Armed groups making it to the news is an accepted thing.
Not taking names, but so many armed groups are in the news on a regular basis, whether it is a statement issued by them, whether it is about an arrest or two, whether it is a rebuttal to the claims made by the police or the Assam Rifles or the army, when there is an ambush or a clash between the armed groups and the security personnel or when it is about any talk process or agreement inked between the armed group in question and the Government.
However armed groups which are under the SoO pact with the Government of India and the Government of Manipur have made it to the news in recent days, for reasons which had nothing to do with any of the reasons cited above.
These groups have been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons, one being the uproar at Churachandpur over the alleged torture and death of a civilian.
Moreover, groups under the SoO pact have been in the news for allegedly assaulting villagers, notably the assault of Molhoi villagers at Leimakhong just a couple of days back.
The SP of Churachandpur police was right when he stated that the involvement of a cadre of a SoO group in the death of a youth at Churachandpur some days back should be seen as an individual act and should not cover the outfit to which he belongs to.
Makes sense but it is worth asking if the cadre would have had the gumption and the sense of authority if he had not been a member of a group which is under a cease fire pact with the Government.
It is this which the people of Churachandpur rose against and this fact should not be lost on anyone particularly to the group to which he belongs.
Peace time onus. In as much as cadres of an armed group have been indoctrinated to aim their guns against the security personnel, it also stands that they need to be taught that they have a bounden duty towards the very set of people on whose behalf they took up the guns in the first place.
On whose behalf are the SoO groups negotiating with the Government?
Surely it is not on their behalf but on behalf of the people who they claim to represent.
This being the case then it is natural that they too have a bounden duty towards the very people who they claim to represent.
However, as things have turned out this is a point which has refused to register in the minds of quite a number of cadres under the SoO pact.
It is this which led Chief Minister N Biren to remark on the floor of the Assembly that the State Government may withdraw from the SoO pact.
It is another issue that the Chief Minister seemed to have rolled back his earlier stand and stated that SoO dialogue may start from August 9 or 10.
With another round of political negotiation close by, can the outfits under the SoO pact really afford to have some of its cadres running amok among the civilians?
The guns going silent against the security personnel is not a license to aim at the public, is a one line message that all outfits under some pact with the Govt should come to terms with.
Source: The Sangai Express