Saturday, June 28, 2008

Do something for people

By Oken Jeet Sandham

11 years is pretty long for the parties to at least produce something for publics to see. If the truce pact the two parties entered into was meant to pave way for finding some tangible solution, then by now some, some result should be shown to the publics. What is ceasefire after all? It is usually done between the armed groups. The present ceasefire is between the government of India and the NSCN (IM) and since they inked truce pact in 1997, they had more than 60 rounds of political talks elsewhere in the world. Initially, the people overjoyed hoping that there would be no more violence in their land and they would be free from any threats and intimidations from any underground elements and also from those security forces. The innocent civilians usually suffered when the insurgency reached at its zenith. Sometimes they were harassed by the undergrounds on charges that they were informers to Indian security forces. Similarly, the Indian security forces harassed them for being sympathetic to underground people or for having alleged nexus with underground or for allegedly giving shelter to undergrounds. Either way they became scapegoats. The citizens again doubly overjoyed when the government of India could successfully roped in the NSCN (K) to its fold by having another truce pact with them. The general publics thought their dream came true when this development took place because they always believed that talking to one underground faction would never bring durable solution to their long-drawn-out political problem. No one blames to the government of India for roping in the NSCN (K) to peace process but the citizens started getting confused at seeing the present heightened feuds between the two NSCNs in the state particularly in and around Dimapur. The recent upsurge of factional violence in and around Dimapur is serious in nature. They had even opened fires in the vicinity of the school during school hours and poor children had to duck below their desks and teachers who were also equally terrified couldn’t help it but to take care of those traumatized poor students. Of late the people’s wrath towards the warring factions could be seen but the same time the ceasefire ground rule implementing authorities should also be pulled up. Those underground groups having ceasefires with the government of India have been given their designated camps where their cadres have to be stationed. The implementing authorities should give strong directives to underground cadres to remain in their designated camps. If they think those factional violence are violating the ceasefire ground rules, they have the authority to check and discuss the matter in their meetings. At the same time when these two groups started fighting in civilian areas in broad daylights even in the vicinity of the school even to the extent of causing harms to the civilians, the state government’s role should come in. The other day state chief minister Neiphiu Rio boldly declared that he had enough forces and he did not need any additional forces from the center to contain the prevailing law and order situation in the state. Should we blame the government of India for the current state of affairs in the state? The very underlying question is when the civilian lives are affected, should the state still keep watching or shifting the responsibility to someone just because they have had ceasefires with them. Is it the price the publics are going to pay after 11 years of ceasefires? Is this the way the general publics should witness? Where are those enough forces? If the state has enough forces, it is all the better for them to utilize their services to provide security to its citizens. The present DAN ministry ruled almost five years and is continuing for the second term. By now, they should be capable of handling the situation.

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