Police to be strengthened in hills


IMPHAL, May 31: The state Home department is all set to strengthen the police stations and the armed battalions of Manipur Rifles and IRB in the hill districts with an aim to spread the reach of law in all corners of the state.

This was revealed to IFP by state Home Minister Gaikhangam today in an exclusive interview.

Minister Gaikhangam said, the Union Home Ministry was particularly concerned about the undermanned police stations in the hill districts and it advised the state Home Department to make amends in this regard.

As he began reviewing the situation, he found out that not only the police stations in the hills are under staffed but the different Manipur Rifles battalions in the districts are manned by a skeleton staff while majority of the personnel were utilized or deputed to battalions based in the valley.

He admitted that he is facing tremendous pressure from different quarters as he began the exercise of sending back personnel to their original district police set-ups or battalions.

He cited the case of the Jessami imbroglio when he found out the lack of personnel in the 6th Manipur Rifles battalion based at Ukhrul and have had to send back personnel who were otherwise transferred to battalions based in other districts mainly in Imphal.

He said, a committee of officers has been charged with the task of framing a transfer and posting policy of police and MR/IRB personnel.

When asked about the vacancies in the police department he said, the attention of the department was earlier focused on recruitment in the Manipur Rifles and the India Reserve Battalions (IRBs) while the crucial sector of regular police vacancies meant for police stations were neglected.

He said there are about 4000 vacancies in the department mainly of the regular police personnel and he will be focusing on filling up the vacancies so as to strengthen the police stations in the hill districts.

Admitting that the investigation and prosecution wings of the departments has long been neglected he said, he will take up adequate steps to correct the weak points in the police organization.

Expressing satisfaction on the recent exemplary actions taken against errant police and MR/IRB personnel for criminal activities he said, he is monitoring the recent cases of rape and other high profile cases so as to ensure the delivery of justice through proper investigation and watertight charge-sheets.

He also assured impartial investigation into the recent exposure of illegal ‘oil refinery’ units in the suburbs of Imphal.

With regard to the police commando force he said, specific guidelines will be placed so that only those personnel with adequate training would be posted in the commando formations while integrity and background would also be a major consideration.

The deployment of police commandos in the hill districts would be strictly on need based from time to time, he added.

The state Home Minister was hopeful of two more IRB battalions for manning the Highway Protection Force (HPF), of which he has started discussions with the Union Home Ministry.


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