The following day, I hire a taxi to go sightseeing. The taxi driver, who, during the course of the day, takes on the role of guide, asks me: ‘So, you are from India?’ When I smile and nod a ‘yes’, he informs me: ‘Even though I also live in India, I don’t consider myself Indian.’ He belongs to the Sanamahi religion of the Meiteis of Manipuri. I ask him the reason for his discontent, and he responds: ‘India treats us differently. We don’t feel safe under Indian security.’

On January 8, the Finance department had already put in place a new procedure for release of funds amounting to more than Rs 2 crore. According to the new procedure, all such proposals for release of funds would have to be cleared by the Chief Minister, along with the status of financial resources available. This was done, and files were subsequently sent to the CM for his approval. The Chief Minister himself signed off on release of funds worth more than Rs 2 crore, and the file notes bear his signature.
The investigation ordered by the CM into the sanctions’ procedure is therefore an eyewash.