TODAY -

Tell tale stories of 'half widows' : Moving tales of tears
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: January 23, 2015 -

A grieving woman : The tears say it all
A grieving woman : The tears say it all :: Pix - TSE



Not to shock but to move.

The timing is right too, coming as it has after pressure has been mounted on the State Government to investigate the human skulls and skeletal remains that were found at the campus of the erstwhile Tombisana High School.

The pressure tactics may or may not work, but it is nonetheless important to note that there are numerous 'half widows' in Manipur women whose husbands have disappeared after they were ostensibly picked up by security personnel and there are numerous of them.

This is above the alleged fake encounters carried out by security personnel and it should be more than clear why the people of Manipur have always viewed the men in uniform with a degree of suspicion.

Manipur is certainly not at war and there may be no official record of the number of deaths and this is what makes the situation all that more scary.

Ever since the guns started booming across the vale and hills of the tiny State, there have been numerous allegations of excesses committed by the men in uniform and the tragedy is, the political class does not seem ready to listen to the cries of woes.

Not for nothing is it that a lone woman has been fasting for more than 12 years demanding revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the State.

That Irom Sharmila launched her marathon hunger strike after the Malom massacre of 2002 should tell a significant story, a story which should have shamed the Government and the Union of India.

There is every reason to believe that the security forces may have had a hand in the human skulls discovered from the campus of the former high school and The Sangai Express has on more than occasion commented on it.

Now with women coming out and narrating their tale of woes and anguish, there is the growing need to understand the skull issue beyond its discovery and come to the point of how heavily militarised Manipur has become.

The dead cannot speak and hence cannot narrate their stories.

But the skeletal remains, including human skulls, in this case, can tell a story of their own, albeit after minute and scientific investigation and this is the reason why pressure has been mounted on the Government to get to the bottom of the matter. Make no mistake about it.

There is no political motive and no election to be won or lost.

It is about respecting human lives and if the Government cannot guarantee this in the first place, then questions may well be raised on the very existence of a popularly elected Government.

Surely the State Government does not want this, that is if it has nothing to hide. The Families of the Involuntarily Disappeared Association, Manipur has got its timing right.

Remind all of the numerous cases of disappearances and at the same time mount pressure on the Government so that the discovery of the human skulls and skeletal remains is not swept under the carpet.

The stories of women whose husband have disappeared after they were reportedly picked up by security personnel should jolt the senses of everyone concerned and perhaps this is the right time to underline this point.

Investigate the case thoroughly and fix responsibilities.



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