Blast outside festival venue : Nothing short of terrorism
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: December 01 2011 -

Bomb Blast in front of Manipur Sangai Tourism Festival Main Gate :: November 30 2011
Bomb Blast in front of Manipur Sangai Tourism Festival Main Gate :: November 30 2011

Make no mistake about it. This is terrorism and nothing else. Make no mistake about this too.

If any group is going to own up it will come wrapped in some highly patriotic sounding terms and jargons that have been done to death again and again.

Response of the people ? It will be of sheer indifference.

Mangled remains of yet another civilian, this time a cart puller who unknowingly or knowingly agreed to cart away the explosive laden package for a fee of Rs 20 !

A mere figure added to the list of those claimed by yet another act of terrorism camouflaged as acts of patriotism or the loss of a father, a husband, a son, a bread winner ?

Who cares ? Not the Government, not the law enforcers and certainly not the public.

On second thought what can one expect from a Government which just did not give a damn when the lifelines of the people were cut off for 120 days and what more can one expect from a public who merely mewed when their very existence as dignified human beings was challenged for nearly four months ?

Sheer indifference of the people and add the arrogance of the Government and its agencies and the lethality of this cocktail is there to rip the guts of the people apart, figuratively and literally speaking.

From whatever has emerged from the little time that the cops had to question the cart driver before he passed away, it is clear that the bomb blast could not have been the handiwork of some rag tag army.

The motive behind the attack is also clear. Bomb the hell out of the people who had turned up for the festival and kill.

And who would have such a motive in the first place ? Kill and create mayhem to tell the people to fall in line with any diktats that are issued, ironically in the name of public interest. This much is clear.

However what is not clear and is disturbingly uncomfortable is the manner in which a cart driver so adroitly managed to slip through the tight security cordon put in place around the venue of the tourism festival.

An answer to this would not be forthcoming but in as much as it is the responsibility of the police to check the activities of these terror elements a vigilant public too is what the situation demands.

This brings us to the question of public-police ties or on second thought it may be more apt to put this as police-public divide. There is no use pretending otherwise.

The divide between the public and the police establishment runs deep, too deep and while there could be many reasons for this, one indisputable fact that will remain is that the deeper or the more irreconcilable the divide between the police and the public the better it is for the terror elements to put into force their hideous agenda.

Terrorism cannot exist in a vacuum. Other than the main actors on the stage of terror, an ineffective police force plus an indifferent public provides just the right climate for terrorism to flourish and the situation in Manipur today is just ripe for these terror elements to bloom.

No degree of police modernisation is going to check terror activities as long as it stays aloof from the public. Down the years it has become increasingly clear that the police establishment has refused to register this in their consciousness.

Treating the public as punch bags is not going to bridge the divide. Arrogance is not the answer.

Time to tell the cops on duty on the road that the way to win the trust of the public is not only by gunning down wanted fugitives but being polite and this is not going to hurt anyone.

On the other hand, it also needs to be told that in as much as it is the duty of the police to ensure the security of all, the public too have their share of responsibilities.

Were any threats or warnings issued to the stall runners at the tourism festival to wind up, in view of the restrictions placed ? If yes then was this reported to the cops ?

Isn't there something called social responsibility ? The indifference, the arrogance has to go, if Manipur is to be saved from further heart burns.

Manipur is a small place. Anonymity is something which is a luxury and this applies to the people who handed over the explosives to the cart driver and of course to the public as well.

Now can the police ensure the anonymity of any member of the public if they volunteer to be the whistle blower ? The underlying meaning of this observation should not be lost on anyone.

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