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Semblance of a properly governed state is needed to maintain law & order at this juncture

by Editorial Team
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Semblance of a properly governed state is needed to maintain law & order at this juncture

Numerous civil society organizations have strongly condemned the recent incidents of arson in Imphal and the bombing at Dhanamanjuri University campus, resulting in the tragic death of a student. All these organizations hold the state government accountable for these violent events. They assert that the arson not only caused the destruction of physical structures but also led to the loss of crucial documents integral to the movement for the preservation of the territorial integrity of Manipur. The wide scale destruction of historical records is likened to the erasure of history itself.
While expressing their condemnation for these incidents, the organizations also express deep sorrow over the unfortunate bombing at DMU that claimed the life of a student. They squarely place the blame on the state government, contending that both the state’s intelligence network and the substantial concentration of security forces in Imphal have failed to prevent these incidents. In light of these failures, they emphasize that the state machinery has utterly faltered in its duty to safeguard the lives and property of the people.
The recent violent incidents at the heart of Manipur serve as a clear indication of the state government losing control when it comes to maintaining law and order. This represents a significant deterioration in law and order on a scale previously unimaginable. For the past seven to eight years, leading up to the eruption of violence last year, there was some semblance of peace. During this period, it seemed like society was finally making progress. The state assured law and order without resorting to excesses such as extrajudicial killings, at least in the valley. In the hills, the presence of militants, either in suspension of operations or engaged in peace talks with the state, created an impression that there was no effective law and order to begin with in those areas with frequent uncontrollable protests and anti-Manipur demands. Unfortunately, similar kinds of violence have now emerged in Imphal, indicating a broader breakdown in law and order.
The state security apparatus appears to be dysfunctional at the moment. Therefore, there is an urgent need to call for the implementation of stringent measures to restore law and order in the region. However, there is a confusion regarding whom to blame or hold responsible, especially when responsibility is being shifted from one corner to another. The lack of clarity on who is in charge of the law and order contributes to the ongoing confusion, seemingly it is designed to prevent holding anyone accountable for the crisis in law and order in Imphal. This situation further exacerbates the challenges in addressing and resolving the issues at hand.
Indeed, it is observed that the state security apparatus tends to become more active and responsive during rallies or protests against the state’s policies pertaining to the ongoing violence, especially in matters related to the Suspension of Operation or the expulsion of Kuki MLAs. In the past, state forces have taken strong actions against student protesters and youths. However, there is a noticeable contrast when it comes to instances where lives and property are targeted, as they may not be as visibly present or proactively involved in acting against the criminals.
This discrepancy raises concerns about the priorities and effectiveness of the state security apparatus, as it appears to be more reactive in situations of dissent rather than proactive in preventing incidents that pose a direct threat to lives and property. The selective engagement of state forces could contribute to a lack of confidence and trust among the public regarding the state’s commitment to maintaining law and order consistently.

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