TODAY -

JAC (Joint Action Committee) the myth & the reality

Lt Col Prashant Krishnarao Wankhade *



Almost everyday, we get to read about the JAC's (Joint Action Committees) forming up after neutralization of a militant or apprehension of UG cadres in the state of Manipur. One often wonders at the swiftness and the alacrity with which they are formed by a group of persons who were so far living in oblivion and whose credentials are redoubtable in so far as their professional and societal contribution to Manipur is concerned.

Is it merely an effort on part of the UG factions and their OGW's to render a public face, trying to denounce the so-called excesses by the CPMFs/SFs/ State Police or an unsuccessful attempt to take advantage of the prevailing anarchy in the region to accumulate wealth, despite the fact that the local populace does not subscribe to their ideology any more, but are silent due to dictates of fear of bullets of fraternal insurgents?

It my be pertinent to note that it has become a fashion of late to form such JAC's with the sole aim of asking for compensations in connivance with the aggrieved parties, the respondents being almost helpless and certain sections of the media acting under duress, and others, who prefer to remain silent bystanders.

Add to those, some elements of the judicial system especially the people rendering legal advice at a phenomenal costs in the long run, eternally till the cases are sub-judice! I often wonder at the veracity of it all. Are there any miscreants who gather merely to share the booty of compensation, after all !?

The killings of young boys/girls during the festival last year, assassinations of government staff due to failure in meeting up with the demands for taxes, killings of innocents due to suspicion of being SF informers, Grenade throwing incidents for extortion demands, inter-factional clashes are all gory acts of violence and uncalled for atrocities against the public which must be condemned and abhorred by everyone in Manipur today.

Raising of voice by the people by way of staging dharnas, calling bandhs, forming joint action committees (JAC's) to compel UG's to hand-over the perpetrators of heinous crimes is quite understandable to an extent.

But, to impose it as a regular UG-sponsored terrorism is really unacceptable because no UG group has ever had an iota of respect for the general public. With a plethora of armed groups having mushroomed in the State, with dubious antecedents and lacking in any clear-cut ideology have unlashed a reign of terror and anarchy in Manipur deriding the quality of life of ordinary public and the commoners from enjoying the democratic liberation and freedom of expression, thus blocking all avenues of societal re-structuring and infrastructural development.

Whereas JAC's against genuine grievances is understandable. It is extremely pertinent to note that we must view the credibility of the JAC's that are being formed on a "daily-basis."

The first response is to institute immediate in house measures to make themselves acceptable to the people, especially, the kith and kin of the affected victims. Mere lip-service on humanitarian grounds to the aggrieved party does not yield any good for the societal fabric.

By virtually brainwashing the common mindset, a series of JAC's have only produced a syndrome of dragging the society into a chaotic state. In the face of a constant fear of disorder, the youth have got disorientated and lost their paths to a glorious future.

The point is that the people should understand as to what these JAC's are for? We sincerely wish that the JAC's could understand the pulse of the people, take them along to a course of prosperity and development and identify sincerely with them rather then adding to the confusion and fuel to the simmering fire of discontent, dis-order, hatred and animosity against each other.

With the continuous and sincere collective effort put forward by all of us, change is definitely in the offing-and so let be it! The masses are fed up with senseless violence, mindless killings and all kinds of barbaric acts of torture by way of extortions.

It is for the people of the State now to stage a come-back and be prepared to pay the price in order to buy peace at any cost. Security Forces have a very important role to play in this endeavour and they must act within the laws of the land and win the heart and minds of people. Populace in turn must give them the due they deserve and not be exploited by terrorist elements.

Peace and prosperity is bound to return to this State to assuage the endless-wait of the people at large who are really desirous of fresh thriving of the younger generations and breathe in a whiff of clean air within their homeland. Why, then, wait for "Godot" !!? Could we not possibly start from today? We have to come forward and support the Security Forces in establishing "Peace" in this "Jewel of India."

How about forming JPC's? (Joint Peace Committees! ?. It's never too late in life. Is it??


* Lt Col Prashant Krishnarao Wankhade wrote this for "Huieyen Lanpao" (English edition) . The writer is PRO, Assam Rifles
This article was webcasted at e-pao.net on 09th October 2009.




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