During the last couple of weeks, the state has witnesses a recent upturn of a series of violent incidents. To note a few would include the boycott of the Republic Day observation by the insurgents and to further stamp their stance and insistence by triggering a number of bombs in the municipality peripheral areas. Thankfully, the bombings were executed clinically so that the civilian populace would not be harmed.
Although, the physical harm aspect has been avoided and the Republic Day parade failed to draw in the expected crowd inclusive of the Governor Dr KK Paul, it can be said that the State has seen better days. Here, the message conveyed by the series of explosions in heavily secured areas denote that the militants can strike anywhere and at anytime. The continuation of these bomb attacks led to three civilians being injured during an attack on Assam Rifles patrol at Lillong. So much for the efficiency of the Manipur Police Department and their intelligence sources, perhaps they feel more obliged to check for motorist reeking of liquor and to check for the supposedly high security registration plates then to bring about a down curve in the series of violent incidents.
The recent order to arrest dipsomaniacs being given by Imphal West SP, Akoijam Jhalajit, has done much to fill the pockets of policemen as those caught wearing the `perfume`™ has to fork out bribe ranging from a five hundred to a thousand rupee note to by-pass the lock up. Better yet, on the flip side, it is the security people who are selling liquor, namely at 2nd Manipur Rifles canteen around the clock. It is the policemen who guard the canteen entrance that respectfully demands a 10 rupee note from each customer. Para military trucks download loads of liquor cases at Polo ground back- alley watering spots. It is witnessed that the men in khaki come begging for spare change to the shop owners to beget being treated as lowlifes. The scene is similar to that of a semi-clad beggar carrying a begging bowl but here is dressed in khaki and carrying a Kalashnikov. News from the grapevine says that each bar has to give taxes amounting to 5 lacs per month. No prizes for guessing where these `taxes`™ reach up-to! But, the point is that the hand that sells can also arrest you.
One would like to toll the bell of Govindaji and herald that the `Raas-Leela`™ played by the police is indeed a wonderful sight to behold and perhaps the DGP, Sahid Ahmed along with SP West could `choreograph`™ the play a bit differently and in the larger interest of the public. The government servants should act for public welfare rather than police welfare only.
As for the bombs, the mental scars and the paranoia that pervades among the population are much more deep then physical scars. The garbage collectors inclusive of the Imphal Municipal Council deputies joke faint heartedly that during particular times of the year, when they see the waste mound, they feel like the bomb disposal squad.
Leader Writer: Paojel Chaoba