TODAY -

National Shame - A former governor's view of Manipur police
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: August 13, 2009 -



The July 23 fake encounter of Khwairamband market in Imphal has become the latest example of state terrorism or police atrocity or flagrant violation of human rights by Indian Police, not just Manipur Police, all over the world.

Almost all the organs of media–national and international–TV news channels, newspapers, news magazines, web portals and so on have carried the news of the fake encounter as substantiated by the photographs taken by an unnamed local photographer as a major story.

The national TV news channels showed the photographs first published in the Tehelka news magazine and the accompanying stories, and also the protest agitations in Imphal for days continuously.

The World Sikh Organisation based in Ottawa, Canada, the reputed and influential Human Rights Watch, based in New York, etc. have strongly condemned the Imphal incident of July 23 and severely criticized the Indian Government for doing nothing to check its police perpetrating state terrorism against the citizens.

There is no doubt that the act of some personnel of Manipur Police Commandos in killing Chungkham Sanjit in fake encounter and killing of a young pregnant woman, Ms Rabina Devi in indiscriminate firing allegedly by them at Khwairamband market has not only put an ugly blot on the name of Manipur Police but also worsened the already not so good name of Indian police as a whole.

Leave other incidents of fake encounters that occurred in other parts of the country, this fake encounter of Imphal, obviously just one among so many others which Manipur Police Commandos and other Central Paramilitary Forces had staged in the state over the past many years, has drawn the fullest attention of the entire world.

This fact has made the Times of India editorial (Aug. 12, 2009) to feel seriously concerned that measures taken up in the name of "national security should not become a cause for national shame." The Khwairamband market fake encounter has certainly brought shame to the nation.

What a former Governor of Manipur, himself a former super cop, Ved Marwah had told the Tehelka news magazine in its August 15 issue about the Manipur Police is really stupefying. He was quoted as saying, "No Police in the country has a worse record than the Manipur Police. There is an allegation that they shot one of their own officers in a fake encounter. The force is completely divided along ethnic lines and functions like the armed militia of the ruling party. That place is like the Wild East."

Self respecting officers of Manipur Police may find certain objectionable matters in what the former Governor of Manipur is reported to have said, but his remark is very significant. It shows how educated and conscious people with responsibility from other parts of India see the functioning of Manipur Police and state of affairs in other spheres.

What it means is that the respectability and credibility level of the Manipur Police is real low in the eyes of the world too, not only in Manipur. This Khwairamband market incident has become a hot issue on state terrorism for worried debates all over India and the concerned circles in the world.

In Manipur, it's as usual as it can be. As we have pointed out in this very column before, generally police and public look at each other with mutual distrust and discord, bordering on hostility.

Even high level officers of the Manipur Police do not trust any section of the people. They appear to feel that every section of the society is out to attack the police. To them, no section of the society is doing anything according to law, rather they are violating laws.

Students, civil organizations, women's bodies/Meira Paibees, transporters, contractors, self-employed entrepreneurs, even media and politicians are always breaking the law and toeing the line of UGs, so seem to feel the police officers. Which group of people do really abide by every single rule and law in the book to them is something we are yet unable to imagine.

But then, they do not look at their own images themselves. Who are breaking law in the name of protecting law?

Who are perpetrating extra-judicial murders in the name of countering insurgents/militants in fake encounters? Who are committing many other crimes in the name of maintaining law and order ?

These must reflect on the minds of every policeman including officers at least twice a day– the moment they wake up from the night's sleep and just before they fall asleep at night. But we need not remind any one, everyone knows it in one's own heart.

Isn't it time the Manipur Police removed the chaffs that spoil the image of the entire force to restore public trust? Or would they remain happy and contented by continuing to confront the public in all matters ?





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