TODAY -

The role of fringe elements in prolonging Manipur crisis
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: November 01, 2023 -



After all the efforts made by leaders of various Kuki-Chin organisations based both within India and abroad to internationalise the ongoing conflict between the Meeitei/Meetei and Kuki-Chin communities in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur got backfired, it seems some fringe elements from within the Kuki-Chin community are still hell bent on fuelling the now nearly 6-month-long conflict by indulging in various mischievous acts to provoke the Meiteis/Meeteis to react.

After the Joint Students' Body (JSB) based in Churachandpur district arbitrarily announced on October 26 that every Friday will be observed as public holiday in all government offices in Churachandpur town, a viral video of burning text books written in Meetei Mayek and announcing boycott of Meeteilon or Manipuri language in Kangpokpi district has surfaced on social media.

While what action the Government of Manipur is going to initiate in connection with the viral video of burning text books written in Meetei Mayek and announcing boycott of Meeteilon or Manipuri language in Kangpokpi district is yet to be known, it is appreciable that the Government and its law enforcement agencies have acted swiftly and registered a suo-motu case against the members of JSB for announcing Fridays as public holidays, under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including sections 186 (voluntarily obstructing a public servant in the discharge of his duties), 341 (related to wrongful confinement of any person), 189 (related to threat of injury to any public servant) and 506 (related to criminal intimidation).

Prior to registering the FIR by Churachandpur Police on Monday, the Government of Manipur had issued a notice on October 27 making it clear to all that any deliberate attempt to rename institutions and places or declaration of observing every Friday as public holiday in government offices including offices of DCs/ SPs/ ZEO/ADCs/govt school and colleges in Churachandpur is totally illegal.

From every act of mischief that had been committed or is being committed, whether it is declaration of Friday as public holiday arbitrarily, burning of text books written in Meitei Mayek and announcing boycott of Meeteilon (Manipuri language) or changing the original names of places and institutions, it is becoming more than apparent that some fringe elements from within the Kuki-Chin community are not going to let the current humanitarian crisis to die down that easily.

All these mischievous acts are being committed to provoke the Meiteis/Meeteis to react, just like they did on May 3 last.

But it would be wiser on the part of the Kuki-Chin leaders to rein in these fringe elements as every act of mischief perpetrated by them had only worked against the common interest of Kuki-Chin people and undone all the hard works carried out for advancing their cause.

Without going into a litany of such mischievous acts of the fringe elements, it would suffice for the Kuki-Chin leaders to remember how and why Hmar Students' Association (HSA) thought it best to make an honourable exit from the Joint Students' Body (JSB), saying that it "no longer aligned with our organisational objectives and priorities".

JSB used to be a joint body of Kuki Students' Organisation (KSO), Zomi Students' Federation (ZSF) and Hmar Students' Association (HSA) till October 9 last when the latter though it would be more appropriate to part way keeping in mind the evolving circumstances and shifts in organisational focus of JSB that so HSA could reallocate own resources and efforts towards initiatives that are closely align with its goals."

As a conglomerate of student bodies, which is supposedly "committed to the continuation and improvement of an education-friendly environment in our living space, even in these difficult times," JSB should not have come up with arbitrary decision of declaring Friday as public holiday and drawn unwanted attention of only the police but also of the world to a cause which is slowly slipping away, not due to lack of any serious effort but too many unbridled forces pulling in every direction.



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