Home » Manipur violence – The silence and the ticking time bomb

Manipur violence – The silence and the ticking time bomb

by Jeet Akoijam
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While the state is still trying to defend itself from heavily armed terrorists believed to be illegal immigrants from Myanmar and Kuki militants belonging to parties who are signatories to the tripartite Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement signed in 2008 as a ceasefire agreement between the Indian government and various Kuki militant groups operating in the northeastern states of Manipur and Nagaland, the relentless attacks on the villagers across the peripheries of the valley and hill areas of Manipur continues using sophisticated weapons. Under the agreement, the Kuki militant groups agreed to stop carrying out violent activities and come to designated camps to be monitored by security forces. In return, the Indian government agreed to suspend its operations against the Kuki groups. Terms under which the SoO Pact was signed are: The Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) oversees the effective implementation of the pact. Security forces, including state and central forces, cannot launch operations, nor can the underground groups. Signatories of UPF and KNO abide by the Constitution of India, laws of the land, and territorial integrity of Manipur. They are prohibited from committing atrocities and extortion. The militant cadres are confined to designated camps, with arms deposited in a safe room under a double-locking system. The groups are given arms only to guard their camps and protect their leaders.
Right from the day the present crisis broke out in the state, it has been irrefutably clear that the terms of the SoO pact has been violated and yet nothing much has been seen done to bring the violators under control by the state and central government who boasts of the fourth largest army in the world in terms of firepower. Either a sign of forced passive audience to the whole sordid drama or lack of operational skill or inability to adapt- all of which are dangerous and is bound to have far reaching repercussions than those making policies and handing down orders from the comforts of their cocooned environment can possibly fathom. Back home, the murmur of dissent and resentment is growing louder by the day and the body count continue to rise. Amid the chaos and confusion and the roar for sanity, the deafening and inexplicable silence of the man on whose assurances and face value the state voted the BJP to power is proving to be rubbing of salt to the wound as the initial expectations of the people of the violence torn state about the slightest show of concern and studied remarks or even few words of consolation from PM Modi has faded to the point that the much touted Mann ki Baat program has been boycotted and slogans raised against the man. Evidently so much more than the future of BJP or the Congress or CPI or any single political party hinges on the outcome of the present violence in Manipur and yet the deliberate delay in implementing and utilising the state and central forces in curbing the violence and bringing the perpetrators to book has lent credence to the unconfirmed reports of the unholy nexus between the BJP and the narco-terrorists trying to hold the state to ransom and convert the miniscule state of Manipur to a transit point of International drug trafficking in order to retain power at all cost.
The present conflict must be seen for what it really is and not try to be downplayed as a mere ethnic clash as has been done by few media houses because if not checked and rectified now, the rot will spread and engulf the whole of the nation and it will be too late by then. The ball is in the court of the mute Prime Minister and the time to act might slip past altogether.

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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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