Firing on a funeral service Plain terrorism !
Plain terrorism it was. Nothing less than this and Chief Minister N Biren was bang on target in stating that it was an act which only terrorists could have carried out. This much is clear. There is no doubt about it. But look a little deeper and some things just do not add up. The two suspected cadres of the Kuki National Liberation Army were reportedly gunned down by security forces on October 10 and the question therefore is why should unidentified gunmen, most probably cadres of an armed outfit open indiscriminate firing on the people who had gathered for the funeral service of two of the four deceased persons ? Could it have been a case of group rivalry ? Even if the answer is yes, what purpose did it serve for the two cadres were already dead. Or did the attackers plan to attack any of the mourners who had gathered for the funeral service ? No answers so far and it wouldn’t be surprising if no answers come forthwith, but there are just no words strong enough to condemn such a diabolical act. That gunmen could come, open indiscriminate firing on a group of mourners and then disappear also tells the story of how fragile the law and order situation can be in some parts of the hill districts. How did the armed men move so easily, so much so that they could creep up on a funeral service, open fire non-chalantly and then disappear into the jungle or the villages. This is a question which the State Government should seek to answer and such wanton killings can surely cast a long shadow on the ongoing peace deal between the Government of India, Government of Manipur and the Kuki armed groups which have come under the Suspension of Operation pact. It was dastardly by any stretch of the imagination and given the way funeral service are held, it must have been a solemn occasion with the mourners carrying their Bibles and flipping through the pages as the Pastor or the man conducting the service prays and reads out from the pages of the Holy Book. It was a slap not only against humanity but also on the religious beliefs of the deceased persons and those who had turned up for the funeral service.
The Chief Minister has every reason to feel piqued and take a tough stand. One hopes the tough stand translates into something concrete and at least the killers are identified, named and action taken up against them accordingly. Lest one forgets, amongst the three persons killed one was a 9 year old child. Murdering a child ! Add to this the fact that another child, a two year old child, was also injured in the gun fire and one can have a fair idea of the mentality of the men who opened fire, killing randomly and at will. This is not to be tolerated. Let the civil society organisations whose voice run large in the area where the killing took place come out and say a categorical no to such a barbaric killing. Perhaps it would help for the Government to seriously study which group’s writ runs large at B Gamnom village and accordingly proceed with the investigation. The BJP led Government will need to show that it means business and no group or anyone can take the law into their hands as they please. Four suspected cadres of an outfit killed in a shoot out with the security forces. Two days later, unidentified gunmen open fire at the funeral service of two of the four slain persons and this is where things do not seem to add up, but this is the very reason why the case needs to be probed thoroughly, for lawlessness is written all over the incident.