TODAY -

In a state of war for over a year : Delhi is answerable
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: May 17, 2024 -



In a ‘state of war’ for over a year.

Over 200 killed on either side of the clash divide. Many still missing.

Thousands displaced with majority of them surviving in relief centres set up across the length and breadth of the State.

Numerous houses razed and levelled to the ground.

Buffer zones set up all across, clearly marking where Meiteis should not cross with the same yardstick applied to the Kuki-Zo people.

The red line that criss cross the State is more than just a line, for it could be a matter of life and death and this applies to both communities which are at war with each other since the evening of May 3, 2023.

This is how Manipur has survived for over a year but what steps have been taken up to put in place a semblance of normalcy ?

Tough call to take for whatever steps that may have been taken up or are being taken up has not come to the public domain.

At least not come to the knowledge of the common people.

This observation is being made against the fact that the Peace Committee which was set up during the initial days of the violence has been a non-starter and nothing of it has been heard of.

Clear that there is no Plan B to the Peace Committee which was set up and which obviously found no takers.

But can Manipur afford to continue like this ?

Apart from the visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah at the fag end of May last year, Delhi has been conspicuously absent in the context of the ongoing ethnic clash and this is what is perplexing.

Not the first time that The Sangai Express has addressed the indifference of Delhi to the human tragedy that is being scripted out here but there is no indication that the mandarins at Delhi would wake up to the ugly reality here.

Decision to do away with the Free Movement Regime and fencing the Indo- Myanmar border may be seen as giving more push to an earlier agenda which may be far removed from addressing the ongoing clash here.

The point is, it would have sounded much more logical and would have fallen in place with the general understanding of sequential development if Delhi had addressed the clash here first, then announce the decision to secure the border as well as do away with a regime that allows free movement of people on either side of the border.

If Delhi is really sincere about addressing the core issue here, it should have gone ahead and announced the enforcement of the National Register of Citizens, addressed the rampant poppy plantation accompanied by the growing volume in drug trade and publicly acknowledge the fact that after Manipur went up in flames on May 3, 2023, the drug route in the North East region has shifted from Manipur to Mizoram.

Would also help so much if some sort of a public admission is made that many of those arrested ferrying drugs belong to Myanmar who have sneaked into India’s territory.

Delhi has also talked about the arms that have been looted from police armouries, with even the National Investigation Agency having gone on record to claim that cadres of ‘Meitei underground outfits’ have on their agenda to attack the Kuki people, but not a single word has been spoken on from where the guns that are being used to target Meitei villages at the foothills have come from.

Can one be led to believe that the attacks on the villages at the foothills have come only from the village volunteers ?

Imphal has to talk to Delhi on a level that befits the existence of a Government in place and while it has not managed to convince the Prime Minister to speak on the issue, it should not be forgotten that the Government in Imphal is the Government of Manipur and should accordingly act as one.

The issue is more than just a clash between two communities, but is a political issue which could encompass so many other points, including the War on Drugs and one wonders why Delhi has not spoken out vocally on the inextricable link between the drugs trade, poppy plantation, mass scale deforestation, influx of illegal immigrants. Moreover what is the status of the Suspension of Operation pact ?

Why has Delhi not given an official line on SoO ?

Imphal should press Delhi for an answer here.



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