ASSAM RIFLES AND THE WESTREN LIFELINE
After the outbreak of communal clashes since 03 May 2023, critical situation was developing in Manipur due to obstruction in lines of communication resulting in extreme shortage of essential supplies, fuel and medicines. The prices were sky rocketing and the government was under pressure to act fast to avoid a humanitarian crisis in the state which was under siege due to the ongoing ethnic clashes.
While all were focusing towards the North, the relief and aid came from the most unlikely direction, ie NH-37 entering the state from the Jiribam District in the West. The security forces, especially the Assam Rifles in complete synergy with state forces had been able to enforce peace in the Jiribam District, the western gateway to Manipur. When the decision came to open the vehicular traffic, there was reluctance and apprehensions amongst the truck drivers. A multi-pronged approach was therefore put in place to include a synergized employment of security forces of the state and Centre, engagement of the local community leaders of all the communities, persuading the truck union leaders and motivating the drivers to commence the movement for humanitarian cause which would benefit people of all communities. Once the noble intention was clear, there was no obstruction and the convoys commenced wef 14 May 2023 in presence and complete domination by the Assam Rifles and other Security Forces. Till date approximately 7700 trucks have moved on NH-37 incident free.
The herculean efforts by the Assam Rifles in ensuring free movement of this lifeline cannot be undermined by few individuals spreading false narrative against the force. The people need to identify their true friends and join hands for the lasting peace in the state.