TODAY -

Editorial of the week

Unmasking the goons
Courtesy: The Sangai Express 02nd April, 2008



The greatest burden that has fallen on the people of Manipur is the increasing blurring of the dividing line between armed groups which have taken up the gun and launched a movement under a well defined set of ideology and principle and some rag tag army of desperadoes who have come together to float a group with some high sounding aims and aspirations, but whose real intention is to make easy money through coercion, kidnapping for ransom, extortion and looting.

Whether one agrees with the method and aspirations of the armed groups which have come up under a well defined ideology and aspiration or not is a different matter but what is worrying and a cause of concern is the emergence of so many groups, whose antecedents and aims and goals are suspect.

It is this latter category of armed men that the people and the State should be wary about. With no clear cut ideology, the question of holding a political dialogue with such groups does not arise.

On the other hand such groups will continue to harass and intimidate the public at their fancy and whims and they have even gone to the extreme point of eliminating someone to ring out the message that they mean business.

The situation has become all that more aggravated thanks to the existence of some rogue political leaders, who are known to use such groups during election times and to intimidate their rivals or to settle a score or two against anyone who pose a threat to their political career.

It is this nexus that has sowed the seeds for the emergence of such groups, which are nothing better than the mafia or gangs a la Dawood Ibrahim.

The situation is indeed confusing and scary too, for it is about the safety and security of the citizens of the land.

As can be gauged from the news stories carried almost daily by all the newspapers in Manipur, such groups continue to go on a propaganda campaign to hoodwink the public that they have a cause and in the process justify the killing or attack on anyone who comes under their radar.

What is left unspoken is the fact that in almost all the attacks or killings, the prime reason is monetary demands or hankering after contract and supply works.

To nullify the existence of such groups, a cleansing process has to start and it should start from the top. The top (read politicians) has to lead the way and once this process starts, it will surely and gradually spread to the lower rung.

Words of bravado and stinging statements in public platforms will remain just that, lung power with no practical impact.

It is time to identify such groups, name them and make public their agenda and real motive.

For this to happen, the Government needs to start confidence building measures and once this policy is set rolling the battle against such lumpen elements would have been half won.



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