Stop Playing With Bombs and Words

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The May 29 bomb explosion at the crowded market place of Singjamei was another senseless act committed by ‘cowards’. Yes, this was the word used by most of the political leaders who visited the site of the blast. The same word was used when the leaders spoke to the media at the sidelines of their visit to the victims who are still fighting for their life in some of the hospitals in Imphal. Planting bomb at a busy market place is a sign of insanity. Let us all agree with that. Indications are that the blast was targeted at some particular community. Yet a bomb is not so intelligent to differentiate between people of different communities. It can hurt or kill anyone having no prejudice. One valley based proscribed outfit has charged that it could be a sinister design of the state to show Manipur in a bad light. We cannot ascertain the charge thrown against the state by the outfit as of now. But on hindsight, Chief Minister visited the site of the blast. After that the CM visited the victims in the hospitals, like any other responsible leader. He said the government will not spare the perpetrators. Besides, the CM did not ruled out the possibility of the bomb being targeted at the non-locals as the area is often crowded by them. Yet the motive can only be ascertained after proper investigation and apprehension of the perpetrators involved, the CM also added. We cannot imagine how many more bombs will be exploded in crowded areas in the days to come. People of Imphal have seen a series of bomb blast in the recent past. We have not heard of a single perpetrator getting caught by the state police so far. Both the CM and the deputy CM were brave enough to cover up the failure of the state security, maintaining that there have been no lapses from the part of the home department. Needless to mention that the site of the blast has round the clock security deployment; with the army sentry snooping down from the height of the Chinga Ching as well. As we have mentioned in this column earlier, most of the check points in Imphal have already been outsourced to the ‘quasi force’ called the Village Defense Force. These VDF are engaged only in two kinds of duties. One is to frisk the youngsters, who are on two wheelers and check every personal belongings needlessly. Secondly, checking the vehicles returning from Moreh to Imphal, for a few currency notes to be extracted from the drivers or the petty businessmen, this is evidently visible at the Chinga Makhong check point every day. The blast could have been averted had the security been alert of any suspicious movements in the particular area, rather than harassing youngsters or milking money from the vehicles. We have learned from sources that the VDF personnel who were posted for duty on the day of the blast were given a good thrashing by their senior officers. The fact is that the state has outsourced some of the most important jobs of maintaining security to some ill-trained force who are pitiably under-paid and motivated. The state leaders at the same time shirk away from owing responsibility when a major crime like bomb blast occurs at a crowded place. What is even more distasteful is the audacity of the CM to claim that his government has been trying their best to prevent such incidents in areas especially where AFSPA has been lifted. Not only this, his deputy purportedly justified the incident that it was not an isolated incident. He said “even in highly advance country like US, shooting incidents of school children happens”. We cannot figure out what kind of analogy the deputy CM was trying to draw. But enough playing with words when people are dying, the ‘cowards’ could be hiding in your backyard.

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