TODAY -

Blame it on Meetei
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: April 26, 2024 -



CONTRARY to the conjecture by some people and also reflected in the reports of some mainstream media outlets, it may not have any direct connection with the 18th Lok Sabha election, which is currently underway across the nation.

But it goes without saying that the attempt made to blow up a vital bridge along the National Highway 2 in Kangpokpi district just two days before the 13 remaining assembly segments in Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency go to poll on April 26 is disturbing enough as it one of the major lifelines of the state used by people of all communities and security forces.

In addition to disruption in transportation of goods and other essential items for the people, free movement of security personnel to enforce law and order is now going to be affected in the event of outbreak of violence, which may be either related to the election or the ethnic conflict that has been going on between the Kuki-Chin and Meitei/Meetei communities since May 3 last year.

With the latest subversive activity happening close behind the gun attacks carried out by previously unfamiliar United Kuki National Army (UKNA) on oil and gas tankers along National Highway 37 in Kaimai area of Tamenglong district on April 16 that left two drivers injured and five tankers damaged, it should not be difficult for anyone to decipher the perpetrators.

In fact, while owning up responsibility for the gun attacks on the oil and gas tankers, the defence secretary of UKNA had already warned that it was "a first offensive operation against the supply of essential commodities and other weaponry in aid of the Meitei community."

The armed outfit had also made it clear that this offensive operation is continuing process and any transporters neglecting the order would be treated as enemy of the Kukis.

So, it makes no sense at all when Kuki Students' Organisation (KSO), Sadar Hills, under whose jurisdiction the concrete slabs of the bridge were blasted, blamed the Meitei/Meetei for the subversive act.

Instead of resorting to "a lying tongue" which "the Lord hates," it would have been honourable on the part of KSO Sadar Hills as a student body to remember "Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from trouble" (Proverbs 21:23).

During the course of now nearly one year long ethnic conflict between the two communities, there had been no instances in which the Meitei/Meetei carried out subversive activities to cut off transport and communication lines.

On the contrary, it is the armed Kuki-Chin militants who have been indulging in such activities with total disregard for the inconveniences to be caused to people of all communities living in the state.

As a matter of fact, this is the second attempt made by unscrupulous elements from Kuki-Chin community to disrupt movement of goods and people by targeting bridges.

Remember the July 21, 2023 incident of detonating a powerful IED on a bridge in Kwakta, in which three people were wounded, apart from causing damage to nearby public and private properties.

After a thorough investigation into the case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had filed charge-sheet against the main conspirator Seiminlun Cangte and his associate Mohammed Noor Hussain on April 12.

Leaving aside the question surrounding the morality of pointing finger at others to deflect attention from one's own stupidity, which the Kuki-Chin people have been doing unfailingly right from the beginning, it is time for everyone in the state regardless of their ethnic alignment in the ongoing conflict to be beware of the intentional subversive activities being carried out with calculated move to prolong and compound the suffering of all.

This could be in no way a justification for anything.

One may say "everything is fair in love and war" but it is equally important to realise that there are limits to what is acceptable or not in both love and war.



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