E-Pao! Opinion - Heartless murder of Martin & Hubert

Heartless murder of Martin & Hubert
- A mortal sin -

By: Rongreisek Yangsorang *

The well-being and growth of a child, be it of Hindu or Muslim or Christianity is a universal concern, and it belongs to the heart of every one of us cutting across the ethnic line.

None is the lesser lovely, and that human being is a person rather than an animal or a machine, is what has been conceived. The childís parent is uncultured, lecherous and rash; more than this, is terribly corrupt doesnít mean that the child is unworthy of being loved or embraced. Why should it be trampled underfoot as insects?

Today, the entire State of Manipur that has been replete with all kinds of tragedy is once more stunned after the recovery of the skeletal remains of Mohni Martin and Hriini Hubert, both aged ten of Don Bosco School, Senapati on the 27th March, 2007 at a hillock, barely two Kms from the police station of Senapati.

Hriini Hubert and Mohini Martin (Right) during happier days

Since their abduction on the fateful day of the 14th December, 2006, where else would the duo be was our deep anxiety. The worried parents waited for their safe return with hope, eagerness and fear. Every moment was a long, unending month. They were in despair.

Oh, hell! One muttered in utter shock as he began skimming through the headline of TSE on the morning of the 28th March, 2007. Carrying the macabre tale in which were shown the dreadful decomposed bodies of the two kids alongwith a girl weeping uncontrollably with her eyes filled with tears, the morning paper revealed the burnt-out-ends of the smoky days like the rumbling earth darkening the horizon and blurring oneís sight surging; dumb-founded and tear soaked. Looking up at the springís oblong moon shining high above, it was thought that each one of them was definitely the- piece-of-the-moon of his parents.

The recovery scene was worse than one had ever feared, and it looked as if the devilish men had cut out parts of the kidsí skins. In all probability, the kids were stabbed multiple times, and also the possibility of repeated plunging of knives in their abdomens and chests can never be ruled out.

The bludgeoning marks on their bodies may have well disappeared at the time of tracing of their mortal remains as the cowardly act was committed months ago. However, police report has contended with some marks only visible on the bodies.

When the enraged villagers and police got there at the hillock, the lovely kids were found lying with clothes on, next to each other near a gorge. At the sight, one was bound to twist his fingers and gnaw his teeth.

It has been established that the kidnappers were just like crazy young boys, psychotic with homicidal instinct, and that they killed the two boys for no fault of theirs under the wave of madness and greed of money even after the grief-stricken parents obliged them with unspecified hefty amount of money as ransom. The kids should have been released unharmed as ransom was paid. Why didnít that happen?

Heartless monsters. Men-turned-monsters will now select this type of victim or choose this sort of location and prefer knives, and so on.

No one had thought out that the decomposed bodies lay not beyond Senapati area for long two months. The Stateís entire machinery should have been geared up and high police officers engaged in the hunt for the kidnappers. Unfortunately, it was never so in the most sensational abduction of school boys.

Frankly, the decision of this writer realized being wrong now is that he hadnít ventured travelling northward beyond Kangpokpi to find out the truer kidnap story and its tragic end. Yet, the more he has thought about it, the more he believes there was a rivalry component in the grisly crime or an avowed enemy as the unsuspecting soul was behind it.

Ironically, the murderers are being shielded. Those who are responsible to expose them are helping them instead. In the case of the gruesome murder of Laishram Chinglenkhomba, the-apple-of-his motherís eye of Imphal city area, the well-trained alert cadres of the Revolutionary Peopleís Front (RPF) were swift to prove what was fit to be accomplished by eliminating the drug-addict who took the life of the defenseless teenager.

Still, it is desirable that the culprit could have been sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court at Imphal in the Indian system. It didnít take place that way, for the outfit was far more quicker than the stateís law enforcing agencies in their tactical operation. The crime which has been committed by the daemonic men in the murder of Martin and Hubert has revived the spirit of tribalism. No other word or phrase can be discovered to condemn the heinous crime of our time than to term it as mortal sin.

It is our practical knowledge that the generation of such people that survives will become the law and order problem of the state for all the time. Also, it is all so wrong that the fact relating to the murder of baby Lungnila Elizabeth, the LFS kid in 2003 has been buried.

Children paying floral tribute to Baby Lungnila Elizabeth at Little Flower School, Imphal.

Her death has, of course, integrated the people of both of the hills and valley of Manipur emotionally. The jewel remains a treasured memory in the hearts of thousands of Manipuris. We are curious that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.

An interesting question gradually cropped up as to who the high officers and prominent people were, not serious in solving the murder mystery. As far as we know, investigations were on in full swing and speculation rife in the initial stage. Evenly, contrary to the much awaited result, the investigators and the higher-ups were more sympathetic towards the murderers, who had spoiled the moral standards and ethical atmosphere of Manipur which was otherwise known for gold, morality, peace and prosperity in the past.

The once unanimous communities are now nearly evenly divided as every campaign for survival is inspired by ethnical whims. It is dangerous, always dangerous to be too good in dealing with the affairs of the murderers.

What effort or punishment can get the anti-social elements into proper frame of mind? Or is capital punishment the only answer to it? As it was to baby Lungnila Elizabeth, Mohni Martin and Hriini Hubert will be remembered as Beati Pacifici as blessed are the peace-makers.

Now-a-days, it has become a regular feature of almost every home after school as such ó Granny or Mummy, could I log on the computer to start videogames? Such permission sought by a child to use computer is a reminiscent of Hubert and Martin who were playing video-games on the day of their abduction. The worst, we have known, is the subsequent eye-opener for all of us now to work in harmony to overcome every calamity.

With the disclosure of the powerful NSCN (IM), the murder mystery will be known as the culprits who are handcuffed in its custody have partially confessed their involvement in the crime. Now that the storm is also partly over after a shocking funeral service, life appears fresh and smooth in and around Senapati.

But to avert future catastrophe of such sort, what precaution should be made greatly lies in the alertness, integrity and unity of various civil societies, Meira Paibis, clubs etc. functioning at different places of Manipur after the stateís authority has miserably failed in its intelligence network. The people of Manipur have faced all kinds of horrors as in a war. It is saddening that the law enforcement agencies havenít ever acted to the expectation of the people.

Thus, shabbiness, sordidness and invariable lifelessness have thickened the heaviness of the burdens of the civil society organizations in Manipur, irrespective of caste, creed and religion. Why civil societies? We are in most danger when we think ourselves to be the safest. It is to convey that no person as an individual is safe in Manipur.

We are tired of decomposed bodies and women raped. We are tired of dead patients in the hospitals and innocent people killed, cut up and shot. We are tired of landmine deaths. In Manipur, every time we get rid of one tragedy of this kind, there is another to take its place before long.

In the succeeding years that follow, we have experienced full intensities of the traumas of all the victimsí families across the length and breadth of the state. One cannot sit up a silent spectator or hearer of the tragic deaths of so many precious souls but does sympathies with the bereaved families who confront grimy and grubby life. Not strangely, every individual is responsible for the disaster of human life.

There is no point passing the guilt to some other individual. Each one of us is, in the first place, guilty. Again, here too, we are reminded of the roots of Christian civilization. The cardinal belief of Christianity is that each one is a born sinner. It is this guilt complex of a Christian that is echoed in human affairs.

Therefore, we are each other our own devil and we make this world our hell.

Booking the criminals involved in the heartless murder of Mohni Martin and Hriini Hubert to award the severest punishment, the state government of Manipur should initiate quick measure that will relieve the bereaved families of the grief and sorrows of the senseless murder of their sons.

In the situation, half measure diplomacy wonít work to heal the wounds. One cannot go further than to suggest that as done in Manipur as a practice, reasonable ex-gratia with adequate provisions for starting life afresh must be provided to the bereaved families since such a heart-warming step will not entail a heavy load on the part of the state Government.

Rongreisek Yangsorang wrote this article for The Sangai Express . This article was webcasted on April 23rd, 2007.

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