Ideal military-civil relations explored at MU meet


IMPHAL, Jan 7: With the objective of strengthening the civil-military relationship in Manipur, a one-day seminar on the theme “Fostering Civil-Military Relations” was jointly organized by Red Shield Division and Manipur University today at the Centenary Hall of Manipur University, Canchipur, Imphal.
Academicians and Army brass including GOC of Red Shield Division, Major Gen DS Hooda spoke at the seminar as resource persons.
The first session of the seminar was moderated by Prof. N. Mohendro while the second session was moderated by N. Binoy Singh of Senior Citizens’ for Society Dwelling on the topic “Security Force’s Perspective”, Major Gen DS Hooda stated that human rights are a major issue and they become much more aggravated in a state affected by insurgency. The role of the security forces is to assist the state government in bringing about a situation where governance and development activities can take place, he noted.
The GOC further maintained that the Indian Army has a clear cut policy on human rights which is of zero tolerance.  
He said 1500 charges of human rights violations have been filed against the Army during the period 1990-2009 out of which 53 cases were found true and in 17 cases the Army has taken the suo-motto cognizance.  A total of 104 personnel including 39 officers have been punished for human rights violations. And also during the same period of 1990-2009, 3806 soldiers died in counter insurgency operations and almost 10,000 soldiers were injured.     
The foundation of the counter-insurgency operations is based on making the civilian populations secure. The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) does not tell the Army to shoot anybody nor it gives any impunity to the Army to behave in such a manner, Hooda averred.
Prof. Bimol Akoijam of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, spoke on the topic “Youth as harbinger of peace and largest stakeholders”. He said that the youths as well as the aged people of Manipur are in a confused state with feelings of frustrations and as a result their thinking capacities have been drastically reduced.
Owing to these degrading social norms the people cannot voice against wrongdoings in the society. The people of the state have remained passive despite problems of price rise and artificial scarcity of essential commodities, he noted.
Bimol asserted that the whole state of Manipur has been militarized like a war zone mainly due to the wrong policies of the policy-makers of the country who do not know the ground reality of the state.
The Chief Editor of ISTV News, Yumanm Rupachandra stated that there should be electoral reforms so as to bring a radical change in the Manipuri society. The people of the state should be cautious against contractors turned politicians who have sprung up in large numbers during the past few years, he noted.
The ex-chairperson of Manipur State Women’s Commission, Ch. Jamini stated that the civil-military relationship can be fostered only if the things discussed in the seminar are translated into action rather than organizing such seminars frequently.
The other resource persons of the seminar were Ratna Mutum of Little Flower School, Dr. Priyoranjan of Manipur University, Dr. Khelena Gurumayum of Manipur University and Prof. Bhagat Oinam of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. 


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