TODAY -

Lesson to be learnt from across border
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: April 09, 2024 -



REGARDLESS of whether 55-year-old Cheosim Bom, who was arrested by a team of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), an anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of Bangladesh Police, from his house in Bandarban during a special operation launched on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday (April 6 and 7) is one of the chief coordinators of Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF)'s central committee or just a simple gardener, as some people have clarified; the manner in which Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has authorised the entire security apparatus of her country to go all out against the KNF terrorists to neutralise their subversive activities is something that the government of India should take serious note of, if could not emulate.

In the wake of recent bank robberies, abduction and attacks on security personnel, the lady Prime Minister has given the green signal for a military crackdown against KNF in Bandarban, which is a part of the Chittagong Hill Tracts where the militant outfit is waging a warfor establishing a separate autonomous state for Bawm people by clubbing together with nine upazilas or subdistricts of Rangamati and Bandarban districts.

The coordinated operation of Bangladesh Police and Army has so far led to the arrest of several suspected members of the militant group and recovery of firearms.

But it appears that this is just the beginning as Bangladesh's Army Chief General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed has unequivocally spelled out while speaking to reporters at Bandarban Cantonment on Sunday that "The intelligence agencies, Border Guard Bangladesh, RAB, police, Ansar and army are doing what they should do in their respective fields. The. approach is holistic. Bangladesh Army is leading the operation... The operation will continue until the terrorists are eliminated."

It's no wonder, people of Bangladesh have hailed the coordinated approach of the country's security apparatus to tackle with the-destructive and destabilising activities of a militant group, which is taking advantage of the initiative made for peace talks.

Contrary to what is happening in the neighbouring country, which can't even boast of a robust military strength like India has, it is perplexing why the government of India is shying away from dealing firmly with such similar destructive and destabilising activities being carried out by more than a dozen of armed Kuki-Chin militant groups within its territory.

While the question of why the government of India entered into the agreement of Suspension of Operation (SoO) with these armed Kuki-Chin outfits when these groups had never ever engaged in any bloody confrontation with the Indian Army is still a hush-hush matter, failure of keeping confined the armed cadres of these groups within their respective designated camps as per the agreed terms and conditions of the agreement and the inability of Indian Army and other Central Paramilitary Forces deployed in Manipur to act against the activities of Kuki-Chin militants during the course of the over 11 months long ethnic conflict is something well-known to everyone today.

This is despite the acknowledgement of involvement of these armed cadres in fomenting the ongoing conflict in Manipur not only by none other than Union Home Minister Amit Shah himself on the floor of Indian Parliament but also by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at the international forum.

In fact, whether the SoO agreement, which got lapsed on February 29 last, is still valid or not is not clear.

So far, there has been no report of extension ofthe agreement but the armed Kuki-Chin militants are continuing their activities of piling up and test firing their arsenal, right under the nose of central security personnel.

The attacks on Meitei/Meetei settlements by the armed Kuki-Chin militants from the nearby hill tops may have subsided since the announcement of election schedule for the 18th Lok Sabha election, but the conflict between the Meitei/Meetei and Kuki-Chin is yet to be resolved.

This is a fact that should not be allowed to lose in the cacophony of elections and blame game ofthe political parties for the sorry state of affairs prevailing in Manipur today.

Take this as a humble reminder.



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