In the immediate aftermath of the Dolaithabi incident, Central forces began a physical verification drive at the various designated camps of militant groups under SoO in which they found most of the cadres and arms missing from the camps.
The inspection was a result of the public outcry against the inaction of the Central forces towards SoO militants who were out on a rampage of the Meitei villages in the peripheral areas of the valley and near the foothills. That, the Meiteis in the said villages do not feel safe with the SoO militants lurking in the nearby hill ranges even as the Central forces are deployed nearby, yet refuse to act against the militants.
It was only when one of their personnel got injured by bullets from Kuki militants that they began the operations fof flushing out the militants from the area and thereafter the inspection at the designated SoO camps. The injured AR jawan had since died of his injuries, but SoO is still in place.
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Meanwhile, Central forces stood watch while Manipur Police commandos were ambushed by SoO militants at Tronglaobi in which one commando was killed and five injured.
It is said, the Central forces did not act as the order to shoot or undertake operations against the militants was not forthcoming from the higher-ups. Soon after, two personnel of the central forces were injured in a bomb blast nearby.
Our heart goes out to the martyred jawan and his compatriots who were injured. And mind you, it is not the fault of the personnel on the ground that they did not retaliate against the SoO militants.
The fault lies with the leadership of the Central forces who still continue to hold dear the SoO Agreement which they had painstakingly crafted and who still dream that the SoO militants will adhere to the ground rules.
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Under the SoO ground rules, the militants are supposed to be at the designated camps especially more so at times of communal conflict.
Regardless of the SoO Agreement, Kuki militant groups in the past have been engaged in its regular mischief of forced taxation, kidnappings and abduction and intimidation even during elections.
Their alleged involvement in poppy cultivation in hill areas had even led to state government withdrawing from the controversial Suspension of Operations (SoO) with certain Kuki militant groups.
It may be mentioned that the Government of India, the state government and several Kuki militant groups had signed the SoO Agreement.
The fact remains that, it was the Central government who first signed the SoO Agreement with the Kuki militants and that the state government entered into the agreement late out of certain compelling circumstances.
In the May 3 Tribal Solidarity march, several militants toting AK-47 guns were seen among the rallyists in Churachandpur defying SoO ground rules and the militants still continue to dictate terms to the district administration in Churachandpur.
The Central forces stationed there are helpless, as they are yet to receive ‘orders’ from their command headquarters.
Kukis in Kangpokpi area, with the backing of militants, have blocked NH 2 Imphal-Dimapur road since the beginning of the conflict. Hence, hundreds of goods-laden trucks and oil tankers remain stranded in Senapati.
The centrally-appointed Advisor (Security), Kuldiep Singh, is stuck in a dilemma whether to use force to bring in the trucks and tankers.
We are at a loss as to understand why should the Advisor be weighing his options or considering the political implications as his job is to enforce the rule of law and bring normalcy in the state.
The Security Advisor has admitted that several militants and arms were missing at the SoO designated camps in the first round of inspection and now the number of militants and arms are steadily increasing.
This is out and out admission that SoO ground rules had been violated by the militant groups and Central forces are yet to gain full control of the SoO camps or militants while the Meitei villagers near the foothills continue to live in perpetual fear of being attacked.