IMPHAL, March 18: In an exclusive interview with IFP Home Minister Gaikhangam said, his first priority is to develop a people-friendly police force in the state of Manipur. Gaikhangam was charged with the crucial portfolio of Home Department yesterday after being sworn in as the second-in-command of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh.
It may be mentioned here that, this is the second time in the post-statehood history of Manipur that a Chief Minister has divested the crucial portfolio of Home Department to another minister.
Minister Gaikhangam said, ‘In order to provide a secure environment in the state, confidence building measures need to be taken up so that the general public could feel secure when they see policemen in the streets and in their home.’
Regarding the general strength of the police force the Minister said, ‘The present strength of the state police force besides paramilitary and army forces is adequate. The only problem is in the distribution of personnel in the various districts and the police stations.’
He further said, vacancies in the police department will be filled once he takes stock of the overall situation in the state.
Manipur had seen massive recruitment drive in the police department during the previous SPF governments. There are still some pending results of police recruitment.
When asked whether he is bringing in a new DGP he said, he is yet to discuss the issue with the Chief Minister and decisions in this regard will be taken after due consultations with the Chief Minister.
He further emphasized on police reforms saying that, he will be studying the Supreme Court judgment with regard to the case filed by Prakash Singh.
Minister Gaikhangam said, he will be looking into the condition of the jails in Manipur and he will take up whatever action necessary with regard to jail reforms.
When asked whether he will resign from the post of the party president he said, ‘I will quit when it becomes necessary.’
Gaikhangam had resigned from the Okram Ibobi led SPF government seven years ago following differences with the Chief Minister and on the basis of the ‘One Man One Post’ principle.