TODAY -

See beyond the looted arms : Where have the guns come from ?
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: November 29 2023 -



Stating the obvious.

But no one seems to have gone beyond the obvious to raise certain pertinent questions.

The Government has said it.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said it and more recently the Eastern Army Commander Lt General RP Kalita said it.

Clearly the arms and ammos looted from the different police armouries have been accounted for but no one seems to have felt the need to question why the arms were looted from the police armouries in the first place.

To many, the May 3 violence cannot be seen in isolation of armed persons in full battle fatigues taking part in the Tribal Solidarity March along with the video footage of some elements having a free run at a gun shop in Churachandpur.

This was soon followed by reports of police armouries being looted in different parts of Imphal and in the adjoining districts.

Everyone concerned, starting from the political leaders to the military officers seem concerned, and rightfully so, of the huge number of arms looted from the different police armouries and the Eastern Army Commander went so far as asserting that as long as the arms are out in the open, ’sporadic incidents of violent activities will continue,’ while addressing the media at Guwahati on November 21.

The Army officer has his point and is noted, but where have the guns that are being used to fire at the human settlements at the foothills come from ?

Since about 4000 arms are already out in the open, there is no need for weapons to come from outside, the Lt General had observed and this gives rise to the question of whether it is the only guns that have gone missing that are being used to fire at the farmers tending to their fields ?

How about the huge cache of ammos confiscated on different occasions at Mizoram, especially in the earlier part of the ongoing clash ?

From where did the ammos come and where were they headed towards ?

Why have no further follow up stories on the seized ammunition come to light ?

Or are the cases still at the stage of ‘further investigation is on’ ?

The last time stories of the different SoO camps being checked came a long, long time back.

Is the Security Advisor to the State Government under the impression that two or three inspection drives are enough to answer the questions that have been raised by everyone concerned ?

Only the people in positions of power and authority can answer these questions, but the half baked stories will not convince the people and apart from the looted guns still out in the open being cited as the possible reason for the state of unrest, it is the half baked stories and explanations that can go a long way in keeping the embers burning.

Manipur cannot go on like this. The longer the situation continues, the more Manipur will suffer and there is no need to elaborate on who stands to gain from such a state.

The question however is how to take the first step towards normalcy. Will the guns going silent mean the return to normalcy ?

This is the line that the Government seems to think so and hence the obsession with the guns looted from the different police armouries.

This is not to run down this line of thought, for guns being out in the open does not bode well for society as a whole, but apart from this, what needs to be done to start walking the road to normalcy ?

Not the first time that such a question has been raised, but the very fact that this poser has been repeated should say so many things.

Apparent that Imphal is lost on what steps to take up to restore normalcy.

Same is the case with Delhi and judging by what is happening just across the border at Myanmar, the road to normalcy will only get thornier.

Imphal will need to reach out to all concerned.

Apart from Delhi, has Imphal made any effort to reach out to the other North Eastern States ?

Mizoram is reported to be trying to reach out to the Nagas and while many in Manipur may take this with a pinch of salt, it would not hurt at all if efforts are made to reach out to States like Assam and Tripura to speak out for Manipur.

This is where political acumen of Imphal is needed.

Reach out and tell the story of Manipur to the people who matter and not be satisfied with parroting concocted histories.



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