Leader Writer: Wangkheimayum Bhupendra Singh
For the state and its people, 2013 was a mixed bag, marred by several violent incidents, drug related cases; and remediated by land mark judgements and the return of several armed groups to the mainstream by laying down their arms among others. Violent explosions and crimes especially against women and children featured frequently last year in the state. The first half of the year was also marked by the arrest of several high profile individuals in connection with illegal drug trafficking and the subsequent drama which followed the arrest.
The year started on an ominous note, with the arrest of two IRB personnel in connection with the alleged abduction and killing of the proprietor of Mangalam Plywood Factory. The earlier part of the year was also rocked by the arrest of several high profile individuals for carrying pseudoephedrine hydrochloride drugs worth over Rs 20 crore. 2013 also witnessed three armed outfits- United Revolutionary Front (URF), KYKL/MDF and the KCP, Lamphel group laying down their arms and entering the peace initiative of the centre and the state. A series of bomb blast had also rocked the state in 2013, with the most prominent being the explosion of an Improvised Explosive Device on September 13 at Khoyathong Pukhri Achouba Mapal, killing nine and injuring 12 others. Gruesome cases like the killing of a research fellow Ningombam Satyabhama among others had also rocked the state.
The increase in the frequency of crimes against women and children in recent times had been such that a 17 year old girl from the state Sougaijam Bidyalakshmi, was stirred up to take a cycle tour of the entire 82 districts of the seven North Eastern states and spread the message of stopping violence against women. The past couple of years had seen a spate of such crimes which, as pointed out on numerous occasions, reflects the moral degradation that the people of the state are undergoing at present. The society as such should also be conscious of its responsibility in checking and containing such crimes; and the backlashes it has to face in case the crimes go unchecked for long.
Meanwhile, on a brighter side, there were also certain developments during the past year, which if not were outright positive, could certainly act as the catalyst to many positive changes in the state. In a landmark judgement, the Sessions Judge, Manipur West had sentenced four convicts in the sensational U-Morok rape case to life imprisonments. The Sessions Judge, Manipur East had also sentenced two accused in the TG rape case to fifteen years of Rigorous Imprisonment.
However, the violence and destructions witnessed during the past year seem to hang on to the New Year. The state woke up on the New Year morning to the reverberating sounds of two IED explosions within a span of few minutes. A woman, who was stabbed repeatedly by her nephew on the day with a motive of robbery, also succumbed to the injuries. A New Year brings high hopes, dreams and desires for a peaceful, prosperous and more productive year, and violence could only act as a deterrent. Such times call for a retrospection of the past and treading carefully so as to forsake all past wrongs and chose the correct path.