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Friend or foe

by Rinku Khumukcham
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There has been hue and cry for the last many years about paramilitary forces employed in different parts of the state harassing the public in the name of security. Much has been written in the newspaper and discussed in different local TV channels about security forces going the extra mile in the name of security and to curb anti-social elements. Most talked about being the check post opened in different parts of National Highway 102.  These check post opened in the name of preventing anti-social activities mainly smuggling of illegal items is good on one side, but as they say, a coin has two sides, this good has another dark side too. Many times people are harassed in the name of checking for illegal items. Whether it is medical or other emergencies, people are not let off easily from these checkpoints. The gates for these checkpoints are opened at certain timings and are closed beyond this timing. If in cases of emergencies, people have to run here and there for opening up the gate, if in case it is closing time for the gate or beyond opening hours. No personnel can be seen in and around the check post if it is off-hours. People coming for emergency needs are left at the mercy of these personnels, who at most of the time is nowhere to be seen near the check post.
No political leaders, CSOs, or whoever concerned has advocated about this issue that is causing much anguish to the common people. Why the gates cannot be opened 24 x 7 and why it has to be closed from dusk to morning? Is it because of lack of manpower or something else? Closing off a road interconnecting different villages is nothing more than imposing a night curfew. Imphal-Moreh the highway can be compared to a war zone, taking in view of the number of check-post set up in this route. Are these arrangements curbing the import of illegal items to the state cent percent? A big no will be the answer of most people. Everyone knows what the real scenario is.
Whenever there are major incidents happening at the check post, the big shots of these forces give big assurances as such untoward incidents will not happen in the future. However, it has not stopped even now. Much left to be changed in the attitude and manners of the personnel performing security check in the check post. One can witness rude and unruly personnel handling the check, which is quite a dark blemish to the so-called disciplined forces.
It is high time that the government and concerned officials start looking into this matter seriously and to chalk out a permanent solution to all this mess in this route otherwise, there will be no end to this harassment meted out by these forces to the public. Although extrajudicial killings by paramilitary forces have stopped in this region but the harassment continues in this route in the name of security.

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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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