February 11,Imphal : Some parts of Manipur is engulfed by frenzied communal tension ignited by two mob attacks on Pangal boys by some Meetei miscreants and lack of timely intervention by the Government (and police) to handle the situation. The violent aberration at Mayang Imphal area on 11th April 2016 have injured many, destroyed about six houses, thereby, affecting those belonging to both Meetei and Pangal. The Government of Manipur have broken silence, imposed curfews in the tense areas, passed an order to deposit license and license guns to police station and gave assurance to the JAC to take up some concrete steps by 14th April. However, the irreparable losses caused by killing, injury and destruction of properties have cast the mound of communal distrust and hatred. Facebook and other social networks sites notice lots of communal browbeating amongst internet users. The pain and humiliation is likely to persist for longer time, particularly among the victim families and immediate circles.
The curfew can control violent confrontation to some extent. It can’t be either an alibi of or substitute to justice demanded by the victims of the two incidents and the clash on 11th April. The plight of the victims must be addressed immediately and the culprits of 25th March and 7th April be punished according to law at the earliest. Tensions must be deescalated through social initiatives. To achieve it, there is in need of collective approach to address the immediate issues of the conflict. The demand for justice, rights and peace must come from all sides and wed into a collective struggle. It cannot be a one way approach from a particular organisation and community based platform. Progressive individuals and organisations must sit across tables and resolve to overcome the obstacles to peaceful social existence. The society needs to root out communal mistrust and social insecurity perceived by the vulnerable sections. Deliberate misinformation and campaigns to incite communal tension must be checked and controlled. The protagonists and agencies of ‘mob justice’ need to be wiped out to prevent from the blunders of committing unjust targets on the vulnerable sections. Kingpins of communal chauvinists that incite communalism and mob to target ‘others’ need to be singled out and phase out to prevent from flaring up communal tensions.
Dr. Malem Ningthouja
Campaign for Peace & Democracy (Manipur)
12 April 2016