TODAY -

Who is responsible for the death of Moreh SDPO ?
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: November 03, 2023 -



"Where there is a will, there's is a way".

This is a commonly used proverb, which means that if one has the strong will and determination to do something, then it can be accomplished irrespective of the obstacles that might come along the way.

The evolving situation in the tiny northeastern Indian state of Manipur, which has been roiled by an unprecedented ethnic conflict that broke between the Meitei/Meetei and the Kuki-Chin communities since May 3 last, is a perfect example of this lack of will and determination on the part of the government to act not just promptly but also timely to prevent the situation from going out of control.

When the security advisor to the Chief Minister of Manipur, Kuldiep Singh said that the government has identified those involved in the killing of SDPO Moreh Chingakham Anand Kumar but the situation is not conducive to reveal more details as it would hinder the investigation, it is perfectly understandable.

But when he said that a 6o-member strong team state police commando personnel had been sent to Moreh as reinforcement after clearing the road blockade carried out by Kuki womenfolk along the Imphal-Moreh road in Tengnoupal district, we can't help but question why the security advisor had to wait for the life of a police officer to be snuffed out in the sniper attack of Kuki militants for clearing the road blockade.

Let's be clear here -some odd 500 Kuki womenfolk imposed the blockade along a 6o-by-24-foot-long stretch of the Imphal-Moreh road or National Highway 102 in Tengnoupal district to prevent movement of Manipur police personnel to Moreh since July 28.

But nothing had been done to clear the road despite the pressing need for sending in more state security forces in the border town where anti-social elements are ruling the roost.

It should not have been so hard even for a dim-witted person, not to speak of a former IPS officer who had served not only as the chief of CRPF but also headed the National Investigation Agency (NIA), in an additional capacity as its director general, to see and understand why the Kuki womenfolk were trying their best to prevent deployment of state security force in the border town.

Unfortunately, Kuldiep Singh, who was appointed as the security advisor to the Chief Minister of Manipur to help in restoring peace in the state just a day after the violent conflict that broke out between the Meitei/Meetei and Kuki-Chin communities on May 3 spiralled out of control, has been acting otherwise.

We agree that the nature of conflict in Manipur may be quite different from any of the difficult assignments he had handled successfully in the past - whether it be quelling the Gorkha stir, neutralising the Maoists or militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, but after remaining in the state as the security advisor to the Chief Minister since a day after the outbreak of conflict, which has completed half a year today, Kuldiep Singh is expected to have been well-versed by now about the trajectory of the conflict and the tactics employed by some elements inimical to the idea of Manipur as a geo-political entity for perpetuating the fire of communal hatred among people of different communities in this multi-ethnic society.

Leaving aside the question of whether the security advisor has been of any help to the Chief Minister in restoring peace in the state, the answer to which is obvious to all, the fact that it was deemed fit and proper to clear the road blockade imposed on just a short stretch of Imphal-Moreh road in Tengnoupal district for sending in reinforcement to Moreh only after a police officer lost his life in the hands of armed of Kuki militants has shown that more than lack of any strong will and determination, it was complete lack of oversight on the part of the security advisor that the strife-torn Manipur has always landed at the spot from where it was trying to escape for the last six months.

It may be a bullet fired from one of the long-range sniper rifles of the Kuki militants that snuffed out the life of SDPO Moreh Chingakham Anand Kumar, but the security advisor, who failed to read the writing on the wall all along, can't exonerate himself from the crime as well.



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