The politics of conflict Why is AR here ?
The politics of conflict. More than obvious that even after nearly 180 days of the unrest, Imphal is yet to come anywhere near turning the situation to the advantage of Manipur. Imphal is yet to master the art of taking Delhi along with what Manipur stands for and this is what is deeply disturbing. In the process, what one sees is the tempo being set to the tune churned out from amid the poppy fields and even from across the international border and Imphal and the people of the valley districts being forced to go by the beat. This is what is difficult to swallow and disturbing as well. Initial reports say that police officer Chingtham Anandkumar was killed by a single bullet fired from some distance away. A marksman or to use the more current term, a sniper, effectively negating the involvement of any so called village volunteers or defence volunteers, a term so cunningly used by the Kuki folks to protect their ‘visible to the eye Gods.’ The followup story is also more than a clear indication of the involvement of elements well trained in the art of jungle warfare with at least three police personnel from amongst the reinforcement team suffering bullet injuries of varying degrees in a clinically laid ambush on the Imphal-Moreh route near Sinam village. No village volunteer or a group of rag tag army would be able to draw up the ambush plan and carry out the attack in such a way that three policemen were injured while the attackers made their way safely to base camp. An ambush too would not have been possible without first conducting a study of the terrain, the natural cover it would provide to the attackers as well as the route to take while fleeing the ambush site. All these would need planning and a study of the topography of the ambush site and beyond. This is where intelligence failure is writ large. Moreover what did the Assam Rifles do ? Can a conclusion be drawn that they just sat back and looked at the unfolding scenario even as a police officer was shot dead and a reinforcement team was waylaid with such deadly precision ? These are questions which Imphal should raise to New Delhi and yes the people expect answers. Merely announcing that Delhi has been sounded with these posers will not do.
So what is the politics that Imphal need to pursue ? For one, the foreign hands should be highlighted at the proper fora. As repeatedly pointed out in this column, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has already delivered an address on the floor of Parliament pointing at the involvement of immigrants from across the border. Prime Minister Narendra Modi backed this in informing Parliament that whatever there is to be said has been said by his Home Minister. The came the assertion of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar who pointed to the scourge of immigrants from across the border. Not so long ago, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat rounded the observation of New Delhi in raising a question on the involvement of elements from across the border. Given this situation, one wonders why Imphal has not been able to capitalise on the unfolding situation. It is also extemely important for everyone to note that all the statements delivered by the political leaders and people who matter were not aimed at playing to the gallery for they were not delivered at Manipur or in front of anyone from the State, but before a global audience. Chief Minister N Biren and his men should get their act together and acknowledge that Manipur has to fight the present conflict at many fronts. A police officer has been shot dead in broad daylight. A reinforcement team was waylaid in broad daylight. This is more than enough evidence that well trained elements are involved and at the same time should more than testify that the Assam Rifles did nothing but preferred to watch and observe. Here it becomes relevant to ask if the Assam Rifles is here to assist the State Government or for something else.