Controversial ‘pick ups’

The Sangai Express
Feb 20, 2010

Apart from the confusion generated over the identity of the State Police or any other security forces involved in the arrest of any individual, controversies have always dogged the manner of such arrests in this tiny conflict-ridden Manipur. There have been frequent instances of individuals who have been either picked up from home or some other places by those suspected to be security personnel but later handed over to the custody of the police after two or three days, claiming that the individuals in question were arrested from elsewhere and have nexus with some UG groups. In the latest incident, a young man who had been allegedly picked up by some unidentified armed persons from his house on February 13 was reportedly handed over to the police by the Assam Rifles on February 16, claiming that the young man is a PREPAK cadre. This is not an isolated case. Whether or not the Assam Rifles or the State Police or any other units of the Army were involved in such cases, few days after the reported handing over, related authorities normally come out with press clarifications asserting that the said individuals were actually picked up from home without issuing any formal arrest warrant and the claim of the arrest from some other place, that also after a time gap, are false. Such contradictory claims and counter claims not only cause confusion in the mind of the people but also place media in a very perplexing position at the time of reporting the news, thereby leaving integrity of media to the mercy of every doubting Tombas and Chaobas.

Keeping aside this issue, the fact remains that Manipur has been witnessing numerous instances of public protest and demonstration over such controversial arrests down the years. A glaring example in the latest incident was the blocking of Mayai Lambi by the enraged locals on February 15 over the February 13 ‘pick up’ that left no trace of the young man for the next three days until he resurfaced in the custody of police. The point we would like to raise here is, could we expect to avoid such conflicting situations ? Why can’t the police, or the Army or the Para-military forces identify themselves and their units at the time of arresting a person, to the family members or the neighbours ? How is that a person who had been flashed in all newspapers as abducted from home could be claimed to have been arrested from elsewhere and handed over to the police after three days? Or does it implies that the calculation or rather the miscalculation of the timing of actual arrest is counted from the moment the ‘true identity’ of a picked up person is established after interrogation ? Whatever may be the reasons, we feel that the security personnel should reveal their identity and take the family members into confidence at the time of arresting any person, if at all it is necessary. With the kind of situation prevailing in Manipur, where there is no sense of timing or place, the public are not amused any more to the events that would unfold after every such controversial ‘pick ups’. Or is there some hidden agenda behind such pick-up like the notorious midnight knocks of the not so recent past ? We can only conjecture.

Popular posts from this blog

MLA LOCAL AREA DEVELOPMENT FUND IN MANIPUR

Lamyanba Hijam Irabot (Two-article series)

CONTEMPORARY MANIPURI SHORT STORIES

‘MANIPURI THEATRE IN A DISAPPOINTING STAGE’: PADMASHREE KANHAILAL (An interview)

ETHNIC CHURNING: CHIKUMI STYLE (WITH A FORWORD FROM THE ARAMBAM SOMORENDRA TRUST)

Importance of 9th January in the History of Manipur

ARMED FORCES (SPECIAL POWERS) ACT 1958: DISGUISED WAR & ITS SUBVERSIONS

Sovereignty and integrity of Manipur

INDIA NEEDS TO RATIFY CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE ASAP