There is no indication that the UNC will roll back the economic blockade anytime in the future soon. There is also nothing much to suggest that the counter blockade that has been imposed in different pockets of the valley will be rolled back anytime soon. The stand off continues and as said many times in this column, it is the common man who will continue to suffer. So what is the way forward ? Tough to say, but let it be clear to all that Manipur cannot afford to have a second Khurai of December 18, in which a large number of agitators blocked the Imphal-Ukhrul road and torched Ukhrul bound vehicles during a bandh. So from pulling down goods from vehicles and setting them ablaze, it was passengers who were not allowed to proceed further. Shameful it is that such an incident happened and while the angst and frustration of the people is understandable, it is also a reflection of the complete breakdown of the law and order situation. An appeal from the Chief Minister to the people to remain calm and not take the law into their own hands is welcome but this is not exactly taking up measures to control the law and order situation. Not the time to give the impression that mobs are being given a free hand to go on a destruction spree. As expected, the Khurai incident has triggered a sort of chain reaction and reports reaching the office of The Sangai Express say that some vehicles have been torched along the National Highway at Senapati. It is this sort of retaliation that is dangerous.
Amid the madness that one sees all around, it is welcome to see some Naga civil society organisations coming to the fore and appealing to the UNC to lift the blockade and to the people in the valley area to roll back the counter blockade. More than obvious that this appeal will not cut ice with the UNC and those imposing the counter blockade, but let it be clear that it is necessary for the other Naga civil society organisations to urge the UNC to lift the blockade. It will also be in line to raise the question of why the appeal from some Naga civil society organisations has come only now, when the blockade is well over 40 days. The stand off seems set to continue and with all appeals to the UNC to lift the blockade falling on deaf ears, this is the right time for the people to demonstrate maturity of thoughts and action. In as much as the hooliganism at Khurai is condemnable, it was encouraging to see the hand of assistance extended to the stranded passengers at a public ground at Khurai Konsam Leikai. To be sure this good act will not go viral on the social networking sites, like the others which showed protesters or those enforcing the counter blockade pulling down goods and setting them afire and this is what is unfortunate. No wonder the Government has suspended internet service.
Source: The Sangai Express