Taking steps towards normalcy Drop the two Ministers
Over six months and it is only right that the Government is questioned on what it intends to do. Let the status quo continue or work something out ? No answer at the moment, especially if one looks at the reality all over Manipur, but the validity of the question, ‘what the Government intends to do’ will continue to stand. It was pathetic failure of judgment that allowed the so called Tribal Solidarity March to be staged at all in the first place on May 3. The writings on the wall were clear and the ST for Meiteis demand was just an alibi magnificently cooked up to garner support from the Naga community. That this did not come to fruition is there for all to see and The Sangai Express has already pointed this out on more than one occasion. Everyone also knows how the rally turned ugly at Churachandpur, spread to the Kuki dominated areas of Kangpokpi and Moreh while Imphal and the valley areas reacted late in the evening of May 3. The Sangai Express stand by this line ‘Imphal reacted late in the evening of May 3’ after news of what happened or was happening at Torbung and Churachandpur reached here, and perhaps the visit to the office of this newspaper in the evening of May 3 by a prominent Kuki personality to get a news report published, not of the clash, should underline this point. Ask the Kuki gentleman to confirm the ‘reacted late in the evening’ line and it would be so good if the ITLF, CoTU and even KIM can take this initiative. It is against this fact that the ITLF, CoTU, KIM, the 10 Kuki MLAs including 7 from the BJP, have gone to town playing the victim card and coining the ‘Solution First, Peace Later’ slogan. It is also more than clear that the longer the clash and unrest drags on the more it would suit those who stand against the idea of Manipur as a geo-political reality and this is where the Government should seriously study the option of getting the Suspension of Operation pact suspended or at the very least get it reviewed. The BJP led Government at New Delhi should be made to understand that the SoO pact was inked when it was not in power, either at Delhi or Imphal. Now it is confusing to see that the BJP which is intent on discontinuing everything associated with the Congress should carry on a SoO pact signed with no logic at all back in 2005. It is also equally flabbergasting to note that the BJP ruled Government at Imphal has so far failed to capitalise on this and take up the matter with the Delhi leaders.
If Manipur is to start taking the first step towards normalcy then Imphal should take the first step to focus on the SoO pact and study the options of how to get it abrogated or, as stated earlier here, to get it reviewed. The agenda should be clear. Already a number of cadres belonging to different Kuki armed outfits have been arrested with arms and some with drugs. The involvement of the Kuki armed groups in the ongoing clash should be an open and shut case and one wonders why the Centre continues to give them the long rope. A look back at the May 3 march as well as at the time when Meitei houses were attacked and levelled to the ground at Torbung and Churachandpur should more than make it clear on how the armed groups galvanised the Kuki-Zo folks to run amok and reduce the Meitei houses to rubbles at Torbung and Churachandpur. Proscribe the SoO outfits, defang them-this is the call which Imphal should raise effectively before Delhi and this could be one sure way of making Manipur take the first step towards normalcy. For over 6 months, Manipur has been on the boil and apart from stressing on the need to immobilise cadres of the SoO outfits, the Government here may also seriously study the option of dropping the two Kuki BJP Ministers who are among those to have raised the separate administration call from the Council of Ministry. Surely this is something which is very much within the reach of the Chief Minister. This will go a long way in healing the hurt sentiments of the people of Manipur.