AR as in arbitrary restrictions


In a chilling reminder of the fact that the citizens of the State are living under the whims and megrims of Central paramilitary forces, passengers, from the border town of Moreh and travelling to it, have been harassed under the pretext of frisking and security checks for quite some time. Things come to a boil after personnel of a paramilitary unit compelled both a hypertensive individual and a pregnant woman to walk by foot for about half a kilometre. The fact that the former was not in the pink of health was obvious to everyone but the security personnel perhaps were too keen to follow orders that this all too apparent fact was oblivious to them.
In the case of the pregnant woman too, let`™s give a benefit of doubt to those brave soldiers of the decorated `Sentinals of the North-East`™. Discretion is the better part of valour, as a saying goes. People who have the rights to bear arms are constantly asked to display valour, and chivalry is what differentiates armies with great traditions from rag-tag armies of uncouth, semi-literate thugs. It`™s safe to assume that the celebrated highly-disciplined personnel of the Assam Rifles acted with discretion by compelling the pregnant woman to walk, turning their back on any notions of chivalry which is an adjunct of valour.

We are now aware that such incidents were getting so commonplace that the stoical citizens of Tengnoupal, and Chandel, couldn`™t put up with it anymore and were forced to impose the eight-day road blockade in protest against the irrational imposition of restrictions on the Imphal-Moreh Road. Even if the restrictions were enforced and timed according to an order of a former DGP of the State, as some newspaper reports suggest, the manner in which such orders have been followed defy any logic. Such indiscreet adherence to orders have railed even the State government which finally showed, some semblance of a, spine aftermath the detaining of a Cabinet minister of the State. A similar incident in the past had rocked the State after the then State Health minister, Ph Parijat was detained and humiliated by a Major of the 7 Assam Rifles posted at Sagang in Bishnupur. The incident has occurred seven years after the former Health minister had to suffer humiliation after an Indian Army Major stopped his cavalcade and detained him. That incident anticipated the recent incident involving the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj minister Francis Ngajokpa.

The State including those in the government has the right to feel indignant as, in the words of the deputy Chief Minister, `disrespecting an elected member of the State is akin to disrespecting the State`™. Even if the State government has reacted strongly against the arbitrary exercise of power by an officer of the rank of a Major in the Indian Army who in violating a protocol has gone beyond his brief in discharging his duty, what remains to be seen is whether the State government has the will and the vision to stop such arbitrary exercise of power by security forces in the future once and for all.

Leader Writer: Svoboda Kangleicha


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