TODAY -

Editorial of the week

The 'Un-Great' escape
Courtesy: The Sangai Express 28th April, 2007



The report that one of the main accused in the brutal murder of Hriini Hubert and Muheni Martin, Adai alias Gaithuilung escaped from the custody of the NSCN (IM) at Camp Hebron on April 24 has thrown up a number of disturbing questions.

How did Adai manage to escape from such a fortified camp as Hebron is something only the NSCN (IM) leadership can answer.

As far as we know, Camp Hebron is highly fortified with sentry checks and round the clock vigil by armed cadres of the outfit and it is a little difficult to digest that a man who has been subjected to intense interrogation for the past many days should be able to sneak through such a tight security.

The latest report has also posed a question on the sincerity of the NSCN (IM) and how far they are committed to crack the case.

Nine accused are reported to be in the custody of the NSCN (IM) with some of them being captured before the skeletal remains of the two kids were discovered.

This means that some of the suspects have been at their custody for more than three months and thereby the question, what progress has been made in the investigation of the case ?

As Adai is reported to have escaped right from the den of the outfit, what action has been taken up against the cadres concerned for the glaring lapses. There is something amiss and it is this confusion that has to be cleared or else the very credibility of the outfit, which is fighting for the cause of the Naga people, will come under a cloud.

Not surprisingly, the Fact Finding Committee formed in connection with the case has not taken the matter lightly and an ultimatum has been served on the outfit to come out with an official statement on the escape of the suspect. There is nothing great about the escape.

On the other hand it has given room to entertain the thought that it could have been stage managed.

Justice delayed is justice denied and it is also important to bear in mind that if the case remains unsolved and goes the way of the Lungnila Elizabeth murder case, then the only gainer would be the murderers and no one else.

Moreover it would also encourage others with similar mindset to go ahead with their devilish designs. The expectations from the NSCN (IM) is huge and we hope the outfit is able to deliver and live up to the expectations of the people.

The responsibility is also huge for it is not only a question of booking and punishing the culprits but also about the credibility and image of the NSCN (IM).

Unfortunately, the escape of Adai, if we can call it that, has already thrown a cloud of doubt over the commitment of the IM group to solve the case and this is what is worrying.

An outfit which has been waging a bush war against the Government of India for decades certainly need to win the trust and confidence of the people and we are more than inclined to believe that the IM group has reached its present status because of the faith reposed on it by the people.

However if cases like the murder of Hriini Hubert and Muheni Martin come a cloud of suspicion and distrust then the hard won faith and confidence of the people will surely erode.

If the IM group has not been able to make any headway in the case, then it should have the moral conviction to say so. If any of the accused in its custody are found innocent, then this too should be made public.

In short what the people want, particularly the Fact Finding Committee want, is transparency and it is a mystery why the IM group has decided to adopt the bureaucratic nature of the Government of India and sacrifice transparency.





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