APPEAL to NPMR, UNC: And the response
22nd December 2012
Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights, and
United Naga Council
Subject: Appeal and seeking for suggestion
First of all I, on behalf of the Campaign for Peace & Democracy (Manipur), would like to convey my heartfelt greeting to you all for the coming Merry Christmas 2012. May you celebrate the Merry Christmas for peace and prosperity in the years to come!
I have received calls from the Film Forum Manipur regarding the assault upon lead actor of Manipuri digital film Miss Momoko and gun shots targeting actors Mr. Prakash and Mr. Guna in public view during a fund raising concert held at Chandel on 18th December 2012. The Manipur Police and Assam Rifles personnel who were present at the concert venue seemed to have merely watched the crime scene, except a section of the local women who later on intervened and saved the actors from further targeting. The incident and the continuous appeal and protests are being widely published in the media and other social networks.
It is being informed that the assault was perpetrated by one Livingstone Anal, a Lt. Col of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (IM) which has been under peace process with the Government of India. Mr. Livingstone had indulged in the heinous crime under the existing Indian law (we may or may not subscribe to it) and other international human rights standards; such as crime against women, attempt to murder, etc. Such crime is unexpected from one of the senior members of the party that has been playing a crucial role in the Naga peace process. The silence on the part of NSCN-IM regarding the issue is unfortunate as many have expected the party to take up befitting action against Livingstone.
I am also aware of the protest course in Imphal on this issue. Certain sections of the population are emotionally responding. My apprehension is that the oppressed peoples in the Northeast are caught in the viscous cycle of sectarian and mutually exclusive politics. Criminal incident such as the 18th December 2012 assault, if not addressed collectively, could be used for sectarian campaigns by vested agents only to create negative result for the oppressed peoples.
The emotional situation could be taken advantage by certain vested sections to mislead the people in Manipur and beyond. This trend needs to be controlled. I believe that good and bad persons exist in every society. Any party or organization should not be held responsible for the crime unless the party had covered up the crime or defended the criminal. The State may or may not punish Livingstone. But I consider it politically incorrect to let away an emotionally hurt section of the people to rely on the existing neo-liberal State as the only option to address their grievance. It would be unfortunate to let the people into blindly upholding or legitimizing the role of the State that had been destructive, oppressive and exploitative on several fronts. The oppressed peoples had to find collective solution so that there also cultivate a sense of fraternity.
The demand of the victims is restricted to befitting punishment of Livingstone. The demand may be addressed without the role of the State and without media provocation in the Indian cities or beyond. I, therefore, have written this appeal with positive intention for your goodwill intervention and earliest solution to this issue. Since I do not have the contact of the NSCN- IM leadership, I would like to request that the appeal is being forwarded to them by anyone who could do the favor.
Dr. Malem Ningthouja
Campaign for Peace & Democracy (Manipur)
United Naga Council
To malem ningthouja
Dear Dr Ningthouja,
Thank you for the appeal. on the unfortunate Chandel episode. We will intervene in ways possible for us and also forward your letter to the concerned authorities.