TODAY -

Editorial of the week

Hope amid tales of tears
Courtesy: The Sangai Express 29th May, 2006



For the last few days newspapers in Manipur have been documenting the tearful tales of family members whose sons, brothers, husbands etc have disappeared after they were picked up by suspected security personnel.

The story of these missing persons is in a way the story of Manipur ever since the guns started booming in the hills and valley of the State and the most disturbing point is there just does not seem to be any solution in sight.

The story of Manipur will not be complete without the story of the missing persons and of course without the story of the numerous day light massacres of innocent civilians.

Today, the gutsy Irom Sharmila is continuing her fast against AFSPA, the seeds of which were sown by the Malom massacre wherein numerous civilians died after security personnel opened indiscriminate firing following an attack on them by suspected militants.

Manipur is in a conflict situation and however much New Delhi or the Indian Army authority may try to ignore the burning issue, the fact stands that there are numerous mothers and wives who are hoping against hope that their sons and husbands will return home one day. The author of the present situation may be anyone.

The underground outfits say that it is the Indian security force which has scripted the tales of Y Sanamacha or L Bijoykumar while the Indian Government may say that the present turmoil is due to the armed movement being launched by the different underground organisations. Whichever way one looks at it, no one can deny the fact that the civil population has suffered and something ought to be done to resolve the issue once and for all.

The Armed Forces Special Powers Act, against which the people rose as one in 2004, following the custodial death of Th Manorama is seen as the main factor for the numerous stories of death, human rights violation and enforced disappearances.

On the other hand the security force has made it clear that they cannot continue with the counter-insurgency operations without the immunity granted by AFSPA. Caught in this dicey situation are the common people whose fate seem to rest with what Delhi feels and believes in !

We understand the delicate situation that the armed forces have to operate in a State like Manipur and in a region like the North East. However what is needed on a priority basis at the moment is to assess the conduct of the security personnel while discharging their duties here.

A sincere approach is needed and if the need arises, the think tank of the security forces should admit that certain errors have crept in while dealing with the situation.

So very often, we have heard the political leaders of the land maintaining that the armed movement in the region and in Manipur is a political problem and has to be solved politically.

However on the other hand, we continue to hear and see stories of excesses committed by its security personnel all in the name of CI Ops. If a sincere introspection is not conducted straight away to correct the wrongs of the past, then the alienation process will only take firmer roots.

The only question is whether the policy framers of the country have it in them to sincerely say that the story of Sanamacha and Manorama is a clear reflection of the ground reality here.




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