Where have the guns come from ? Answers awaited

It was with a reason why The Sangai Express used the term ‘terrorists’ to refer to the armed persons who fired on totally unarmed, harmless farmers who were out on the field to tend to their work and in the process killing one of them. Not the first time that such attacks have been launched,  and the right questions ought to have been raised a long time back. It certainly was not a rag tag group of armed persons who opened fire at the farmers, but had all the markings of persons trained in jungle warfare. People trained to take long range shots and obviously no one armed with just single barrelled guns or country made guns would have had the audacity to fire long range shots on farmers who were out working in the fields. Where did the sophisticated guns come from ? Who wields such sophisticated guns ? Can a single barrelled gun or a country made gun fire the type of bullets that killed the farmer and injured scores of others ? It is from this premise that the Government should build a water tight case that there are trained militants, who have morphed into plain terrorists, and ignited the clash on May 3. This is where questions should be raised on the much tom tommed buffer zones and the large scale deployment of Central security forces ever since Manipur went up in flames from the evening of May 3. Where were the security forces when the well armed militants opened fire at the farmers tilling the field ? Can a village volunteer fire with such precision that he or she can hit the target with such deadly accuracy ? How long does it take the police or the Army or the Central Para-Military force to train its jawan to fire the gun accurately ? A reply to this should answer the question of how the man tilling the field was shot dead with such deadly accuracy. New Delhi and Imphal have rung the alarm bell over the number of arms looted from different police armouries ever since the clash started, but the troubling point is nobody has ever bothered to question why certain people felt it necessary to arm themselves. Has any attempt been made to sincerely answer this question ? No doubt it is dangerous to let arms fall into the hands of the civilians, particularly at a time like this when two communities are literally gunning for each other, but why have no questions been raised on from where the guns fired from atop the hills have come ? How about the endless rounds of ammunition ? Where have they come from ? The clash should be seen in its totality and silencing just one side will not help resolve the matter at hand.
It is more than obvious that the Government, either at Imphal or Delhi, is just not ready to deal with the situation sincerely. It is like striking the pose, ‘Let them kill each other and when they are tired, things will cool down,’ and this is what Manipur has been experiencing since May 3. This is where New Delhi would need to move from the observation made on the floor of Parliament by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the large scale infiltration from across the border. The first step obviously would mean taking up the needed steps to implement the National Register of Citizens in Manipur with the base year set at 1951. Such a move would go a long way in cooling down the frayed nerves of the people in the valley and it would be an extension of what the Union Home Minister admitted on the floor of Parliament. The very fact that the proposal to implement the NRC here has been opposed by some people should more than reflect the reality and how some have capitalised on it. Arguments or debates will be there on how it has not worked in Assam, but that should be of no import at the moment, for NRC is the first step towards putting the illegal migrants in their right places. Next should be to announce steps on how to deal with the large scale drug business. Long before May 3, The Sangai Express had been demanding that the State Government should name the druglords and not be merely satisfied with arresting the petty drug pushers here and there but to go after the big fishes. Now is the time for the Government to show more substance to its War on Drugs slogan and accordingly take up steps to unmask those in the drug trade.