While efforts are being made to bring normalcy in the state by the authorities and various civil society groups, it appears that an immediate solution or a cessation to armed confrontation is still a distant dream.
By Ch Manjit Singh
Manipur – the peaceful in Northeast India, often described as Jewel of India, and its peace-loving people had entered an unprecedented era of conundrum since May 03, 2023 that has lasted almost eight months till now. The ongoing strife has resulted in numerous lives being lost, damaged to property and thousands have been rendered homeless. The sound of smoking guns and bombs have echoed throughout the region for so long, creating an atmosphere of anarchy and tumult among the helpless peace-loving people in a war-torn place.
While efforts are being made to bring normalcy in the state by the authorities and various civil society groups, it appears that an immediate solution or a cessation to armed confrontation is still a distant dream. The mayhem has resulted in the rise of several relief camps that have sprung up in many pockets of the land-locked state seeking humanitarian services for the impacted families from various fellow citizens and organizations. The volatility of the situation remains an alarming one seemingly resolving the issue – an uncertain almost to absurdity!
The entropy among the people has increased, the coherence has lost, leading to chaos of several narrations, unwanted incidents now and then. The state is witnessing an unprecedented rise in the use of arms, difficult to digest in the minds of common people on how these weapons managed to cross the border and created a mayhem in our beautiful border-land. Perhaps the hands of the various unlawful organisations operating in the proximity of the border region might play a role. Notwithstanding that the involvement of other malicious players also can never be denied. The unprecedented turmoil has also spawned mushrooming of self-proclaimed vigilante groups and are suspected to have influence on the use of these arms.
Amidst the chaos and the ongoing conflict, another dark side of the usage of heavy weapons, arising out of the Manipur mayhem, seem to be lurking in the days to come. The recovery of the illegally stashed arms require a herculean effort from the government and the law enforcement agencies, almost amounts to impossible. These small arms could spread across the population, imagining a real-time scenario, when such a situation arises, it can lead to collateral damages that may be much more than one can fathom. There is a very high probability of the rise of organised crime rates and even deployment of arms in trivial localised confrontations. It may not be exaggeration to foresee gunslingers who may roam the streets like in the erstwhile wild-wild west as seen in a Western movie, and law and order in Manipur may go haywire! At the most we can only hope that peace prevails upon the people soon so as to truly restore the bygone state of brotherhood in the beautiful land of nature.
(Ch Manjit Singh is a Software Architect at an MNC, Bangalore, Karnataka)