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Child insecurities and the meritorious and gallant Manipur police
Even though Manipur tops the nation's list of meritorious and gallant police personnel on Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations every year, the very same security force failed to save the life of a small girl aged five.

THE STATE police were more active in rescuing the lives of Tokay Geckos than in tracing Maibam Miranda Devi of Thoubal district in Manipur state. Security in the state’s periphery is seen less alert and energetic than that in the VIP-dominated areas. It is obvious that the meaning of security in Manipur is limited to protecting important persons, rather than ensuring safety of common people in the far-away places.

There was a gap of two days between the reported missing of a minor girl named Maibam Miranda and recovery of her dead body at Wabgai Tentha Thambal hillock under Kakching Police station of Manipur. Again, after another two days, an angry mob lynched an alleged culprit and his wife. Police intelligence networks had supposedly failed to trace a missing minor in such a small locality. Even after recovery of dead body, police again failed to book any suspect from the same locality. Since the mob turned furious, there was no time for judgment. The crime was so brutal and cruel that anyone alleged to be involved could not brave the fury and survive for a minute in front of the mob. Police networks in the periphery of the state needs to be energized for assuring the safety of common people particularly the children.

Only a few months back, the Manipur Home Minister Gaikhangam claimed improvement of law and order situation in Manipur with the energetic role played by Manipur Police Department. However, his words have been reduced to a mere and usual oration of a big boss who is ignorant of the ground reality in the field. In the aspects of safety and security of children, the police could hardly exercise its skill and energy on various occasions. Child missing cases have been rampant in Manipur for the last few years. Police actions on tracing and booking culprits were not satisfactory in these eventualities. It is as if the police in Manipur have been designed specifically for countering insurgency.

The recent report of Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights in Manipur records 98 children killed in fake encounters by security forces in Manipur from 1979 to May 2012. According to National Crime Records Bureau, 5 children were murdered and 30 raped in Manipur in 2010 and 2011. During the two years, 125 children were abducted or kidnapped for various reasons. During January-April 2012, altogether 27 children in Manipur were reported missing while 45 were trafficked. In such a grim picture, the state police need a special task force for ensuring children’s safety and security.

If the local and national media had attended the criminality of Miranda’s case enormously, then the investigating agencies could have acted with alert in their mission. Unfortunately, such crimes taking place in Manipur are always attached less importance by most media houses of the country. In fact, the crimes affecting right to life of the children should be given priority of the national media, so that the attention of the whole world be drawn on the brutality meted out to minor humans.

The role of media in moulding public opinion as well as in finding justice for various crimes affecting life and liberty of common people is well established. Media focus (both local and national) on the Maibam Miranda murder case in Manipur has been deplorably poor in comparison with the national media catching attention of viewers on the recent molestation of a woman in Guwahati and the suicide of the former airhostess Geetika Sharma. When the media attention is enormous, the other investigating agencies can not remain lethargic and unfair. Hence, an active media can stir up the get-up-and-go attitude of the investigating agencies for bringing timely justice. It is opined that the state media may take the responsibility on priority basis to draw the attention of the whole world on each and every crime against the minor humans happening in Manipur.

The ineffectiveness of police intelligence in the outskirts of the capital city has been witnessed in the case of brutal murder of Miranda. There was ample time to trace the child and book the culprits. The police networks in the periphery of the state is not up-to the satisfaction, may be because of the fact that there were no VIP settlement there. The meaning of security in Manipur seems to be limited to VIPs and VVIPs. The common people - hapless, helpless and who are in dire want of police services are apparently neglected.

When the state police are unable to trace even a small missing girl and book any culprit in a small locality, can we claim improvement of law and order situation of the state and can we call the Manipur police meritorious and gallant?

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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