Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Poor Fisher Men used as Human shield in Manipur

I wanted to keep this blog away from politics and any disheartening posts but sometimes I have to break the rules. I have also only tried to posts good things whenever I post about Manipur, even though we have many problems both internal as well as external.

It is common knowledge to whoever know a little about Manipur that Human Rights Violations are quite commonplace in Manipur. Because of the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), it is also commonplace that innocent people are picked up at random, the general public stopped for frisking like they do in the international airport, custodial death1, death2, and a general fear for the Army( who actually are being payrolled by us, taxpayers, to protect us). I am only complaining againts the Army because they happen to be on the right side of law. On our side of the law.

And we don't want to get caught between the barrels of two guns. Dark Humour of Catch-22 at play.

All said, I always thought it was normal. That it was normal to hear gun shots, and bomb blast. That it was normal to be stopped on the roads at random by Army men or Police Commandoes and get roughed up. That it was normal to have seen cross fire in front of my eyes twice by the time I was 17. I also thought Combing operations were normal, that the army could barge into our house any time of the day or night without a search warrant. And that the shutter at the market will be down by 6:30 pm and we sleep by 7:30.

But I learnt, when I went outside the state that it was not at all Normal. Nothing that was happening was normal. That in other parts of India, you don't get to see army men every 5 Kilometers, and that the Police actually need an arrest warrant to arrest someone. Gosh! and I have seen people shouting at Police men. God help him.
Few months back, a person was shot dead by the police in manipur when he shouted back at the police who abused him for overtaking the police vehicle.[more, more2]

But still, since they are there fighting Manipuri militants, I always thought it was out fate. And also that It was normal. And so I never posts such articles on my blog. But today was different.
I didn't even post the fact that there have been mini Jallian-Wala-Baghs in Manipur[read]. After all India was under the British rule, and it was quite natural that some genes stayed back.

But I couldn't stop myself when I read that Innocent, poor and helpless Fishermen were being used as Human Shield by the army in their operation againts the Millitants. When did Saddam Hussain ever ruled India? The Indian Army is suppose to protect the People, and I would have understood if Unlawfull forces used innocent victims as Human shields against the army But the very Army using Innocent citizens as Human Shield was Outrageous.
Who do we turn to?
It will breed doubts in the minds of thousands of Manipuris' whether we really are considered even Indians?

More on Human shield:

The Imphal Free Press IMPHAL, Jan 2: Residents and meira paibi womenfolk of the Ningthoukhong area staged a sit-in demonstration today at Ningthoukhong bazar to protest against the using of villagers, including a local councillor, as human shields by the security forces during the recent operations in the Ningthoukhong Kha Moirangkhong Leikai on December 27 morning.

Charging that security forces commandeered several local boats during the operations, and that the local menfolk were forcibly used as oarsmen, the protestors say their agitation will continue until the government gives a firm assurance against this kind of thing happening again in the future. [More]

More News:

The Sangai Express
Imphal, January 02:
Ningthoukhong Gopinath Leikai Meira Paibi Apunba Lup organised a Wakat Meepham at Ningthoukhong Bazar today highlighting the plight of the fishermen who dare not go fishing at Loktak lake after the December 27 operation launched by 9 Assam Rifles during which civilians were allegedly used as human shields.

Around 200 Meira paibis
took part in the Wakat Meepham demanding that the Government take up necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of the fishermen.[More]
Notice that Meira Paibis are spearheading the whole thing.

But of course these are not news enough for the main stream media. Please Link to this post if you feel that this news needs attention. It might save a Life.

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Blogger Wacky Vin said...

This reminds me when Mumbai police came to my house based on a complaint that I am underworld guy and I am threatening a Santacruz business man for ransom. It turned out that somebody from underworld was using my MTNL phone to threaten the guy. Luckily I was in US and my wife was at her parents place. I am so thankful to the house owner who persued the police to make sure my name is cleared in my absence. I was a famous guy in neighborhood when I returned back from US. God I am lucky..

4/1/06 2:46 PM  
Blogger silverine said...

This is so awful and should be stopped immediately. No army can take over a state in the guise of fighting militants. In fact they will get success only if they win the trust of the locals.

This is shocking !!!

4/1/06 10:35 PM  
Blogger GREATBONG said...

It is shocking. As Gaurav pointed out on his blog, it is even more shocking how little the mainstream media and the "mainland" Indian population care about the gross human rights abuses that are going on in the North East. I think you should have more politics on your blog---these stories deserve to be heard and discussed.

4/1/06 11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its most sad to see the beautiful northeast being reduced to a land of such atrocities. I agree with great bong that you should write and bring such news to everyone's notice. A lot of Journalists belong to the blogging community and such issues can be provided due attention. Please do not think that people elsewhere in india do not care.


5/1/06 2:27 AM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Anthony, this is deeply disturbing. I'll definitely link.

5/1/06 2:57 AM  
Blogger yogsma said...

This is horrible killing of humanity . Anthony , we all are with you..and i guess you are doing a great job by bringing forward all these news. These news deserver the attention from all the Indians and this is a serious concern.

5/1/06 7:09 AM  
Blogger anthony said...

Thanking everybody for the support. WIll reply to individual comments in the evening. Have to complete something at work.

5/1/06 10:15 AM  
Blogger dwaipayan said...

i had no idea that the scenario is this. it's shocking, really. but i dnt know how to link this post. so i cant link it.but i do support u

5/1/06 3:03 PM  
Blogger aquamarine said...

This is appaling! Truly truly sad.

5/1/06 4:26 PM  
Blogger Suhail said...

linked. And yes do continue to highlight these stories (even if you don't want to get into the politics of it). Ssorry to bring you the bad news but MSM won't be there for you or for any such NE/Kashmir issues.

5/1/06 4:44 PM  
Blogger Mirage said...

This is awful! Its appalling to see how fast humans are turning against each other. Blinded by materialism we're forgetting our basic purpose of living...humanity. Its just...gone.

5/1/06 5:14 PM  
Blogger Arz000n said...

Holy cow!!!
You are on a blogging spree...
Give me a break many posts you gonna write...I need time to read em all :(

I'm a GAREEB I take time to read blogs

5/1/06 6:09 PM  
Blogger educatedunemployed said...

I am so shocked, and so sorry.I had absolutely no idea.I am embarassed at my ignorance.And I consider myself the educated well informed youth of today's generation.Jeez!!

6/1/06 1:16 AM  
Blogger anks said...

too shocked to comment....

6/1/06 6:07 PM  
Blogger Kusum Rohra said...

This is so appalling, and just like EE even i was ignorant, and anthony please don't think that others don't care.And its good that you blogged about this. have linked this.

6/1/06 7:12 PM  
Anonymous biren said...

Hey Anthony

It's shocking.The life in northeast is never sure esp in villages.

U stated that people who stay outside cannot imagine the situation ,I want to add people who stay in guwahti or capitals are also same.

I m from a district HQ in Assam n I feel most of the people in ghy feel that Assamm n Northeast are peaceful.

People from rest of India visit northeast n come back praising beauty.I will suggest those who wants to face the reality ,stay there in villages.

6/1/06 8:19 PM  
Blogger Vimal said...

hi tony

thanks for the comment on my post. i do not agree that democracy is the worst form of government, its in my opinion the best, just that the Indian democracy and its first past the post method favor majority opinion and hence minorities (like people in the north-eastern states or other regional / ethnic / religious / linguistic minorities) lose out.

the difficult terrain & inaccessibility due to Bangladesh blocking most land routes makes it difficult for business, but India's north-east definitely has tremendous potential for hydro-electric power generation. I remember reading somewhere that India utilizes less than 2% of its hydro-electric power generation potential, much of what is in Uttaranchal & the seven sisters.

Hydro-electric power generation needs big dams & big investments, and that is where the central government has to provide a major push in investing money itself (a bad idea) or create conditions conducive for private investment (i.e. eradicating 'trouble'). This is where north-east needs a lot of time & attention of top policymakers, but alas, even though the Prime Minister hails from Assam (atleast technically) hardly anything seems to be happening for India's north-east.

8/1/06 2:15 PM  
Blogger Ambar said...

IMO, the NE situation may partly be attributed to racism on the part of the average "indian".

Possibly a cause for the army to be this inhuman in their operations there. :|

23/2/06 1:18 PM  
Anonymous tony said...

@ Ambar: That is a possibility I haven't overlooked. Sad but true.

Which is another reason,the problem is different from the kashmir issue.. Because the alienation is deeper and more general in case of the NE unlike kashmir where it is a matter of National Pride.

For the NER, there is an indefference, which might be used as an advantage by external forces like ISI, and believe me they are trying hard.

23/2/06 2:29 PM  

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