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Government’s Failure to Contain the Jiribam Crisis and the Implications of Regional Instability

by Editorial Team
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Government’s Failure to Contain the Jiribam Crisis and the Implications of Regional Instability

The escalating violence in Jiribam, an alarming extension of the Kuki-Meitei clashes that erupted on May 3, 2023, highlights the Indian government’s failure to maintain peace and protect its citizens. The recent surge in brutality, marked by the killing of a police officer and the arson of over 70 homes, signals a catastrophic breakdown in law and order. This conflict is no longer just a localized skirmish; it is a crisis threatening the very fabric of Manipur.
The root of this turmoil lies in the historical and socio-political tensions between the Kuki and Meitei communities. However, the immediate responsibility for the current state of anarchy falls squarely on the shoulders of the government, which has failed to take decisive action to quell the violence and ensure the safety of its people.
From Churachandpur to Moreh, Kangpokpi to now Jiribam, the Meitei community is being systematically targeted and displaced. The recent beheading of a Meitei individual and the subsequent retaliatory arson by Kuki militants underscore the barbaric nature of the conflict. Jiribam, the last remaining land connection for the Meitei to mainland India, is now under siege. The strategic importance of Jiribam cannot be overstated. If it falls, Imphal and the Meitei heartland will be completely isolated, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis and further destabilizing the region.
The government’s response to this crisis has been woefully inadequate. Despite the clear and present danger, there has been a glaring lack of coordinated action to restore order and protect vulnerable communities. The death of a police officer in the line of duty is a tragic reminder of the risks faced by those on the frontlines, and it raises serious questions about the preparedness and support provided to law enforcement agencies in such volatile regions.
Furthermore, the alleged plans by Kuki militants to establish an independent ‘Zalengam’ point to a broader separatist agenda that the government has failed to address. This separatist aspiration, if unchecked, could lead to further fragmentation of the region and embolden other insurgent groups.
The government’s failure is multifaceted. Firstly, the initial clashes in early May should have been a clarion call for swift action. Instead, the violence has escalated, indicating a significant lapse in intelligence and response mechanisms. Secondly, the displacement of Meitei populations from various regions and the targeting of their homes and lives show a lack of protective measures for these communities. Additionally, the underlying socio-political issues between the Kuki and Meitei have been left unaddressed, allowing for the perpetuation of violence and animosity. Finally, the killing of a police officer is indicative of the broader issues within the state’s ability to manage internal security.
Adding a troubling dimension to this crisis is Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s recent warning about a Western conspiracy to create a new Christian nation from parts of Bangladesh, India and Myanmar. This alleged plot involves high-level international maneuvering, with hints at American interest in St. Martin’s Island and broader strategic ambitions in the region.
Hasina’s revelation that she was offered election support in exchange for allowing a foreign military base in Bangladesh, combined with the longstanding activities of Western NGOs and missionaries in border areas, raises the specter of a broader geopolitical scheme. The potential involvement of figures like George Soros and Erik Prince, as well as the U.S. government’s support for Myanmar’s resistance forces, further complicates the picture.
The implications of this for India are profound. The disturbances in Manipur, involving the Hindu-majority Meitei and the Christian-converted Kuki-Zo tribe, are part of a larger pattern of regional instability. The Indian government and intelligence agencies must remain vigilant, tracking any foreign attempts to alter the region’s political landscape.
The situation in Jiribam and the broader geopolitical machinations require immediate, decisive action from both the central and state governments. This includes deploying additional security forces, protecting all communities, and initiating dialogue to address grievances. Moreover, a comprehensive review of intelligence and response frameworks is essential to prevent future lapses.
India stands at a critical juncture. The government’s ability to maintain sovereignty, ensure justice, and protect its citizens is being tested. Failure to act decisively could lead to further violence and instability, not just in Manipur but across the region. It is time for the government to restore faith in its capacity to govern effectively and safeguard the nation’s integrity.

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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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