July 30, 1991.
Former editor Yendrembam Mangi Ningthouja of Echel Express, a vernacular daily passed away on December 20.
He was also former editor of vernacular dailies Matamgi Yakairol and Hueiyen Lanpao. Mangi Ningthouja is survived by his wife and two children, including a son and a daughter.
Another press correspondent Jacob Panmei of The Cham, a Rongmei vernacular also passes away a day ahead of Christmas.