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Benevolence behind the iron fortress

by Rinku Khumukcham
0 comment 3 minutes read

During an interview at India Today conclave held at the city of joy recently, Manipur’s Chief Minister N. Biren Singh had stated that law and order condition of the state have improved a lot since the coming of his government in March 2017. His contention is spot on when compared to the days of the last government. The introduction of the Night Plaza and ‘comparatively smoother’, adept handling of almost all potential public angst and pacification of major civil bodies and meira paibis have relieved the law enforcing agencies to a considerable degree.
The blast that occurred on the evening of October 20 at the crowded Nagamapal which killed a CRPF personnel while injuring another cannot validate the Chief Minister’s statement as minor incident of the kind happening in every developing cities. To be frank the law and order situation of the state have improved a lot and the credit should be given to the Chief Minister N Biren Singh.
Having said so, someone visiting the state will hardly believe that the law and order condition have been improved. It is okay with the changing lifestyle like comforting visitors with night life and other extravaganzas.
But the Barricades cordoning the Chief Minister’s Bungalow from the northern side till the end at southern side prohibiting pedestrians, besides having a concrete wall and an iron gate to repel any attack automatically defy the chief minister’s statement, as no office of the chief minister of governor were protected , the way important offices are protected during war time.
The same is with the Raj Bhavan. The presence of highly trained security guard is enough to guard the gate. The simplicity of her Excellency the governor of Manipur is being maligned with the presence of the iron barricade topped with barbed wire.
When the office of the head of the state need iron barricades topped with barb wire despite the fact that the office are being fenced with concrete wall, what is the need of the iron barricade? After all, police are well trained – or we are made to believe- to control democratic protests. Justifying the cordoning of the Chief Minister’s office to prevent protestors kicking the gate of Chief Minister’s office is akin to convincing a fool to say ‘yes’ to whatever is being taken up whether people are happy or not.
What is the use of organizing peoples’ meet every month when the government has lost faith in its people?  
This column had earlier brought up the issue of cordoning the CMO with barricade and suggested that it should be removed as the situation is now calm.
An answer justifying the cordoning of the CMO by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh to a young citizen of the state surprises everyone. How could he be chosen as the best Chief Minister of BJP ruled states in the country when the attitude showed signs of an authoritarian? The justification sounds more like a threat or intimidation to any person who criticize the act of the government, if felt wrong.
Well there had been incidents of bombs exploded near the Chief Minister’s Bungalow by unidentified miscreants earlier. Extra security measures were taken up and cordons were set up in the perimeter- but temporarily till the perpetrators were ascertained and the threats removed. The present barricade in front of the CMs office however looks like a permanent arrangement which is proving to be a great inconvenience and unnecessary nuisance for the public who have to climb down on the road in order to pass the place, which happens to be at a very busy intersection in the heart of the city thereby putting the pedestrians at risk of injury. The very arrangement also presents an ironic picture that is in stark contrast to the claims of an improved social atmosphere by the very government who is functioning behind what has increasingly come to resemble a mini iron fortress.       

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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