Over 180 days and counting Defang the militants
180 days and counting. What steps have been taken up to bring about a semblance of normalcy ? Obvious the Government is at a loss and it should say something significant that it took the murder of a police officer to let the Government take the first significant step towards sanitising Moreh. The detection of illegal migrants and items which can be used only for assaults such as pipe guns, bulletproof vests and explosives says so much about how gun toting elements have been calling the shots at the border town. There must be other such hideouts in and near Moreh town and one hopes the security personnel are able to flush out all the militants holed up there, confiscate the arms and ammunition and detect the illegal migrants, who pose a grave threat to the demography of the land. With each passing day of the clash, which has already completed 180 days, the involvement of well trained armed persons is becoming clearer and clearer and one is left wondering why Delhi has not spoken out a word on this. Foreign hands or illegal immigrants giving a push or masterminding the eruption of the violence and its subsequent prolongation is something which New Delhi has already admitted but left short of stating what steps would be taken to neutralise the foreign hands. An answer which Manipur has been looking for ever since the Tribal Solidarity March erupted in all its ugliness on May 3 at Churachandpur. The looting of thousands of guns from the police armouries during the initial stage of the conflict should be understood and appreciated in the backdrop of the fact that gunshots are continuously being fired at the foothills from atop the hills and no one knows whether the SoO cadres are in their designated camps or not. Which gun killed the SDPO at Moreh on October 31 ? Was it some country made gun or a sniper rifle, as widely believed ? Only the Government can answer this and this should more than confirm the worst fear of Manipur that well trained armed cadres of underground outfits are involved in the present conflict. One also wonders why the numerous, ‘educative’, well informed articles penned by some of the better known personalities of India have never bothered to raise the question of from where the bullets fired at the foothills come from ? What is the type of bullet that killed the BSF jawan during the initial days of the conflict ? It should be an open and shut case but there is nothing to indicate that Imphal and Delhi have taken the trouble of going further to get a clearer picture of the incident.
Clean Moreh of all elements inimical to mankind. The methodical ethnic cleansing at the border town needs to be reversed and that reversal can come when the gun toting elements are flushed out and survivors who escaped from the border town are allowed to return. For normalcy to return, the wings of the trouble makers should be clipped and it is more than clear that the gun toting elements have progressed from merely participating in the Tribal Solidarity March of May 3 to now training their guns on the people who stand by the idea of Manipur. From striking the first match stick at Torbung on May 3, to levelling the abandoned Meitei houses at Churachandpur to the ground, to checking each and every vehicle that passes through Motbung and Kangpokpi looking for anyone from the other side of the clash divide and this is the story that has been scripted to keep the unrest going on for the last 180 days without a break. With the ongoing operation at Moreh bringing to light many of the things which have been suspected for long, now is the time for Imphal to raise the demand that the SoO pact with the Kuki-Zo militants be scrapped. The findings from Moreh should go along with what Union Home Minister Amit Shah informed Parliament some time back, the stand of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and the poser raised with a reason by the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat some time back. Now is the time to deliver the potent blow. It will be a tall call, no doubt, but the demand should be raised and CSOs standing by the idea of a Manipur should rally around this call. Manipur should not be taken for granted by anyone.