ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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POLITICS-Potted Plots

into a room where the team was meeting and demanded explanations for the presence of the members of the team there. The incident reflects the bellicose mood of the all-powerful armed forces and the prevailing state of affairs in Manipur which remains out of bounds of the normal laws and civil administration. On the plea of fighting insurgency, the armed forces have acquired vast powers, especially under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958. The increasing intervention of the army in civil administration in a remote part of the country appears to be of little concern to the mainstream opposition which is otherwise occasionally responsive to the violation of civil liberties in the heartland. Yet Manipur illustrates the dangerous tendency of a process of politicisation of the army. When the former chief minister, Rishang Keshing, in 1987 submitted a memorandum to the union home minister protesting against the atrocities carried out by the Assam Rifles in Oinam village in the Senapati district of his state, he was promptly removed from chief minister ship. The army persuaded the home ministry to take this action by suggesting that Keshing had secret links with the secessionist underground NSCN (National Socialist Council of Nagaland). Here may be the first sign of what has come to prevail in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Elected representatives of the people can be removed with impunity by the armed forces in our country too. Junejo and Keshing are victims of the same militarist politics.

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