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E-Pao! EI - An Open-Secret Society

An Open-Secret Society


By: Leichombam Kullajit *


Whilst I was studying in Delhi, our teacher used to tell us, 'the more you read, the more you write'. Strangely, nowadays, the more I hear, the more my fearsomeness has increased upon me.

In fact, openness or open minded is always good to being a mature human being. On the other side, secretiveness, sometimes, finds more preposterous and reserved. At the same time it's also good of protecting for our privacy or individuals.

But what is important is when the very secretiveness becomes so open or combined then it's become more precarious and dangerous to the society. This is what I really see at the present state-of-affairs in Manipur.

Everybody, I suppose, aware to the fact that, although it is pitiable, destitute, and small, Manipur has been playground for several players, which one will thrust from the other side that will receive at the other end.

It's an undisputed truth that starting from the extortion of money from the public, somebody calls it tax collection, which I feel absurd, by the militants, bogus NGOs, individuals, toilet business, kerosene politics, kitchen contracts, road construction, housing loans, cutting short of over-fly-bridge, so on and forth, are some of the examples that have been hanging around in our society for quite sometimes.

Everybody knows it, but, surprisingly, they are all cagey. And no one dares to speak out against it. Ours is a truly an open-secret society. What do you say?

More than that I tell you a very fascinating but worrisome story that made me stun for a while.

Last week, I met an energetic, handsome but middle man politician from Manipur, who informed me that even though there is little aware that police are also collecting taxes; security personnel are also involved in collecting taxes by kidnapping people.

Surprised? Not really. He made me ease and continued, from a lower divisional clerk up to Minister, via, head accountants/clerks, directors, commissioners, secretary, militants, police, army, all are taking bribe in Manipur.

I confronted and asked him, whether he (MLA/Ministers) was also taking money? He pompously said, why not, while everybody was taking bribe! Was there any blueprint for the government of development in the state?

When the Central Government sanctioned of Rs 100 for the developments, the remained summation would be only Rs 30, after giving them shares, so how could the government function with this meagre amount, he argued.

Right before three days, I met incidentally, a senior friend of mind in Dilli Haat, who is a well known social worker in Imphal. He reminded me a tragic incident that happened few years back in his own family.

That one of his young brothers, who was doing a small business poultry farm, in the heart of the city, was kidnapped by some unknown armed gangs. The family, obviously, was in tense at that time, when one unidentified person called and asked them to pay fifteen thousand of Rupees, which otherwise, the boy would be eliminated.

When my friend insisted to identify himself and the reason behind their kidnapping, the unidentified person earlier reluctant to disclose and only said, the boy earned huge amount of money with unknown sources.

And finally, the veiled man revealed that they were from Assam Rifles posted at Kangla. With the help of some of his friends in Manipur Police, the boy was, thus, rescued in an area at Khoyathong, Imphal.

Yesterday I came across a horrendous news story, on Delhi police's fake encounter that killed two young businessmen a decade before, published in all the newspapers in the Capital. The tragic incident was happened on March 31, 1997, which Delhi police had killed two persons with the pretext that they were dreaded gangs involved in various crimes in Western UP at that time.

Later they found that the persons which they liquidated, were simple innocent civilians, who neither a gang nor involved any criminal activities. Holding their guilty of criminal conspiracy and murder, a Session Judge declared that the quantum of sentence would be pronounced.

The ACP S.S.Rathi, who led the carnage, and ten others police personnel, are now on the mercy of Judge who will pronounce its judgement on October 24.

Anyway my friend, can you tell me how many persons have been killed in fake encounter and how many of them are found guilty in the State of Manipur.

This is a million-dollar question. But there is little expectation for me in this open-secret society.

Do You?


* Leichombam Kullajit, working in a Publishing House in Delhi, contributes regularly to e-pao.net. The writer can be contacted at kullajit(dot)leichombam(at)gmail(dot)com . This article was webcasted on 25th October 2007.


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