TODAY -

Military build-up: Something is not right
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: November 04 2019 -



Can anyone explain the massive military build-up seen in the State as hectic negotiations were made between the Government of India and Naga militant groups, particularly NSCN-IM?

This particular question has been tormenting the collective psyche of the people of Manipur for quite some time now, and it also evokes a series of questions.

Even after the Government of India, NSCN-IM and other Naga militant groups came to an agreement on October 31, there is no let up to the military build-up in Manipur.

With a large number of military personnel stationed inside DM University, MB College and Modern College, right in the heart of Imphal city, the situation reminds us of what was seen in Srinagar some months back.

Some people are even asking if Imphal is heading Srinagar’s way.

Are we heading for months long lockdown?

Is Manipur going to be dismembered just like Jammu & Kashmir?

Will Manipur cease to exist as a single geo-political unit?

To many, all these questions may sound rather cynical perversion but the massive military build-up does not let our conscience simply dismiss them.

Just as much as we would like to repose all our faith and trust in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the massive military build-up evokes a serious question whether our trust and faith are misplaced.

Again, it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Singh with their henchman National Security Advisor Ajit Doval who executed the ‘Kashmir surgical strike’ by abrogating Article 370.

Yes, abrogation of Article 370 stirred massive controversies and debates across the country and beyond, but what pinched hard the sensibility of the advocates of democracy and federalism was the manner the particular Article was scrapped.

Public memory is still fresh about how Indian military swooped down Kashmir valley and put all political leaders and civil society leaders under house arrest amidst extensive military clampdown.

Even the holy Amarnath Yatra was cut short and all the pilgrims were asked to leave Jammu & Kashmir within 48 hours citing possible terror attacks which later turned out to be a ground clearance exercise for the massive military clampdown.

All communication was also cut off for months.

Is the Government of India planning to replicate Kashmir clampdown in Manipur.

But for what reason? Something is critically not right.

Mr Chief Minister was saying that no additional central forces have been deployed in Manipur.

The troops are back in the State after they were deployed to other States for different purposes.

But what is the essentiality of stationing the troops inside university and colleges?

If the Government authorities seriously think that stationing central paramilitary forces in the colleges of Imphal is essential, one can infer that the Government fears law and order issues which implies that the solution to the Naga peace talks infringes upon Manipur somewhere, somehow.

If there is any compelling reason to militarise educational institutes, it must have something to do with the Naga peace talks and its solution which is yet to be announced.

Whatever may be the reasons, militarisation of educational institutes is simply unjustifiable.

The State Government must see that all military personnel stationed at educational institutes are withdrawn immediately.

If the Government is adamant, citizens need to seek intervention of law courts.

We cannot sacrifice career of our students on the altar of perceived law and order issues.

If the political dialogue between Government of India, NSCN-IM and other Naga militant groups, and the terms of agreement reached on October 31 are harmless to Manipur, why is there any need for the massive military build-up as seen on the streets of Imphal.

This is one question which all our people must ponder vis-a-vis the solution to the Naga talks.



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