Guns and violence in run up to polls Crack the case fast !

    11-Jan-2022
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Son shot dead, father grievously injured. This was at Heirok Assembly Constituency on December 22 last year. Fast forward to January 9, 2022 and two persons shot dead at Samurou Awang Leikai under Wangoi Assembly Constituency late in the evening. The twin killings at Samurou may or may not be related to any pre-poll activities, but it is nonetheless a matter of grave concern that such mindless acts of violence should occur when Manipur is in the grip of an election preparing to go to polls.  As noted, the late evening murder of the two men may not be related to the coming Assembly election, but significant to note that the run up to the pending election has been mired in unsavoury incidents in more than one Assembly Constituency and if not handled right, then there is every possibility that this case may be given a political tinge and this is what is disturbing. Violence is not new to Manipur, but what makes the twin murder all that more disturbing is the point that this has come at a time when there is hectic electioneering all over. As noted, it may not be related in any way to the coming election, but the twin murder can cast a long shadow on the polls and this is where the State police would need to get its act together fast and get down to the bottom of the matter and spell out its findings to the public. No room should be created for conjectures to flourish. Killings, shootings etc are not new to Manipur, but in majority of the cases, it has been about the stand offs between the security forces and those who have taken up arms against the State and when seen against this backdrop, this is what makes the late evening killing at Samurou all that more unacceptable.
Poll related or not, but definitely the run up to the Assembly election has seen some ugly incidents and Manipur can certainly do without all these. This is where the State Government will need to get its act together and pull up the culprits as soon as possible. With the Election Commission of India having already notified the poll schedule on January 8 and with political parties expected to announce the list of candidates anytime now, tension can reign heavy in any Assembly Constituency. This is all that more so, as there are more than two/three intending candidates having lined up for a political party at many Assembly Constituencies. The twin killings at Wangoi may not be related to the coming Assembly elections, but it can have a cascading effect and the presence of so many intending candidates can queer the pitch. This is one point that should not be dismissed. Violence and tension have been reported from other Assembly Constituencies too and the necessary steps ought to be taken up well before hand to nip any sign of trouble in the bud. For starters, let the police investigate the Samurou killing thoroughly and take it to its logical conclusion so that all conjectures may be put to rest. Tension must already be running high at Wangoi Assembly Constituency and the best way to address the tension would be to ensure a speedy conclusion of the case.