After a period of relative calm, fresh violence has erupted once more in the northeastern state of Manipur. On Wednesday morning, an exchange of fire broke out between security forces and suspected militants in the border town of Moreh, resulting in the tragic death of one commando.  

The incident reportedly began when the militants pelted bombs and opened fire at a police post located near the State Bank of India branch in Moreh. In response, the security personnel deployed at the post immediately retaliated by returning controlled defensive fire. The ensuing gunbattle continued for over an hour, demonstrating the militants’ clear intent to provoke unrest.

Tragically, one commando identified as W. Somorjit lost his life while another was left injured in the line of duty during this Attack. Though details are still emerging, it appears the militants primarily targeted the police presence near Ward 7 of Moreh. Their violent actions have only sown further seeds of destabilization in an already volatile region.

This recent clash comes just two days after local police succeeded in arresting two individuals linked to last year’s murder of an officer in the same town. Clearly, some militant factions remain determined to subvert law and order through continued acts of terror and intimidation. In response, district authorities felt obligated to impose a total curfew to contain any potential escalation. 

Manipur has sadly borne witness to over 200 deaths in communal conflicts between different ethnic groups since May 2021 alone. Both security forces and civilian populations routinely find themselves caught in the crossfire of violent power struggles. Unless decisive actions are taken by all stakeholders to resolve longstanding political grievances and normalize social relations, a sustainable peace seems difficult to attain. 

While law enforcement work tirelessly under challenging circumstances, protecting civic life should be a shared responsibility. Moderates within Manipur’s divided communities must spearhead grassroots confidence building initiatives. Politicians too need to rise above short term gains and chart a unified development vision addressing all groups’ rights and security concerns. Progress will further depend on New Delhi and Imphal collaborating wholeheartedly on reconciliation efforts.

Only through inclusive dialogue and reconciliation, not a myopic focus on force deployment, can the cycle of distrust and insecurity in Manipur be neutralized for good. All well-meaning parties must come together towards resolving the root socio-political conflicts still driving this humanitarian tragedy. Innocent blood should not continue being sacrificed in vain on the altar of brazen violent opportunism.