The gruesome incident of killing of a Colonel and his wife and nine-year-old son, along with four jawans of the Army in the Churachandpur district in Manipur on Friday must be condemned by one and all. It is out and out an act of cowardice, and no person guided by reason and patriotism of any kind can think of indulging in such an inhuman act. The name of the militant organization is not important. The identity of the individual members of the outfit which had carried out the ghastly ambush is not important. Such inhuman acts of senseless killings had been carried out by almost every self-styled insurgent group of the region. Though in most cases the targets were dedicated soldiers engaged in protecting the sovereignty and integrity of the country, in several cases the victims have been innocent people. The ULFA for instance had killed 12 innocent little school children in Dhemaji on August 15, 2004. The NDFB had killed close to 100 innocent persons in a series of simultaneous explosions on October 30, 2008, in Guwahati and a few other places. Armed groups in Tripura had indulged in some of the worst carnages in the history of this country. Most civilians killed in senseless attacks by the various militant groups across the Northeast in the past three decades were innocent and in no way enemies of these gangs, most of which are headed by half-educated high school drop-outs who had not done anything worthwhile in their lives before joining militant outfits. Society as a whole must wholeheartedly condemn Friday's incident that has tainted the image and culture of Manipur. Intellectuals and self-styled human rights groups and activists on their part should refrain from glorifying these armed gangs. The government should come down heavily on the culprits and the courts of law should give them exemplary punishment. No civilized country, no cultured community can afford to tolerate such acts.