In the northeastern state of Manipur, tensions are rising following the brazen kidnapping of a top police official by suspected militants. In a rare show of protest, commando units of the Manipur Police staged an “arms down” demonstration to express their anger and demand more freedom to tackle armed groups. 

According to reports, over 200 militants stormed the residence of Additional Superintendent of Police (Operations) M. Amit Singh on Tuesday and forcibly took him away. Singh and his security officers were rescued after around two hours in a joint operation by police and commandos. 

However, the kidnapping has sparked outrage within the police force. Videos from Imphal, the state capital, show dozens of commandos laying down their weapons at their unit’s compound. Sources say they are frustrated with constraints placed by the state government in dealing with militants. 

While the Manipur Police statement did not name the group behind Singh’s abduction, local media attributed it to the radical Meitei outfit Arambai Tenggol. This outfit has been accused of multiple violent crimes like murder, attacks, extortion and arson in the state. 

The kidnapping seems to be in retaliation for an earlier police attempt to detain some Arambai Tenggol members who were brandishing weapons and stealing vehicles. Ethnic tensions have been high in Manipur since last May when clashes first broke out between the dominant Meitei community and Kuki tribespeople. 

Over 200 deaths have been reported so far in the ongoing violence that officials say has degenerated into lawlessness. Underground armed factions have taken advantage and regained influence. The commandos’ protest highlights their unhappiness at being unable to crack down on such militant activity freely.

While the kidnapped officer has now been rescued, no arrests have been made in the case so far. If left unchecked, such brazen acts by insurgent outfits will likely worsen the volatile security situation in Manipur. The state government must address police grievances and strengthen law and order before ethnic conflict spirals out of control. Tough action is needed against militant groups to restore peace in the troubled northeastern region.

In conclusion, The kidnapping of a senior police officer in Manipur and subsequent protest by commandos has highlighted the growing challenges of militancy and ethnic tensions facing the state. Stronger support is needed for security forces from the government to help curb the influence of armed groups and militants fueling conflict. If not addressed promptly, the situation risks deteriorating further.