TODAY -

The right way to deal with miscreants
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: November 08, 2023 -



THE law-and-order situation in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur remains so fragile that disappearance of two teenage Meitei/Meetei boys after leaving their homes in Imphal West district to attend an oath taking ceremony of Arambai Tenggol in Awang Sekmai on Sunday has once again triggered fresh tension, keeping the war-weary people on tenterhooks.

The two teenage boys, namely, Ningthoujam Anthony alias Temba (16) son of late Sundar of Akham Mayai Leikai and Maibam Abhinash alias Khaba (15) son of Hemanta of Akham Awang Leikai were last seen in CCTV footage riding a motorcycle towards Kangpokpi from Kanglatongbi side.

Apart from the fact that they were seen heading towards a Kuki-Chin dominated area, the mystery behind their disappearance has deepened after their mobile phones were found wrapped in a polythene bag near an oil pump at Senapati Bazar in Senapati district headquarters, which is a Naga inhabited area.

Subsequent to filing of missing person reports by their respective families, a combined team of 22 Assam Rifles, Kangpokpi and Senapati police led by their respective SPs launched a search and rescue operation and Chief Minister N Biren assured the worried family members as well as the Joint Action Committee (JAC) formed by the local people that the search and rescue operation will continue until the two missing teenage boys are found.

Although there has been no report on the whereabouts of the two missing teenage boys till the time of writing this piece, a post from Manipur police on the microblogging site 'X', formerly Twitter, announced on Monday that three people have been detained for further interrogation and verification in connection with the incident during an operation conducted in Khengjang and K Lhangnom villages of Kangpokpi district.

Since May 3 last, Manipur has been witnessing an unprecedented inter-ethnic conflict between the Meetei/Meetei and Kuki-Chin communities, which is intermittent in nature.

So far, hundreds of precious human lives have been lost and thousands of families uprooted from their homes and hearths, not to speak of many people remaining missing on both sides of the clash divide.

So, the news of disappearance of the two teenage boys has caused fear among the people, who have suffered long enough and are now yearning for peace to return in the state, as it might trigger outbreak of fresh violence.

This fear of the public has been further compounded from the fact that the.miscreants who are apparently keeping the two missing teenage boys in their custody as hostages intentionally left the mobile phones of the two boys near an oil pump at Senapati Bazar to implicate the Naga people.

Nagas have been maintaining their neutrality and staying away from the current conflict between the Meetei/ Meetei and Kuki-Chin communities, other than trying to bring the two warring communities to their senses.

So, Naga People's Organisation (NPO), Senapati has rightly come out strongly against the 'deceitful act' and 'diabolic ploy' of dragging the Nagas into the conflict and flare up misunderstanding between different communities.

Now that NPO has assured of leaving no stone unturned in finding out the culprits so as to ensure befitting punishment is meted out to them, and at least two Kuki armed groups, namely Kuki Revolutionary Army (Unification) and Kuki National Front (KNF) have clarified that they have no involvement in the disappearance of the two teenage boys, a concerted effort should be made and help the security personnel in doing their job of tracing and rescuing the two missing boys.

This should be the right away to deal with miscreants who are trying to stoke communal tension and prolong the humanitarian crisis in the state.



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