Time for the political class to act Abrogate SoO call
Time for the political class to act. Time to live up to the billing of political leaders and justify the trust and confidence that people have reposed in them. This is where Chief Minister N Biren will need to bring all together and lead from the front, walk the talk and give meaning to the understanding of ‘First Among Equals’. ‘The current situation isn’t a dispute between two communities. It is very clear from the report of the NIA, the highest investigating agency of the country, that there is a hand of external forces. The present crisis should have settled if it wasn’t for their meddling.’ This is a direct quote from the Chief Minister in his chat with The Indian Express just the other day and it does not need rocket science calculation to zero in on who the external forces are, who have tied up with them and who have given them the needed local logistics to carry on the mayhem in Manipur. It is also more than clear that the Ministry of Home Affairs would not just ask or direct the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe the hands of at least three Kuki militant groups and one Zomi group in the Manipur crisis on hearsay. While the NIA is best left to conduct the probe with all the needed co-operation extended, it is the job of the State Government to politically approach the Centre and see how the Suspension of Operation pact with these Kuki and Zomi groups can be revoked. There could be more, but for the moment, it is these outfits which are being probed. Not something easy but definitely something which is within the realm of the reachable, if Imphal plays its cards well and the people extend their co-operation. To get a better understanding of the genesis of the clash, it is important to go back to May 3, 2023, the day it all started. The days preceding May 3 may be taken into account, but remember what happened before the said date may be taken as the Kuki-Chins protesting the policies and programmes of the Government, but it was on May 3 that the people of a particular community, the Meiteis in this case were specifically targeted. That things were planned well in advance may be surmised from the very fact that media persons from outside India were already camping at Churachandpur. Only a well planned move would have been in the position to get the media based in other parts of the country to sing the stories so efficiently cooked up by the Kukis, so much so that even the Editors’ Guild of India, in its report thought it fit to toe their line and carry the picture of a burnt Forest office and tag it as a house of the Kukis set afire by a Meitei mob !
The groups which are currently under the lense of the NIA are the Kuki National Army (KNA), Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA), Kuki National Front (Nehlun faction) and the United Kuki Liberation Army (UKLA). And given the fact that it is the Union Home Ministry which has asked the NIA to probe their hands in the ongoing clash, the State Government should capitalise on the latest development. Roll back or suspend the SoO pact was a call that reverberated across the sky at Imphal and the valley districts and this is now the opportune moment to reiterate this stand. As noted earlier here, Chief Minister N Biren will need to proceed further from the loud proclamations and see how the case may be pursued further with the Centre. If and when the involvement of the said outfits is established, then what ? How will Delhi respond to the new findings ? More importantly what is its stand right now, apart from asking the NIA to probe the involvement of the said armed groups in the current crisis ? Will it be a case of just waiting for the NIA to wind up its probe and study its report or what more is up the sleeves of Union Home Minister Amit Shah ? The Chief Minister will also need to capitalise on the good report that the Union Home Minister delivered on the floor of Parliament some time in July. If the Chief Minister has the trust of New Delhi, then what is stopping him from raising the demand to abrogate the SoO pact with the Kuki armed outfits ? Abrogate the SoO pact and this will go a long way in silencing the guns on either side. That the Chairman of the ZRA, Thanglianpau Guite is a Myanmarese is established and one wonders how New Delhi can engage in a dialogue with a foreigner. This is one line that should be highlighted.