Leader Writer: Paojel Chaoba
Those of us who have been living in the State for the last three to four decades have witnessed what the public has to go through in order to survive the gauntlet here. Since Statehood in 1972 , the issue of a separatist movement had gained momentum and multiple organizations crying out for independence came to the forefront.
Successively, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act was enforced in the region to contain the rising militancy. The after effects, we all know resulted in wanton crimes perpetrated by the state forces or para-military ones in the excuse of containing the law and order situation. Many a life have been lost and in the wake left many widowed, most women were in the prime of their lives.
It has been witnessed that numerous ‘fouls’ has been cried, indicative of the fact that innocent individuals have been arrested or killed in the issue of containing insurgency. Therein rises the problem of justice wanted delivered by the aggrieved families and befitting punishment awarded to the security personnel’s in question.
The brunt of the excessiveness committed by the security personnel have been more or less borne by the populace as the ‘trend of life’ in the State. Though deserving persons may have sacrificed in the name of the motherland, but it is fact that the fisherman while catching a particular type of fish in a pond, there will obviously be other species of fish netted in the attempt, a term used may be ‘collateral damage’.
No one stops to question the writings on the wall, unless and until it happens to oneself. It is fact that women have borne the hurt in the various episodes of law and order situations, drugs, rampant crimes scenarios, etc. (you name it). In the administration of the state and in the attempt to plug the fissures on the wall, persons authorized with specific powers have mis-utilised their authority evidently.
If the behavior of one leg of the democratic system becomes questionable, then it is up to the afflicted to seek succor and justice from the other leg. The pillars of democracy include the judiciary. As memory serves right, the public has been whipped by the act of AFSPA, 1958. It has been taken to stride that humanitarian laws do not exist in the society here and excessive crimes may be committed under its veil. Voices raised against the draconian act have more or less been felt to fall on deaf ears, until now. The recent proceedings of the Supreme Court instituted inquiry commission held at Classic Hotel questioning the conduct of state home department personnel and related officials pertaining to six encounter cases have torn the fabric of the status quo in regard of judicial impotence felt earlier. In the past, many cases have been registered regarding the numerous incidents of fake encounters and justice has been left wanting. It has been a clear case of AFSPA overshadowing the judiciary and justice deli
very system failing, it seemed that justice has been denied.
Recently after an organization, of conflict widows petitioning to the Supreme Court in regard to the encounter crime episodes has such an inquiry commission come into town to inquire. It is safe to say that some ‘concerned’ security personnel who may have been directly or indirectly involved in the questionable incidents have been ‘dissected’ and subjected to intense cross-examination. There has been much sweating at the docks and a drastic change observed in the mannerism of the persons ‘included’ in the inquiry, which was not observed in ‘better’ times.
It is not within one’s ambit to gauge the precision of the inquiry conducted and of the outcome. Yet, it is not so much a sin to assume that the inquiry may lead to positive results. However, it is testament that the strength and commitment of the softer gender remains firm through troubled times and sought justice may still be had, though delayed.
The endeavor of the gun survivors, the women of the State needs to be applauded for their conviction and struggle in seeking fairness. Though , the State judiciary may have been impotent, yet there could still be a silver lining behind the dark cloud. And to those who have struggled with sweat and tears, a truly well deserved Women’s Day.