Unwanted deafening silence
The dead tells no tale
The silence of the Government is deafening. Or is this a case of selective silence with nothing dignified about it ? In as much as the Government has maintained an aloof stand, the cry of the Justice for Sanaton has only been getting more and more vocal with each passing day, underlining the point that such voices cannot be muffled by sheer indifference. On March 15, the young MBBS student Sanaton Athokpam was found hung to death in his hostel room with allegations that his hands were found tied behind his back when the body was found. As is natural, anyone found dead hanging with both the hands tied is bound to arouse suspicion of the highest degree and it is on this premise that the Justice for Sanaton and obviously the family members are not ready to buy the ‘suicide theory’ which anyone found hung to death would most likely suggest. Allegations have also been raised that the feet of the young student were muddied, and obviously the hostel rooms at RIMS would not be muddy. From where did the young MBBS student get his feet muddied ? No answers yet and it is this ‘no answers’ line which has upped the suspicion of the Justice for Sanaton. In such cases, it is expected of the Government to reach out and see what may be done to put to rest any suspicion. If the young student was not murdered, then let it be officially confirmed. If he was indeed put to death, as the Justice for Sanaton suspects, then let this also be put to rest by letting the truth come out in the open. The demand of the Justice for Sanaton sounds perfectly logical. That is, establish the truth behind the death of the young student and it stands that any findings should be above board and there should be no room for suspicion and misgivings.
The angst and the frustrations of the Justice for Sanaton is understandable but as in any movement seeking justice from the Government, extra care should be taken to ensure that no rooms are created to rub anybody the wrong way. It was just a few days back that reporters and newspapers houses in Imphal were forced to strike a tough stand when a correspondent was physically threatened by one of the more zealous protesters. It took senior Editors, journalists and senior members of Justice for Sanaton to come to an understanding and take steps to ensure that such things do not repeat in the future. However things do not always go according to the book and on April 9, came reports of how some reporters were barred from crossing the road barricades put up by the Justice for Sanaton volunteers. This is what is avoidable. Lest it blows over the head of the protesters, many Imphal based reporters stay at the side of the area where the Justice for Sanaton is carrying out its protest. Moreover it should also not be forgotten that media persons need to cover the news. Or if the Justice for Sanaton is of the opinion that their protest does not need media coverage then it is a different matter. Protest but do it with a sense of responsibility, should be the calling card of everyone.