TODAY -

NSF akimbo arms and un-couth police

Raj Singh *



Any incident in Manipur is good enough to be converted into a political drama that drags on to consume the vital elements of the society.

If the narratives of the NSF (Naga Students Federation) about police frisking incident on February 14, 2016 is correct, the actions of the police are unprofessional and deplorable.

We fear police in Manipur and Nagaland for their rudeness. I had a memorable road travel in 1990 through Nagaland in a Manipur State Transport bus when passengers were endlessly harassed by Nagaland Police at three different stops. The first was at a stop shortly after entering Nagaland after Mao, the station at Manipur border. A Nagaland police constable entered the bus and with a pokers face he stood in the aisle staring at all the passengers for a long time without uttering a single word. There was an eerie atmosphere inside the bus like that of a hijacked plane inside which passengers silently pray for their own safety. When he had no other agenda, the constable leisurely opened the medical box of the bus, pulled out a bottle of Dettol and asked the bus conductor, “What is this?”

“It is Dettol”, the conductor meekly answered.

The constable roared, “I know that. But why do you carry it?”

The bus conductor knew how to deal with the rude constable as that probably was his daily experience. He again meekly answered, “For accidents.”

Thirty minutes passed every minute of which was feared. There was a gentleman from Delhi who could not stand the harassment of the constable, probably because he was inexperienced for road travel by Manipur bus in Nagaland. After half an hour of watching the police action, he asked,” Can you please let us go if you have nothing more to check?” He never knew that saying this could provoke a proud and powerful constable.

To his bewilderment, the Delhite was charged by the constable like a gladiator shouting, “How dare you command a police? Stand up!” He dragged the helpless passenger outside the bus and threatened him with all possible words and gestures till the helpless passenger pleaded guilty and begged his pardon. The forty passengers sat dumb bystanders because they knew what to expect from the constable for any bid of intervention.

At another station, two constables climbed the roof of the bus and unpacked all baggage and consignments in the name of checking and pulled out three Naga Shawls belonging to one Meitei woman trader who did not have the courage to protest.

For the third time at a station called Medziphema, our bus was stopped by Nagaland police for checking. They took nearly an hour leisurely checking and asking all passengers carrying merchandise to visit one small room at the check post. When I asked the conductor if he had any reason for being ill-treated by Nagaland police, he said - There is nothing personal. They regularly do this to all the buses.

Increasingly impatient and rebellious, I asked,” Why can’t you complain about it?”

He grudgingly answered, “This is Nagaland!”

My story does not look an isolated one when we hear about the plight of scores of drivers who have been victims of extortions, bribery, harassment and assaults on the roads in Nagaland year after year for decades, quite frequently at the hands of police too.

My story and similar stories do not warrant the rude action of Manipur Police to the NSF team in the recent incident. We should condemn all such unprofessional conducts of Nagaland Police or Manipur Police and seek redressal.

What could possibly have gone wrong with either parties that turned a routine roadside checking into an unruly scene? Was it NSF General Secretary’s akimbo arms? His procedural obstruction by trying to stop frisking of his colleagues? Any other word or gesture not described in NSF narratives (since we have not heard the other side of the story)? Or, can the incident be linked to any of the numerous current socio-political crises in Manipur?

We often stop short of digging into reasons for incidents that flare up out of seemingly unrelated things in the contemporary Manipuri society. We are more satisfied with compromises achieved through involvement of CSOs or political figures rather than resolving issues through the use of state administrative apparatus. This is wrong as this leaves the crux of the problem unaddressed.

For fairness and for true solution of the problem having substantive, procedural and psychological considerations, NSF should have lodged a complaint to an appropriate authority within the police organization before it submits its memorandum of demands to Chief Minister in the form of ultimatum. Redressal should not be sought by submitting demands but by asking for “appropriate actions”. NSF could have taken full liberty to use any of the legally permitted ways of escalating its complain if justice is not served.

A roadside brawl with police can never be an issue to be brought to a Chief Minister. It is unfair on the part of NSF to ask the Chief Minister to confirm or refute the utterances of an enraged police officer in his verbal duel with NSF officials on the street. By doing so and by asking for a public apology, NSF’s real intention looks more of gaining a political mileage than correction of policing in the state.

The verbatim English translation of the utterances of the police officer put in the narrative of NSF based on what was heard by NSF General Secretary (a Poumai Naga from Senapati) proves his perfect knowledge of Manipuri language. Feigning his partial knowledge of Manipuri language and calling it a “foreign” language and banning of Meitei owned vehicles in Naga inhabited areas as a protest of the police action paint the Manipuri Nagas alienated from Manipuri Meiteis. These actions circumscribe the political ambition of NSF to form Nagalim which threatens the territorial integrity of Manipur that Meiteis are pledged to preserve.

If the socio-political ambitions clash, Meiteis and Nagas have to agree that there is a conflict to be resolved together. Neither political correctness/laissez-faire policy nor mutual avoidance is going to bring a solution. Looking towards third party mediation for finding the truth for ourselves is not going to serve our interests. These are signs of our weakness, servility and incompetency in dealing with our own problem. Nagas and Meiteis should stop looking at each other as adversaries and start recognizing the conflict as their common enemy to be defeated by sincerely working together. After all, harmony and progress are what matter to all the ethnic groups irrespective of whether they live as brothers or neighbors.

NSF is a 60 years old politically mature organization aptly positioned to set examples of well-intentioned politics in the region. Its memorandum to Chief Minister of Manipur regarding a roadside scuffle with police and the communally directed bund call do not speak of a sound approach for conflict resolution.


* Raj Singh wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at rajkuss(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on February 27, 2016.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Kang Chingba @ Wangkhei :: Gallery
  • North East Fashion Week #2 :: Gallery
  • Know The Meetei
  • Indo-Naga Peace Process :: Articles
  • Not just the Gateway
  • Use milk for silky smooth skin
  • Mobile Application for Sangai Festival
  • Manipuri Mega Photo Contest Finalist
  • 5 point resolution on Naga Political Issue
  • Final: Hazari/Tombi Polo #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Festival 2017- Events Schedule
  • #TB hotspot cannot be on blindspot
  • United Metal 3.0 @Imphal
  • My name is Kom, Mary Kom
  • Swachch Bharath Swasth Bharath
  • Sangai Festival 2017- Online booking site
  • The Killing Fields (2013-17) :: Timeline
  • Mary set on Olympic gold
  • For every causes, there is a reason
  • Moibung Khunou -near khurkhul :: Gallery
  • Miss Kut #4 :: Gallery
  • On the Naga Framework Agreement
  • Media Challenge: Glance from hills #1
  • GIS day at NIT Manipur
  • Pangal Leader Mohammed Hanif Shah
  • NPF questions Speaker convening meet
  • Painting Exhibition by Babli Das (Tripura)
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Looking out for possible measures
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #7 : Ooba
  • Cultural Program @ MCA :: Gallery
  • Parihal, Nimshimphy, Neilianthang: eMing
  • Ningol ChakKouba @MBC #3 :: Gallery
  • Oh dear Daddy, see I a Native Proud: Poem
  • Buddha's metta and karuna #3
  • Narendra Modi will never play Nehru
  • Photo Caption Contest by Whakal.com
  • General Call to All Former NPF Leaders
  • Penguin Readathon & Book Gifting
  • ENNG opposes inclusion of TCL..
  • Report alarm for Arunachal
  • Loktak witness drastic fall in migratory birds
  • Lecture on 'Rohingya Resettlement'
  • 'Weaves of Ching-tam' @London :: Gallery
  • Opening: Jadonang Football #1 :: Gallery
  • Robert's Weaves of valley & hills at London
  • Remembering boy..felled by fake encounter
  • Reorganisation of North Eastern Council #1
  • Sangai Photo Awards 2017 : Contest
  • Meeyam meekup nahum singna leibiyu
  • HighWays : Govt. needs seriousness
  • Singcha Wuya Won @Kamjong #4 :: Gallery
  • SDG Consultation: NE :: Gallery
  • North East Fashion Week #1 :: Gallery
  • Distribution Patterns of the Asian Eye
  • Sustainable Development Goal Consultation
  • Wrangle in Mapithel dam: Legal perspective
  • In the Slums of Heaven :: Poem
  • Wreath Laying Ceremony for AR Martyrs
  • Time to take a bow, Robert
  • Create jobs for NE to stop trafficking
  • March: Mera Houchongba #4:: Gallery
  • Sin-Lang Fest @DM College #2 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Festival: Ideas for a change
  • A shadowy dreamer :: Poem
  • Winter - A blessing in disguise for us ...
  • Course in Nanotechnology at NEHU
  • Pamel : Serene Natural Hub, near Lamlai
  • Vacancy at YVU Financial Services, Thoubal
  • System Operators @PR Enterprise, Khurai
  • Just by showing concern will not change..
  • Food Stall @Phayeng #2 :: Gallery
  • Miss Kut #3 :: Gallery
  • The moment :: Poem
  • Board exams decoded
  • 3rd NE Fashion at Itanagar: Day 2
  • Conference : North East in Globalized Era
  • NE-IAS launched to support Startup India
  • Painting Competition on Conservation
  • Ramkung Pamei is new MHJU Chief
  • Priyogopal (Senior Artist)- Photo :: eRang
  • Kabui Dance @Jadonang Football:: Gallery
  • Fashion @NE Festival, Delhi :: Gallery
  • Deviance and Corruption in Kangleipak
  • Applied health research is vital to #endTB
  • 3rd NE Fashion at Itanagar: Day 1
  • Tri-nation Motorcycle Rally reach Imphal
  • Traffic woes continues
  • Kwatha festival #1 :: Gallery
  • Kokkhum Festival #1 :: Gallery
  • Special Rapporteur on Human Rights
  • The threat to balkanize Manipur
  • Cry of a Dying River - 6 :: Poem
  • Biological based integrated Congress grass
  • 3rd Audition of Fagi Unplugged
  • Sadar Hills District Demand: News Timeline
  • Of clean environment
  • Paonam Lily (Archery) Reception :: Gallery
  • North East Fest @ Delhi :: Gallery
  • Girls Football- Nov 4 #2 :: Gallery
  • IBSD, India & VITO, Belgium signed MOU
  • First angioplasty for in-stent restenosis
  • RIST Popular Talk-33: Quantum Hall states
  • Commonwealth alumni event of NE
  • Lecture on The Rohingya Conundrum
  • Tri-National Motorcycle Rally
  • 3rd North East Fashion Week at Itanagar
  • ILP Nov 30 deadline: Why not only for valley
  • Expected changes, do we see ?
  • Festival of Raas Leela #2 :: Gallery
  • Sin-Lang Fest @DM College #1 :: Gallery
  • Hari Uthan- Kang Chingba #2 :: Gallery
  • Code of silence: Concealing gender justice
  • God Rules Over All :: Poem
  • Five day 'Flower Show' at Ukhrul
  • Go birding to honour Bird Man of India
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Uphul Waiphul and Leikhom Leinang
  • A reminder to Central Govt.
  • Ningol Chak-Kouba @Pune :: Gallery
  • Miss Kut #2 :: Gallery
  • Meitei Pictographic Writings :: Book Review
  • Careers related to mental health
  • Beauty & Money for a purpose
  • Human rights infractions in Mapithel Dam
  • AMAND Ningol Chakouba at Pune : Report
  • Chef Required at Kakching
  • NHPC Raising day at Loktak Power Station
  • Of ST demand, ILP, peace talk
  • For elderly people
  • Prof. Nongmaithem Tombi Singh : A Profile
  • Hazari/ Tombi Polo Tournament #2:: Gallery
  • U-17 Footballer honored by Guv :: Gallery
  • Just in favour of nocturnal life
  • Dance of Fire Flies at Autumn :: Poem
  • North East Festival bids farewell
  • Agenda of Govt spelt out at DBC, Maram
  • Nurturing the future
  • Ningol Chak-Kouba @Delhi #2:: Gallery
  • NE Fashion Weekend @Delhi #1 :: Gallery
  • History will not forgive us
  • A girl :: Poem
  • Pre-merger political party struggle
  • JRF wanted at NIT Silchar
  • Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party
  • Welcome to Southern Nagalim greeting
  • March: Mera Houchongba #3:: Gallery
  • Girls Football- Nov 4 #1:: Gallery
  • Taxi- raising Air Pollution in Ukhrul
  • Back to basics to #endTB: Do it right
  • Man with Flower's Life :: Poem
  • Skill development training with MUDA
  • Quiz Competition at NE Festival
  • Free cataract operation at Loktak
  • Traffic control- still a flop show
  • Pui Thangamliu -Photos #1 :: eRang
  • NH7 Weekender [28 October] :: Gallery
  • Surjalal: Fellow of American Physical Society
  • Ithai Barrage for Irrigation: Beautiful Promise
  • NE Festival 2017 starts off
  • The Sun & the Cloud :: Poem
  • Land encroachment at Lamka College
  • Salesian College Grabs UK Project
  • Nagaland CM met Rajnath reg. Naga issue
  • Ranked 5th in women safety: stereotyping?
  • Prime focus
  • Miss Kut #1 :: Gallery
  • Hari Uthan- Kang Chingba #1 :: Gallery
  • Kangujam Chinglensana (Hockey) feted
  • reach the tipping point for childhood TB?
  • A round of applause for N Biren, CM..
  • Link Research with Education for NE
  • Culture is beyond Religion: Najma Heptulla
  • Vacancies @ Chirag Estate, Gurgaon
  • Defection of some party workers : NPCC
  • ST for Meiteis: Final say rests with Delhi
  • Understanding responsibility
  • Chavang Kut @Tengnoupal :: Gallery
  • Sub-Junior Girls Football #2:: Gallery
  • A crusade for a greener Manipur
  • Tourist Guide as career option #2
  • 'Govt working for inclusive development'
  • Namsai gets Buddha relic from Thailand
  • 5th NE Festival at Delhi: Program Schedule
  • 20th Asian Charter for Human Rights: Video
  • National Unity Day at Ukhrul
  • Ningol Chak-Kouba @Delhi #1:: Gallery
  • Happy Kut Wishes :: e-pao Flash
  • Let's be racist
  • 3rd Ningol Chakouba, Delhi : A Report
  • Dr. Rahejuddin Sheikh : Best Director Award
  • Conference: North East in Globalized Era
  • Chothe: Shabu Hong Rein :: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • IT Employment Devlp Course :: Gallery
  • NH7 Weekender [27 October] :: Gallery
  • Red Light Area in Manipur ?
  • Candle light for Belinda Morse :: Gallery
  • Exhibition of Pottery Crafts #2 :: Gallery
  • Phayeng Cultural programme :: Gallery
  • Khongjom War Memorial #3 :: 360 ° View
  • Ichangi Laidhi #1 :: eRang
  • Ningol Chakkouba by Paomee:: Gallery
  • Ningol Chakkouba @Kolkata :: Gallery
  • Tourism Day @ Phayeng #1 :: Gallery
  • Ningol to her mapam lamdam :: Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2018 : Download it
  • Mera Men Tongba :: Gallery
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Kh Ninthoinganba
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Thounaojam Jeakson
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Nongdamba Naorem
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Dheeraj Moirangthem
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Amarjit Kiyam (Captain)
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Thangjam Boris
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Wangjam Suresh
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Md Shahjahan
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #4 :: Gallery
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • Landscape of Manipur #7: Wallpaper
  • SPONSORED ADS