Day before yesterday, after having invited Aditya who lives in Kongpal Kshetri Leikai to join us for the Science Show the next day at Manipur Science Centre, I and Hemanta were returning home at around 5:30 pm in the evening. We were suddenly stopped by a gang of 3 commandos (indicated by their caps) near the Porompat Water supply area with the question “Is your gari Yamaha?". I was perplexed whether they were telling us that we were speeding like a Yamaha bike and looked keenly on them not knowing what to say. In my mind, I was thinking that the speed we were driving was fairly slow and indeed it was. Suddenly, Hemanta replied ‘Yes, it is a scooter made by Yamaha Company!." Then they started checking our bags. There were clothes inside. One of them asked why there were clothes inside the bag to which I had no answer again.
They told us to take out our mobile phones. I don’t know who has given them permission to infringe to someone’s privacy in the manner done to some crime suspects. I was feeling uncomfortable by then already. I waited patiently to watch the whole drama. Nothing happened yet!!!
After that we were asked to bring out the driving and vehicular license. I was again surprised whether they are some traffic police or has our vehicle been booked for some crime in the past. Nevertheless Hemanta showed his driving license and as ill luck would have it, the vehicular license (smart card) was forgotten along with his wallet at home. Then Hemanta tried calling home to bring the smart card license in which our phones were confiscated and kept aside with a warning never to call anyone.
The next turn of incident was to park our vehicle in a corner and one of them taking the vehicle key. They threatened that we would be taken to the DC if we don’t give some money to them. We agreed to meet the DC knowing the fact that they don’t have the authority to issue any TR (Traffic Records) Challan. We waited for 2 long hours never to be taken to the DC.
Vehicle key confiscated, phones not allowed to be touched and it was getting really dark…must be around 8 pm. One mildly spoken Commando among them came near us, asked about our family background and started telling us about the crimes in Manipur and the way in which we could be killed in a fake encounter. The second story was how they do their duty standing in the sun checking everyone for the whole day,telling that they need some money to have something. Next, he took out his mobile and showed us the local porn videos they caught from the public. By then, we start to understand why they checked our phones.During this summer vacation, I and Hemanta with few of our Delhi University mates under the name of a group called Eager Young Minds have been conducting Science tricks and Magic Shows to desiminate the fun of Science to all the school going students in Manipur investing money from our meagre pocket money with a hope to bring out the scientists i
To him, it seems we have all the patience to hear all his crap. Then, I suddenly proclaimed to pay whatever fine the Govt. has established if they show us the concerned authority letter with the amount of fine. In this, one of them threatened us to roll on the road naked. I was furious already with a doubt in my mind whether they are VDF( Village Defence Force) or Real Commandos. Again Porompat is not a village afterall and they weren't with 303 rifle which VDFs usually hold but some other SLR ( Single Loading Rifle). Without thinking much of the consequence, I questioned their identity as they don't have any name plate on the chest or shoulder tag though all have a Commando cap with one of them having a MP (Manipur Police) shoulder tag. In this, One tried to slap me and said I would be a dead meat already if it were some other commandos. Hemanta was trying to calm me down. I stood firmly never to pay them any money if they aren't issuing us a challan by telling the fact that we ll be haulted by some other group in the same manner after few distance if we don't show them the challan. I was keen on meeting the DC to put down my grievances.
By then, it was 9 pm already. Hemanta Phurailatpam was constantly reminding me that we are having a big day the next day and we don't have enough time to waste around as we gotta prepare for it. He started negotiating to pay few amount while I was looking at the triggers of the guns. I have already decided to snatch and shoot them before any untoward incident is about to occur. Better become a criminal than to come out in the morning news as a dead meat with a fake encounter tag over my forehead, I thought. Hemanta dragged me and we drove off after the ordeal.
If there is any sincere Police officer in the state hearing me out there, what I want to conclude is that a student who has come for vacation back to the state just to give some community service could have become an item of the morning news or a criminal overnight if these behaviours of your boys continue. If they are VDFs, these Govt. approved professional goons is a disgrace to the Commandos too because they are using your caps. Here I want to ask few questions : Does the Department is short of dress for them(some of them with no name plate or shoulder tag) ? or hasn't it specify their duty (some of them performing traffic police duty with no challan) ? or is there no one in the department to keep a check on their rampage? Are they porn video downloader the department has sent out on the street because there is no good 3G service in Imphal or are they so poor to buy a data plan ( some of them keeping the caught videos on their own phones)? Has the Department not pay them enough because they spoke in such a way they never had a full stomach before we drove off (Noi dada singgi chana thaknaba khara touramadi ngasaaina thadokpi yaabni) ?
Keeping aside the feeling of being secured of having them, they have created more inconveniences. The incident has shocked me and put me in a sour mood the rest of the day. But the Porompat incident definitely left a huge scar on my faith in Manipur Police. And that puts me in a quandry because I don't know what to do now- Shall I file a complaint the consequence of which will be useless as I am just a student busy with this Science project or Will booking an FIR teach a lesson to other policemen or shall I just ignore it knowing nothing will ever happen again? And then wait for some girl or a poor guy to be a victim may be tomorrow or day after tomorrow?
Thinking about it for some time, I now know exactly what I must do. Let's do away with all the anger and hurt and pain. Let's reconcile doing it the Norwegian way, the way Kima did in Mumbai.
So here is me, Rocky sending out this open letter to those 3 street smart VDF( acting commandos) to cordially invite you for a lunch(to fill your stomachs full atleast) and discuss about this issue. I really want to tell you how many manipuris are trying hard to bring the standard of its people at par with other states. I want to explain how that simple incident can turn into something unwanted ( for both parties) if you happen to meet another more furious Rocky with no friend to calm down. I really want to tell you how your acts are detrimental to the youths who want to come back and serve the society. I want to explain you why many brainy wizards have settled down outside the state and never to come back again. Let's sit to prevent that, shall we ? Peace.
I know this invitation may not even reach the eyes of your hundredth cousin because I am just a speck in this jungle of bigger chaos and lawlessness, but atleast this soul is willing to give it a try. And knowing I tried will at least make me sleep better tonight as i wasn't able to, the past two nights.
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