TODAY -

Rescued or...what is it?
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: February 23, 2009 -



Rescued or...what is it? Till date the most significant development towards nailing or exposing the culprits responsible for the abduction and later brutal killing of the SDO of Kasom Khullen and his two subordinate staff is undoubtedly the 'rescue’ of the three other employees, who were abducted along with the officer but were not among those killed and whose whereabouts had remained unknown.

However there are still some very important questions and hence the 'inverted rescue' that still need to be satisfactorily answered and the first should be, 'Were they rescued from the custody of their abductors or were they found holed up in the woods near Tolloi in Ukhrul district after being freed by their captors ? This question still remains unanswered and we wonder why this all important poser was neatly sidestepped by the Chief Minister and DGP as well as the authorities of the Assam Rifles.

On the other hand, this gives rise to other pertinent questions that will not help in defusing the situation but rather add ghee to the fire. Since this all important question has remained unanswered till now, we cannot be faulted if we ask whether the three were handed over to the Assam Rifles and the police after a series of negotiations with the abductors.

If this is the case, it would amount to selling out the legitimacy of the State Government for 'the smooth hand over' would have surely involved some pre-conditions and this could range from not divulging the identities of the abductors or fabricating some other stories to hoodwink the people. Either way, it would spell disaster for the State as a whole.

There is also still no answer to the question of whether the three have been handed over to the State police or are being kept somewhere in a safehouse of the Assam Rifles. Queries along these lines have failed to evoke any response, both from the Assam Rifles as well as the State Government. We agree that there are times when discretion is the better part of valour, but withholding such important information at this point of time will only give more food to suspicion and add a more sinister facet to the abduction and murder of the officer and his two men.

Already there are speculations galore with the BJP even going to the extent of airing some doubts over the true identities of the three 'rescued' employees. Ideally the 'rescue' operation should be seen as a feather in the cap of the Assam Rifles and the State police and while these two forces are well known to pat themselves on the back for any 'good work done' and do not spare any efforts in getting the maximum publicity out of any successful operation, it is surprising to see that the two have decided to remain silent.

Or is there a conspiracy in the decision to let the Chief Minister hog the limelight while the two forces are content to remain in the background? What should ideally be seen as a significant progress has unfortunately added a more mysterious and sinister side to the brutal killing of the three men. Or is this what the Government want?

Keep the people guessing and confused and hope that the issue will die a natural death? Nothing can be more dangerous than this. On the other hand, the Government need to seriously review its decision to continue with the curfew. We will not go into the sufferings of the daily wage earners, as this has been also acknowledged by the CM, though this point is important, but if the situation is allowed to persist, the anger of the people, which is being directed towards the killers may turn against the Government while in turn will pit the State against the people. Nobody will want this.

Or is Mr Ibobi and his men playing into their hands to keep their seats warm?





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