IMPHAL: Manipur police officer Brinda Thounaojam, who had earlier come into the limelight for her crusade against drugs and numerous other crimes, has decided to contest the state Assembly polls. She said that she is joining politics to "rectify the flawed system, which creates militancy, numerous social evils and deprived people specially the women".
Brinda, who is an Additional Superintendent of Police (Headquarters) submitted her resignation to the government earlier this month which has not been accepted yet. She said that she has closely watched the administration and society and found that so many imperfect policies of the government, a defective system and a wrong and immoral mindset were causing many problems including extremism in Manipuri society.
"There is huge political interference from influential quarters... honest and sincere officials cannot work freely and as per the prevailing law and norms." "That is why I have decided to fight the elections and become a lawmaker to make an endeavour to enact realistic and perfect laws in the assembly for the betterment of Manipur and its deprived people," the 42-year-old told IANS.
A mother of four children, Brinda said that bad governance destroys society in numerous ways and that is why appropriate laws are required to reform society and for the betterment of the people, specially the proper empowerment of women.
According to political pundits, even though women have been in the forefront in most societal aspects for decades in the erstwhile princely state of Manipur, but in governance women are not given a proportionate share. For many years, female voters have outnumbered men but political parties are fielding very few women candidates in every election.
According to the latest electoral rolls, Manipur has a total of 19,58,087 eligible voters, of which 10,06,581 are women compared to 9,51,409 men, outnumbering them by 55,172. There are 97 transgender voters. "Until princely state Manipur joined the Indian Union in 1949, the condition and position of women in the state was more or less good, but after that their condition gradually deteriorated. The women's economic deprivation caused diverse problems in Manipuri society."
"Adequate numbers of capable women must come into politics and in governance to improve the situation for the future generations," said Brinda, whose husband Raj Kumar Chinglen is a software engineer in a private firm.
Daughter-in-law of former Chairman of the outlawed United National Liberation Front, Raj Kumar Meghen, the ex police officer with a law background said that she would contest from the Yaiskul assembly constituency.
A former "most wanted militant leader", Meghen is the great grandson of former Manipur king Tikendrajit Singh, who led the Manipur Army in the Anglo-Manipur War of 1891.
Brinda said that she was always looked at with suspicion in the police department since she is the daughter-in-law of Meghen, who is now out of jail and leading a normal life.
"Might be due to my relationship with my father-in-law, I was not given an appointment in the Manipur Police service despite having been selected in the Manipur State Public Service Commission examination," she said.
In January 2013, she filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court seeking redress and the court directed Brinda to approach the Gauhati High Court, however, it directed the Manipur government to appoint her since she had already been selected.
Brinda joined the Mahila Battalion (an all-women battalion) in April 2013.
"Few national and local parties were keen to support me but I would take the decision as per the wishes of the people of my constituency, Yaiskul," she pointed out.
The 60-member Manipur assembly elections are likely to be held in February-March next year.
Brinda Thounaojam was in the limelight when she arrested Loukhoshei Zou, the chairman of the Autonomous District Council of Chandel district and six others, with a huge quantity of drugs worth Rs 27 crore in June 2018.
Manipur Chief Minister N.Biren Singh, who had declared a war against drugs, awarded her a commendation certificate for the arrest.
However, Zou was subsequently released on bail by the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act court in Manipur after it was "proved" that the seized drugs belonged to two other youths.
Criticising the "concerned authority" for granting bail to Zou, Brinda subsequently returned the commendation certificate reportedly informing the government that since "Zou claimed that he was innocent and the court granted him bail she did not deserve the commendation certificate".
The issue had triggered a huge controversy in Manipur politics and the administration. (IANS)