‘Taken note of camps’ of the NSCN (IM) Unofficial truce pact
Dead men tell no tales but it sure can wake up people to the harsh reality and the overwhelming question that has been raised everywhere is what the State Government intends to do with the many camps of the NSCN (IM) opened in the hill districts of Manipur. And when one talks about the camps of the NSCN (IM) on the soil of Manipur, it is always qualified by the reality that the ceasefire between the outfit and the Government of India is not extended to the soil of the land. This is the official line and the stand of the people of Manipur is, the official line should be followed in letter and spirit. And this stand should be understood in the context of the Great June Uprising of 2001 when the line ‘without geographical limits’ was inserted in the Bangkok pact of June 14, 2001. That the spirit behind the stand of the people has been trampled upon and walked over can easily be gauged by the fact that the Assam Rifles had at one point of time admitted to the existence of ‘Taken Note’ of camps. These camps are located at Oklong in Senapati district, Bunning in Tamenglong district, Phunchung in Chandel district and apart from these camps there are more than enough materials to underline that there are camps of the size of a brigade in the said districts, most probably coming under the main camps located at the said districts. The battered and defaced body of Athuan Abonmai has again brought these camps back to the limelight with Bunning being at the epicentre. The important question is, how much can the State Government do to get these camps removed ? The ceasefire is between the Centre and the NSCN (IM) and the State Government does not figure anywhere near the pact and herein lies the importance of the question whether the State Government has it in them to get these camps removed or not.
Already a video recording of Chief Minister N Biren, before he was named to the top post, has gone viral where the seasoned politician is audibly heard questioning why the then Congress Government did not do anything to get these camps removed. Fast forward to 2021 and the same question may be raised to the Chief Minister now and this is where he would need to spell out whether the State Government has it in them to get these camps cleared or not. Without a nod from the Centre, the Assam Rifles and Army will obviously not be part of any operation to get these camps removed and one wonders whether the State police have it in them to clear these camps. One here is reminded of the abortive bid launched by the BSF alone to clear Sajik Tampak about 20 years back. Manipur has already paid a heavy price for the peace process between the NSCN (IM) and New Delhi and it is time for the Central Government to come to the point that the voice of outrage being aired right now extends beyond the brutalised and defaced body of Athuan Abonmai. Get this very clear.