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Manipur Violence: Civilians reduced to mere skeletons devoid of vitality or strength

Shelter is scarce, the means for sustenance are absent, and children's education has been  derailed. What is truly required are provisions like medicine, food, clothing, financial assistance to kick-start  livelihoods, educational resources for children, homes that provide security, and a sense of fearlessness, writes Meetei

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By S. J. Meetei  

Over 150 individuals have tragically perished, and over 60,000 people have been displaced in  the turbulent incident that occurred on May 3rd in Manipur. Thousands of houses were burnt,  many worship places fell victim. The final tally is still being calculated as the situation remains  at its most critical point. Despite the deployment of over 50,000 security personnel, the flame  still continues to be active. Having all this known, it is inaccurate to view this incident as a  spontaneous eruption. As time progresses, a discernible pattern emerges, indicating the  deliberate orchestration of the aforementioned event. Regrettably, despite numerous pieces  of evidence pointing to premeditated planning for this chaos, the authorities have been  unable to apprehend the responsible parties. This fact astonishes me more than anything  else. It appears that the government plays a significant role in fanning the flames of this  disorder.  

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There is substantial proof to suggest that the idea of ethnically cleansing the Meitei community  for the purpose of establishing a separate statehood or a distinct Kukiland has been  contemplated for countless millennia. This notion is underscored by the renaming of the  Meitei localities in Moreh in Kuki dialect. For example Moreh Turel Wangma as Chikim Village,  Moreh Khunou Leikai as T Yangnom Village, Moreh Premnagar as Phaicham Village. The same  has been in other parts of kuki dominated areas like Churachandpur, and even the holy sacred  place like Thangjing Hill as Thangting, serving as tangible indications of this agenda.  

I am profoundly saddened by the fact that despite the emergence of numerous pieces of evidence, the  government has remained a passive observer, displaying minimal action against the  perpetrators. These circumstances carry significant implications and cannot outright dismiss  the potential involvement of the government in orchestrating this chaos. Conversely, various  Meitei communities have presented substantial evidence via social media that implicates  Assam Rifles in this widespread disorder. A video depicting a military officer casually  interacting with a gun while dressed in swimwear alongside Kuki militants/civilians has been  circulating. However, the concrete steps taken in response to this incident have been lacking,  failing to reassure the public that such behaviour is unacceptable and that stringent measures  are being taken against such misconduct by a military officer. All of these actions by the  military officer only serve to further incite the Meitei communities.  

Furthermore, the state assembly session on August 29, 2023 concluded without yielding any  productive outcomes, resulting in a squandering of taxpayers’ money. The government remains as mere spectator despite Kuki militants consistently targeting the ordinary Meitei citizens, yet there has been a conspicuous absence of response from the central security  forces.  

The prevailing situation in Manipur mirrors a state of war. The elite and machinery remain  untouched, while the casualties of these deep-rooted riots are the ordinary citizens. Many  lives have been shattered, and countless individuals now battle mental depression. The  orchestrators of this drama, the political, the drug kingship and its allies, have incurred no  losses – only the civilians bear the brunt of this meticulously planned turmoil. It’s  disheartening to contemplate the future of these affected civilians, reduced to mere  skeletons devoid of vitality or strength. Shelter is scarce, the means for sustenance are  absent, and children’s education has been derailed.  

I’m saddened by the behaviour of numerous political parties that have sought to capitalize on  this unfortunate event. Mere words without corresponding actions from these parties will  not serve as the healing balm needed. What is truly required are provisions like medicine,  food, clothing, financial assistance to kick-start livelihoods, educational resources for  children, homes that provide security, and a sense of fearlessness. Remarkably, none of the  political parties have even contemplated donating from their party funds to aid these  circumstances.  

Moreover, there are rumours circulating that plans for granting additional autonomy in Kuki  dominated places are underway, in an attempt to appease the narco-terrorism. But what  about the thousands of Meitei people who have lost their lives and been displaced due to the  acts of terrorism carried out by these illegal immigrants? This situation underscores the  government’s failure to address the culprits who have tarnished the beauty of Manipur  through their narco-terror activities. I find it hard to grasp the logical justification behind the  agreement between the state and central governments, which dictates that during times of  this unrest, the central government is responsible for overseeing the hill regions, while the  state government manages affairs in the valley. However, the central government has been  unable to rein in the influx of illegal encroachers who repeatedly pose threats to the valley’s  peace. Even reported that the brave Indian security forces, a source of national pride, are  stained by the actions of a few officers who behave more like playboy figures, dressed in  swimming attire, and treating their guns like toys while engaging with undressed Kuki  militants.

Additionally, there have been reports indicating a significant surge in electoral voter  counts within these Kuki-inhabited areas. Surprisingly, none of the political parties have  voiced their concerns about this, as it appears to align with their vested interests. I am a  concerned citizen whose homes and properties were vandalized and set ablaze, first in 2015  and then again in 2023, by this wave of illegal kuki narco-terrorism. These illegal immigrants  have infiltrated Moreh in recent years. Countless lives have been shattered as a result of this  unlawful influx, and it is imperative for the government to halt these illicit culprits before law-abiding citizens feel compelled to take matters into their own hands. 

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the NEA.

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