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E-Pao! Governance Opinion - Land Custom Station(LCS) Moreh

Land Custom Station(LCS) Moreh

Geoffery *



Under the Look East Policy (LeP) of GoI, Moreh will be developed as one of the Land Custom Station (LCS), in North East region of our country, besides other three (Dawki, Sutrakandi & Agartala). Wow! A dream to come true.

Manipur has various forces & counter forces playing with the aim of their own that is miles away from the over all aim to develop the state, region and the nation. There are a number of outfits both in the valley & hills.

UNLF is the oldest outfit in Manipur that was founded in 1965. Thereafter, a large number of splinter groups and sub splinter groups have come up that are trying to control some part of territory to claim as their own.

Moreh is a border town where trade ( both legal and illegal) worth millions of rupees is undertaken every day. Recent incidents and a build up of the same for past two months is natural as this will give a bigger share of the pie to the outfit that controls this border town.

Before a conclusion is arrived at by the readers, there is a need to go over the chronology of events. It started on 13 March 07 with controversial abduction of approx 500 Kukis from Laijang village (Chandel district) to Myanmar by members of another outfit. The abductees escaped back to India to become refugees in their own land. There are two versions of this episode.

One- that the news of abduction is false and villagers had moved out on their own accord. But this is countered by saying that some villagers were made to give misleading statements under coercion. Two-conspiracy of vested interests to create communal divide in this lucrative town, a hen that lays golden eggs.

Killing of one Roshan by UGs on 03 Jun 07, & later claimed by KNA, resulted in demand for deployment of more IRB personnel (already done) and removal of Assam Rifles from Moreh. Little do they realize that all SFs irrespective of the status (state or central) are apolitical and secular in their conduct & outlook?

To add fuel to the fire was dastardly killing of 11 humans (not to talk of community) on 09 June 07 immediately on return of normalcy after the chaos of 03 Jun 07. DGP Joy Kumar had said “Though cooperation from the Assam Rifles was not there earlier, now the situation has changed and full cooperation is being received, and added that conducting joint operations have been agreed upon.”

On 09 June 07, a joint patrol of IRB and Assam Rifles had chased the miscreants before they escaped into thick jungles. However, spread of communal tension and carnage by miscreants at Tegnoupal was prevented due to intervention of security forces

Role of Women in the history of Manipur is laudable. Women Movement (Nupilan) in 1904 against corrupt administration and in 1940 against black marketer marwaris is very well documented. However, their role in correcting social evil of alcoholism amongst men folk in the seventies earned them the title of Meira Paibis (torch bearer) who dispel darkness.

These women used to be awake, wait on the streets/ roads with a lantern in their hand and punish any man seen drunk or drugged. Their movement resulted in closure of liquor shops and Manipur was declared a dry state.

So far so good! Feelings of a mother, sister and a daughter for their menfolk are understandable. But these feelings have also forced them to shield the erring young men who have taken to gun culture. May be the demand for removal of AFSPA is a corollary of the same.

A Delhi based security analyst (Anil Bhat) writes that a study team to survey the effect of AFSPA was sent to Manipur. During interaction with the team, people confessed, ‘though AFSPA should be removed but Army should stay back‘.

Speaking as a chief guest on the golden jubilee celebrations of Bunglong village in Churachandpur district the state Agriculture Minister Parijat said “violence perpetrated by armed groups are aimed at fulfilling their own selfish ends rather for the common good of the people.” As per status paper of MHA for the period 01Jan to 31 Mar 07 there had been 166 incidents of violence in Manipur.

If these groups have their way, they would fragment our beautiful Manipur (a jeweled state) into mini lands like UNLF land, Prepak land, KCP land Kuki land (with further subdivisions of splinter groups) PULF land etc. Do we want this? Certainly not!

There is an old saying “there is always darkness beneath the Lamp”. Now is the time to dispel that darkness. Affinities, insecurities and social needs of different communities and tribes are understandable. But we need to see beyond what meets the eye.

Affiliations/Disaffiliations, Associations/Disassociations of various political parties and UG outfits and the nexus therein can not be ruled out. Whenever there is such violence in public places it is always said that it was done by unidentified men. Why is it that they are always unidentified, when it is a public place and day light hours? May be those who know want to shun their responsibility?

There is a need to understand that security is cooperative, contributory and cumulative phenomenon. No single man or security force can ensure fool proof security unless supported by the people.

We the population of approx 22 lakhs can always correct the erring youth which is not even half percent of total population so that parents don’t lose their sons, sisters don’t lose their brothers, children don’t lose their parent etc. Not to forget the avoidable losses due to bandhs in terms of mandays, study days , productivity, revenue, daily wages etc.


* Geoffery, a freelancer, writes regularly to e-pao.net . The writer can be reached at jaey_geoffery(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)in This article was webcasted on 28th June 2007.



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