TODAY -

Decoding objection to deployment of state forces
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: November 04, 2023 -



It is, indeed, very sad that even after completion of six months, there has been no sign of any possible solution nor slowdown in the violent confrontation between the Meetei/Meitei and Kuki-Chin communities, which has been going on in the tiny northeastern Indian state of Manipur since May 3 last.

The confrontation broke out after a Tribal Solidarity March taken out in the hill areas against a directive of the Manipur High Court to the state government for sending recommendation to the Centre for granting scheduled Tribe (ST) status to Meitei/Meetei turned violent in Kuki-Chin dominated areas, where the houses and properties of Meitei/Meeteis were burnt down, forcing the people to retaliate in the valley.

So far, hundreds of precious human lives have been lost and rendered homeless thousands of families on both sides of the clash divide.

However, contrary to the expectation of a multitude of suffering people who are yearning for return of peace and normalcy in the strife-torn state, the two warring communities have been pitted against each other once again following the October 31 daring attack of killing a police officer in Moreh by Kuki militants and the subsequent ambush laid on a reinforcement team, which was on its way to the border town, leaving three of the police personnel injured.

Even though the theatre of war this time may have been concentrated in the border town, where the security forces are stepping up search operations to not only nab the militants involved in the killing of the police officer but also to stop infiltration from across the border, allegations and counter-allegations among people of the two warring communities have already picked up the tempo on various social media platforms with each side trying to outdo one another in pushing forward their narratives.

In the process, everyone seems to have lost sight of the main issues which are at the root cause of the present conflict that has engulfed the state with an unprecedented humanitarian crisis for six long months now.

For anyone who wishes to see return of normalcy and peace in Manipur, it would be a fallacy to think that the conflict between the Meitei/Meetei and Kuki-Chin communities in Manipur would have continued for so long and with such devastating impact if not for the direct involvement of militant groups with a larger sinister plan in the making.

So, the revelation that no cadre of the Kuki militant groups, which are under the Suspension of Operation (SoO) with the Government, were found in two of their designated camps in Moreh during a search operation should not come as a surprise to anyone.

As per the laid down ground rules of SoO agreement, the cadres of SoO bound militant groups are supposed to stay put in their respective designated camps and their weapons kept in a safe room under double-locking system.

The fact that none of the cadres of two Kuki militant groups bound by SoO pact were found in their designated camps is a clear violation of the SoO agreement, which should not be taken lightly.

Moreover, the report of detection of as many as 32 Myanmarese Nationals from among 44 individuals rounded up for verification and two of the Myanmarese nationals turning out to be chief functionaries of the Myanmar-based People's Defence Force (PDF), the armed wing of National Unity Government (NUG), which is fighting against the Military junta in the neighbouring country, is no laughing matter.

In the light of all these disturbing revelations that have come to the fore after the deployment of state police forces, there should be no more two arguments over the demand for abrogation of SoO agreement signed by the Government of India with Kuki militant groups.

In the same way, there is no reason why the Kuki MLAs and civil society organisations, which are crying foul against the deployment of state security forces in Moreh, should not be held accountable for encouraging cross-border infiltration to destabilise the state and the country at large.

(Correction: In the editorial "Who is responsible for the death of Moreh SDPO?", the surname of slain Moreh SDPO has been written as Chingakham instead of Chingtham. The oversight is regretted).



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