From Chandel, 2012 to Zunheboto, 2013 Burning the bridge with the public

Shame on the NSCN (IM). From the December 18 molestation of a film actress at Chandel in Manipur last year to now the molestation of two women at Zunheboto district in Nagaland on December 21, it has come full circle. Defiling the spirit of the festive season, which Christmas heralds. Arrogance is written in bold in the two incidents and this is what the people are up against. Not exactly an equation, but the ceasefire pact with the Government of India seems to have given the sense of immunity and impunity to the NSCN (IM) cadres much like the sense of immunity and impunity granted to the Indian Army and other para-military forces under the infamous Armed Forces Special Powers Act. As things stand today, the public of Zunheboto have raised a war cry and are trying to drive out the NSCN (IM) cadres holed up in the designated camp at Mukali in Zunheboto district. From ‘National workers’, a badge worn with pride by the cadres of the outfit, they now seem to have descended to the level of imbeciles, stalking women and molesting them, all under the power of the gun and of course the free run given by the non-implementation of the ceasefire ground rules in letter and spirit. Enough is enough is what the people of Zunheboto are demonstrating in their confrontation with the armed cadres of the outfit. So far, nothing has come from the side of the collective leadership of the NSCN (IM), or if it has come, it has not come to the notice of The Sangai Express and this is what is baffling. Silence on the matter may just amount to turning a blind eye to the acts of goondaism indulged in by some of its cadres, which by extension could be interpreted as giving the license to its cadres to do whatever they want. True just as a swallow does not make a summer, the acts of some its recalcitrant cadres should not be used to paint the whole outfit. But in merely stating that the culprits or accused involved in the case would be punished according to the provisions of the outfit would amount to trying to pull wool over the eyes of the public. Or is the NSCN (IM) aping the Indian Army, which always comes up with its own version of justice delivery system under AFSPA, far away from the view of the public ?

Riding rough shod over the sentiments of the people. This is what the NSCN (IM) has been doing consistently ever since it silenced its guns against the ‘original’ nemesis, the Indian Army. Under the garb of peace, it is now the public which have been at the receiving ends of the outfit for long. ‘Taxes’ imposed on not only on the highways and rich traders and businessmen, but also on charcoal sellers. An example is Ukhrul district headquarters where womenfolk who come to sell charcoals, just so that their families may enjoy the festivities that come along with Christmas have to cough up a certain amount as ‘taxes’. The spirit of raising the banner of a revolution on behalf of the people has now been reduced to an agenda for personal fulfilment. This can easily be gauged from the luxurious mansions and buildings built by cadres and leaders of the outfit at Wungram Colony in Dimapur and at other places where their writs and diktats run deep. To be sure, it is not only Delhi and the peace negotiations that the leadership of the NSCN (IM) need to concentrate on, but on the behaviour and attitude of its cadres. Difficult it may be at one level, but easy at another level. Difficult to monitor the activities of each and every single cadre, but easy to listen to the voices of the people. The marching orders given by the people of Zunheboto and the open confrontations should be more than indicative that the bridge that connects the outfit with the people has been burnt. And it goes without saying that without the people, it makes absolutely no sense in engaging in a political dialogue with the Government of India. For the moment, the NSCN (IM) should hang its head in shame and repent. Justice should be delivered and more importantly it should also seem to have been delivered. And taking recourse to such terms as ‘provisions’ of the outfit would be against this spirit, for to the public, such terms maybe nothing more than jargons.