Home » In the Wake of Tragedy: Arrests Made, but Is the Government Doing Enough?

In the Wake of Tragedy: Arrests Made, but Is the Government Doing Enough?

by Aribam Bishwajit
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The recent apprehension of four individuals linked to the tragic killings of two students, Linthoingambi and Hemanjit, undoubtedly warrants acknowledgment. Yet, it is crucial to reflect on whether this arrest should be viewed as an achievement or a belated response by the government to its prior inaction. Linthoingambi and Hemanjit’s disappearance and subsequent death stand as undeniable evidence of a significant governance shortfall. The sheer inability of the N Biren Singh-led Government to manage and control the volatile situation that has consumed the state for the past five months is both alarming and disheartening. The hostilities between the Meitei and Zo-Kuki communities not only sparked unrest within the state but drew concerned glances from the international community.
The silence that enveloped the Government of Manipur and the Central Government post the students’ disappearance on July 6 was deafening. Their claims of actively searching for the missing youths seemed hollow, especially as images of the students’ last moments and their lifeless forms started circulating online. The widespread uproar and protests that ensued were so significant that they compelled Union Home Minister Amit Shah to dispatch the head of the CBI to Manipur, which subsequently led to the arrests.
While the announcement of the culprits’ detention was met with relief by many, especially among the valley residents, predominantly the Meitei community, doubts lingered. Skepticism about the true identity and culpability of the arrested parties persisted. Was this arrest merely a government ploy to quell rising public pressure and placate the masses? Or was it a genuine attempt to serve justice? Moreover, the swift action post the circulation of the harrowing images raises uncomfortable questions. Could the government have acted sooner if it was motivated enough? Did they merely await public outcry before making a move?
In times of crisis and turmoil, trust in governance is paramount. For the faith of the people to be restored, transparent action, devoid of political maneuvers, is essential. The story of Linthoingambi and Hemanjit should not be reduced to mere footnotes in the annals of history. Their legacy should remind us of the importance of active governance, the pitfalls of inaction, and the relentless pursuit of justice. If the recent swift action by the government is anything to go by, then it stands to reason that a heightened expectation now weighs upon their shoulders. With the capability demonstrated in the apprehension of the accused involved in the tragic case of Linthoingambi and Hemanjit, the public’s call for locating countless other missing individuals is bound to intensify.
The chilling footage of two young men from Sekmaijin Khunou, mercilessly killed on video, remains imprinted on many minds. Yet, their exact whereabouts remain a disheartening mystery. Such unresolved cases are alarmingly frequent. For the government to laud their success in isolated incidents while myriad similar situations languish unresolved would be a grave oversight. Boasting isolated successes does not compensate for consistent failure in other areas. In recent weeks, we’ve witnessed the emotional turmoil of the populace, grappling with the ramifications of multiple distressing events. Despite government assertions of endeavoring for normalization, a palpable sense of inertia has persisted for over five months. No clear assurance, nor a definitive timeline, has been provided by the authorities, leaving citizens in a limbo of hope and despair.
While justice for Linthoingambi and Hemanjit is crucial, it can hardly be viewed as reparation for the inhumane actions that led to their untimely demise. The acts committed are beyond justification. And while the public grapples with these emotions, it is vital to remember that the larger issues at hand remain unaddressed. Temporary resolutions cannot and should not be mistaken for a long-term solution to the prevailing crisis. The extended period of observed incapability from the government is a stark reminder of the need for decisive and transparent leadership. It is high time the government rises to the occasion, demonstrating responsibility and a clear vision for the future. Anything less further cements its legacy of protracted inaction and missed opportunities. The people deserve more, and the onus is squarely on the government to deliver.As Manipur grapples with its challenges, it is in dire need of a leader who can extinguish the flames of discord and usher in an era of peace.

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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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