TODAY -

Editorial of the week

Uneasy situation
Courtesy: The Sangai Express 26 February, 2006

Uneasy lays the head that wears the crown and surely Chief Minister O Ibobi must be feeling the heat from the ultimatum laid down by two JACs in protest against the conduct of the State police personnel, or rather police commandos.

The State Government particularly the Police Department must still be struggling to come to terms with the death of four police commandos at Thoubal including the decorated police officer N Lokhon on February 20 and while brain storming session may be on to discuss the overall law and order situation and to see if there were any lapses on the fateful day, the Government now has to tackle with the war cry raised by two JACs, one against the killing of a Grade IV employee at Paona bazar on February 25 and the other concerning the demand for the immediate release of a lady M Naobi Chanu, said to be the girl friend of the PLA cadre, Bikash who was killed in the attack on the police commandos.

The JAC Against the Killing of Md Abdul Hakim, Government Employee, is demanding the punishment of the police commandos responsible for the killing and it has already laid down the ultimatum that if no positive response is forthcoming from the side of the Government then it would launch an indefinite State wide general strike from February 27.

It is another story that the general strike has already been launched from 12 noon of February 26. The JAC demanding the release of M Naobi Chanu too has threatened to launch a general strike from February 27 if their demands are not met.

Quite a dicey situation indeed.

We understand the Chief Minister may not be able to intervene in the case of M Naobi as the matter has already reached the Court, with the Chief Judicial Magistrate remanding the lady to judicial remand for a few days.

However we sincerely feel the Government should have reacted soon after reports of the lady being picked up and the family members of Bikash being harassed and beaten up by the police commandos started doing the round.

It is not the case of this paper to say whether Naobi is guilty or not, but certainly there were procedural lapses when she was picked up. No arrest memo was issued at the time of her arrest and plus there are reports that there were no women police at the time of the arrest.

Moreover no case was immediately registered with the Thoubal police and it was only a after full day had lapsed that she was produced before the Court. To the lay man the conduct of the police commandos seemed more like a witch hunt, out to settle a score for the loss they had suffered at the hands of the PLA.

It is still too early to comment on the case of Md Abdul Hakim, but a voice of protest has been raised and something should be done to see if the situation can be defused. Manipur has seen too many bloodshed and too many bandhs. The only losers in such cases are the common people.

As the first among equals, we expect the Chief Minister to get his act together and do something positive.


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