TODAY -

The Shirui Incident
Appreciation, Credits & Positives in the Service of Peace

Capt (Retd) Ashok Y Tipnis *

Introduction :

Everyone felt a great sense of relief when information came through on 2nd February 2009, that with the safe passage of NSCN-IM cadre that morning, the operation and tense situation had ended. Not a shot was fired. No one injured. No one killed. The cease-fire was not broken. The Ground rules had been respected.

There are many credits won at Shirui. There are heroes who earn admiration. There are learnings and positives for the future. This article is an attempt to highlight these on account of their value for future efforts in the difficult quest for peace in Manipur and Nagaland.

The Situation of Shirui Incident :

The situation at Shirui was that NSCN-IM cadre had established a camp contrary to the cease-fire agreement and in contravention of the ground rules of the cease-fire. There are probably different perceptions and understanding in regard to this.

If the existence of this camp had come to the notice of visitors from the valley and others, who come to Shirui to climb the mountain of the Lily, there would have been a strong reaction from the valley and a barrage of protests, and disturbance of the present peaceful environment in Manipur.

If an unsuspecting patrol of the Security Forces had run into this post, an encounter could have occurred, causalities may have been sustained and the cease-fire broken with serious threat to the peace process. No one would want that to happen. No responsible citizens in the hills. None from the valley either.

In 2007, a camp near the Shirui village, in the mountain forest was detected by AR. The AR took action to remove it. However, the cadre made their get-away. Fortunately, no causalities occurred. And the threat to the ceasefire passed.

Yet, in 2009, the new camp was detected by AR. This evidently meant that cadre had returned. The AR carried the burden of responsibility, to remove the camp established in contravention of the Cease-fire Agreement and in violation of the ground rules.

But they had to do it, without breaking the cease-fire. They had to ensure strict compliance of the Cease-fire Agreement and the Cease-fire Ground Rules without firing a shot. They had to bear in mind the volatility in the valley over this issue.

It was also an emotive matter for the people of Ukhrul. It was a very difficult task. They accomplished this. And importantly, the honour of the cadre and the IM was kept intact. Relationship with the people was preserved. All actors were winners. A most creditable achievement and result to be cherished by all.

The Action at Shirui :

From 19 January to 2 February 2009, there was intense action at Shirui and in Ukhrul. The AR surrounded the unauthorised camp and cordoned off the area.

They held that position, amidst much mobilisation of the people and amidst the pressure of peaceful protest, and clamour and turmoil also in the press. For student bodies in New Delhi and students and other civil society organisations from Nagaland and from Imphal made impassioned appeals with contrasting claims and demands.

To their credit, the AR held firm, determined not to open fire but resolved to remove the cadre and their camp. With praiseworthy initiatives from civil society in Ukhrul, this was effectively done and on 2nd February 2009, the cadres were safely escorted out of Ukhrul district to an undisclosed location.

Not a shot was fired. No one injured. No one killed. The apprehensions of the Valley/Imphal were set to rest. The Cease-fire was maintained. The Ground rules were enforced without resort to deadly force. The Assam Rifles deserve to be credited and appreciated for fulfilling a difficult responsibility. This operation should earn respect and trust of all.

The NSCN cadre acquitted themselves creditably over these trying days. It is to be appreciated that the young cadre, did not open fire even after being cordoned for such a long time and being tired severely. Their eventual departure was honourable. It is to be surmised that they received prudent counsel and directions from their authorities whose cool headed response was necessary for resolving the crisis. They did well and wisely so. They deserve praise.

Peoples Amazing Response and Remarkable Action at Shirui and Ukhrul

It is clear that women and people of Shirui, surrounding villages and Hqs Ukhrul were deeply concerned about the safety of life of all involved, the cadre, the AR and the people. And all valued the cease-fire and its continuation.

The women of Shirui and surrounding villages formed a human barrier and interposed between the two armed groups and stayed their vigil, night and day in these winter weeks. They come out as the heroes of the action, with amazing support of TSL and other organisations in Ukhrul.

AR also extended humanitarian assistance, to the women and the people, not withstanding disruption of normal life. The women demonstrated women's power at its highest in tough conditions.

Civil society organisations at Ukhrul mobilised instantly and organised themselves to both observe the situation and support the women and people of Shirui. To their credit the sagacity displayed by them had critical impact on the action and the environment.

The 'committee' and all the social organisations convened by TNL deserve all praise. They have demonstrated power of constructive, cooperative action. And its immense potential.

No praise would be sufficient for Tangkhul Shanao Long. With the cooperation and support of women of all Tangs and Youth they reached out women and people of Shirui and kept vigil at Gandhi Chowk, Ukhrul, praying and singing in silent appeal. A true demonstration of women's soft power and non-violent intervention in situation of great tension and anxiety. They are a force of peace.

There were other actors that need mention. Amidst this spontaneous response, without any hysteria, a local Red-Cross Unit made a foray to Shirui and also advocates visited to highlight important obligations in dealing with the cordoned cadre. Laudable efforts all round.

To crown these efforts, the 'Committee' demonstrated great judgment and wisdom and sought special assistance and intervention from a well selected senior citizen delegation. The wisdom and counsel of this delegation had powerful influence on all concerned. They deserve the highest accolades. Their wise counsel made critical contributions in resolving the crisis and the situation.

It is good and to be appreciated that several NGOs from Imphal and the Valley made appeals for peaceful resolution in support of people of Shirui.

Some Positives with Value for the Future :

  • Women's power works. Even in situations of confrontation. Soft power and co-operation works. Together they offer solutions to problems.
  • Civil society, well organised and led as at Ukhrul can help official authorities to deal with issues and problems wisely and effectively.
  • To draw benefit from the experience of Shirui, Civil society may develop mechanism and proactive roles for peace promotion in normal times rather than only in crisis situation.
  • Mutual trust and respect pay dividends all round.
  • It is desirable and possible that without entering into invective and verbal combat through newspapers, civil society from the hills and the valley resort to exchange of delegations and face to face rational discussion to understand each others' points of view. Mutual suspicion and anger at a distance do not promote creative solutions which need mutual respect, dialogue and understanding.
  • Issues of cease-fire, territorial integrity of the States and Integration of Naga Inhabited area need to be openly discussed by civil society jointly between hills and valley. And between Nagaland and Manipur. If not these issues divide people. Only bringing pressure on Govt is not really productive when there is need to resolve differences in perception and expectations between people of hills and people of valley and States. As pointed out by Mr Isak Chishi Swu recently, dialogue is the only way to peace, not violence.
  • The statement of NSCN-IM endorsing people's participation is most significant. Peace process is not responsibility of Govt of India and Collective Leadership alone. People's patient, continued, constructive, democratic dialogue is important. Civil Societies in Ukhrul have demonstrated their potential and capability. It is desirable that this effort is continued pro-actively in the quest for peace.
  • For the moment, all have come out winners. There were no losers. A salute and praise for all.




* Capt (Retd) Ashok Y Tipnis wrote this article for The Sangai Express. This article was webcasted on February 10 2009.

* 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
  • Arts Exhibition @ MU #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Women's Film Festival 2021 at MSFDS
  • Totem of natives of North East India #2
  • As I see the world in one page :: Poem
  • AMWJU Meeting Resolutions : 05 March 2021
  • Breaking down silos to look beyond exams
  • Mova Cave @ Hunpung, Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • PROMYS, a summer program in mathematics
  • Meeting of AMWJU : 05 March 2021
  • Dissecting Bird flu
  • Will Bengal vote for a poroborthon ?
  • Job @ Cobigent Technologies
  • Film : Is it a medium or an art form? #2
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Emergency Meeting of AMWJU : 04 March
  • Golden Jubilee of Manipuri Cinema
  • Impact of Climate Change in Agriculture
  • Paradigm shift in role of public sector
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • The God Lainingthou Thangching Koylellai
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • When all goes wrong
  • Are we failing children in the HIV response?
  • Counter-cyclical fiscal policy
  • Where will ST demand stand in next election?
  • Ningtham Kummei: Dance Drama #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Wungreikhan, Chao Shang Un: eMing
  • Empowered teachers for local efficiency
  • First step towards regulation of social media
  • Of resignation dramas & disqualifications
  • Today's Manipur as reflected in media
  • Bongbal Kholen, Kpi District #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Totem of natives of North East India #1
  • 5 days with Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Swami
  • National Science Day 2021 at Lilong
  • Themes & objectives in National Science Day
  • More teeth to war against drugs
  • Mayang Imphal Keithel #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur COVID Vaccination Report : 26 Feb
  • March Calendar for Year 2021 : Tools
  • Road from Imphal to Yangkhullen #2: Gallery
  • Best Panel Lawyer, Best DLSA in Manipur
  • Sustainable Agriculture: Key to Food Security
  • Film : Is it a medium or an art form? #1
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Buyer Seller Meet @ Hotel Imphal: Gallery
  • Job @ Makok Technologies, Keinou
  • Should Meetei belong to Minority or ST #2
  • Colour your hair, limit the damage
  • Medical camp at Lamlaba Village, Tamenglong
  • Japan Lan: Life In Kangla Sangomshang
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • AMWJU Meeting : Resolutions [Feb 25]
  • Positions @ KIIT-Tech Business Incubator
  • 'Seeding Gampreneurs' transforming villages
  • Orchidarium at IBSD Shillong is reopened
  • Cracking down on 'errant' teachers
  • Chadong Village/Chadong Lake #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Folktales of Mao Maram & Poumai : Gallery
  • Guwahati Session : World Meetei Convention
  • HIV science has advanced but ...
  • I will rise :: Poem
  • Not the time to let the guards down
  • Journalism is not everybody's cup of tea
  • Foot bridges in Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • AIFF recognised Andro Girls Team : Gallery
  • Relief @ Songlung, Kangpokpi : Gallery
  • Lecture on medicinal plants at IBSD
  • Jobs @ Neopath Technologies, Imphal
  • Students on the protest path
  • Ignoring the core issues
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #18
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Implementation: Climate Change : Gallery
  • KAPU Meet: Tribute to Late Benny Khongsai
  • Career options in beauty industry
  • Meet on capacity building on energy efficiency
  • Need to establish cause of death
  • Don't break the bone
  • Shirui Lily Festival 2019 #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Nakamh-Riangsuanneic - Folklore Film Fest
  • Should Meetei belong to Minority or ST #1
  • Aspergilloma of lung
  • From wetlands to dry lands
  • Ipudhou Pakhangba Puruksoubi #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Sit-in-protest against bomb threat : Gallery
  • Young Generation and Modernization
  • The Mansion :: Poem
  • Netaji's DNA & INA Moirang
  • Demonstration demanding to cut Price Hike
  • 'Condemn hurling grenade at Governor'
  • Fulfilling the long cherish dream
  • Churachandpur Profile
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn the Manipuri script
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Paoyi villagers with CM : Gallery
  • Predicament of Journalists & Media Houses
  • A day of stardom for Thoiba Singh at Seoul
  • Lay off hands on the media
  • Smiles of the Emas
  • Cherry Blossom at Mao #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Basak: A dying art form
  • World War II, INA & Manipuri Literature #2
  • Meeting of AMWJU : Resolutions [Feb 18]
  • CM & Governor urged to cut down price hike
  • Union Minister for Social Justice meet CM
  • Seram Neken joins Congress party
  • Snowfall at Shirui, Ukhrul #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Meitei-Pong Relations & Conquest of Khampat
  • Dying of Yongchak: declare National Disaster
  • Protection of tribal land in Manipur #2
  • Is policing pandemics different... ?
  • Home remedies for winter hair problems
  • Facets of human trafficking in Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Road from Imphal to Yangkhullen #1: Gallery
  • Understand prerequisits for ST tag
  • When all goes wrong
  • Centre Head @ JCRE School of Hospitality
  • Khamba Thoibi Jagoi #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Re-Opening of Ima Keithel : Gallery
  • Emergency Meeting AMWJU: Resolutions
  • ICERME-2021: Intl Conference on SDG-7
  • Law in Motion : Basics of Law
  • Discussion on Koubru Chinggoirol #2
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni - Naga Seed Sowing Festival
  • Wung-Hao of Tangkhul & Chinese Counterpart
  • World War II, INA & Manipuri Literature #1
  • 3rd Jump Rope Championship : Result
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #17
  • Book: Manipur-Myanmar connections: Gallery
  • Mushroom training at Tentha Heibung
  • Workshop on GeoGebra at IISER Bhopal
  • Indian Women & Maths annual conference
  • Walking through final lap of my life :: Poem
  • Can BJP strategy win in Tamil Nadu ?
  • Granting minority status to Meitei
  • Snowfall at Shirui, Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • Shanti Thokchom's Life Experiences #44
  • Inspection at Kangla & Cheiraoching : Gallery
  • Protection of tribal land in Manipur #1
  • Oxford and Aatmanirbharta
  • Education in Mother Tongue will strengthen
  • Impressive shows from young MLAs
  • If it is for the people...
  • Ipudhou Pakhangba Puruksoubi #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Relief at Yangkhullen, Senapati: Gallery
  • Restored Wetland : Yaralpat
  • Appeal: WG to monitor crime against women
  • Distress Relief at Yangkhullen, Senapati
  • Sensitization on constitutional obligation
  • ST demand for the Meiteis
  • Democratisation of Education
  • Licypriya in 'Forbes 30 Under 30' List 2021
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Sushila, Indubala selected for Asian Judo
  • RIST Talk 48 : Microplastic is everywhere
  • Productivity revolution of farmers in Manipur
  • NEC Secretary meeting with CM Manipur
  • Valentine's Day beauty tips
  • College teachers on strike!
  • Are you fooling people of Manipur Mr FM
  • RK Jhalajit's contribution in historiography
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Keibul Lamjao: today in deplorable state
  • Nadda's hailing 'War On Drugs' Campaign
  • Sachi Gurumayum called on CM
  • She really can be trusted for fiscal prudence
  • Child Marriage: Stigma for a civilized society
  • Fate of hostellers
  • Ema Gi Wari by Imphal Talkies : Review
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Projects Inauguration - Tamenglong: Gallery
  • Budget: Perspective on Gender Budget
  • NPF meeting with NSCN (K-Niki)
  • Mushroom training program at Nagamapal
  • Solace me, chap ! :: Poem
  • Active cases below 3 figure mark
  • Mother Nature is still unhappy
  • Discussion on Koubru Chinggoirol #1
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Packaged Organic Product launch : Gallery
  • Naga American announces Scholarship
  • Prize distribution for 9th MANIFA held
  • Range of options to prevent HIV is key
  • Paoyi village setting an example
  • Churachand Maharajgi Imung : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Churachand Maharajgi Imung published
  • Grab the given opportunities
  • A poet :: Poem
  • Supports farmers' movement call
  • Gaan-Ngai @ Iboyaima Shanglen #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Financing burden of lifestyle diseases in NE
  • A budget that lays foundation for growth
  • Sports & Physical Fitness as career choice
  • Volunteers' Meet at Irong Bazar
  • Limping towards the New Normal
  • Is India prepared for Chinese aggression?
  • Re-openning of schools #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Is Compulsive Shopping a Mental Disorder ?
  • Ex-Tempore Competition at Lilong
  • My hundred deaths :: Poem
  • Fragile - Handle with care !
  • Stand off over taxi, auto fares
  • Restructuring the society without disparities
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #16
  • The ring has finally arrived!
  • Study of growing traffic congestion in Imphal
  • World Wetlands Day 2021
  • Bringing Equality for Women in Armed Forces
  • Ima Keithels: Closed since March 21
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni @ Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Understanding panic disorder
  • Life, It is ! :: Poem
  • A pinch of blessing with a tonne of a curse
  • COVID-19 combine to clobber MSME sector
  • Single digit spike of just 4 in last 24 hrs
  • Impact in India after coup in Myanmar
  • Remembering Kuki singer Benny Khongsai
  • Was Netaji really in Manipur ?
  • Environmental impacts of COVID-19 pandemic
  • Memo to CM concerning transportation
  • Fertilization in cultivation of broccoli
  • Need to stop meddling with nature
  • Learning to live with changing time
  • Gaan-Ngai @ Iboyaima Shanglen #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Helicopter Service in Manipur
  • Pray for 2021 to be peaceful
  • Dwell in me - Oh ! human :: Poem
  • Adverse impact of rampant use of plastic
  • Studying prospects ahead of 2022
  • Re-openning of schools #1 : Gallery
  • Edu'treat 2021 in Ukhrul concluded
  • Exhibition @ Fine Arts, MU #1 : Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai @ Iboyaima Shanglen #1 : Gallery
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni @ Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Food items @ Waithou Keithel #2 : Gallery
  • Narcotic Drugs disposal @Lamlai #2 : Gallery
  • Prison Diary of Lamyanba NK Sanajaoba
  • Nine Hills, One Valley : Special Film award
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • COVID-19 vaccination [Jan 16] #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 vaccination [Jan 16] #1 : Gallery
  • Day light Thabal Chongba #3 : Gallery
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar :: 2021
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #6: Gallery
  • Sory Wahengbam - Actress Gallery :: eRang
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS