IMPHAL, May 18 : Chief Minister N Biren who flew to Delhi yesterday called on Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today and put forward some issues of the State which need to be tackled on a priority basis.
Speaking to The Sangai Express a well placed source said that the Chief Minister reminded the Union Home Minister that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had agreed in principle to the request of the State Government to set up five new IRB battalions and urged him to take the matter up for discussion at the Union Cabinet meeting.
The matter has to be discussed and okayed by the Union Cabinet before the green signal to set up the five new battalions can be given, explained the source. The five IRB battalions are to be primarily used for providing security on the National Highways which connect the State with the rest of the country.
Incidentally, shortly after the BJP led Government was sworn in on March 15 this year, Chief Minister N Biren and Works Minister Th Biswajit had flown to Delhi to meet the Prime Minister wherein the Chief Minister urged Modi the need to set up a Highway Protection Force, by setting up additional IRB battalions.
A number of Naga civil society organisations, including the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur had voiced their stand against the proposal of a Highway Protection Force on the ground that it would lead to militarisation of Naga dominated districts.
After giving a patient hearing to the case of the Chief Minister, Rajnath Singh assured that he would do all that is needed from his end to take the matter before the Cabinet for discussion and its passage.
The Chief Minister also put before the Union Home Minister that presently 2000 State security personnel are being deployed to provide protection for the construction of the rail track from Jiribam to Imphal.
The deployment of 2000 security personnel for railway construction work has left a big vacuum in the overall security deployment in the State, informed the Chief Minister and urged the Union Home Minister to instead deploy Central security forces to provide protection to the railway construction work, said the source.
The Union Home Minister took due cognizance of the case put forth by the Chief Minister, but spelt out that as huge security deployment is needed at sensitive States such as Jammu and Kashmir, could not give the assurance to send more Central security forces for the railway construction work.
Rajnath Singh however assured that all measures will be taken up at the earliest possible to relieve the 2000 State security personnel deployed for the railway construction work.
During the meeting the Chief Minister apprised the agreement reached with the CCpur JAC according to which the last rites of the eight persons lying in state will be performed on May 25, added the source.
The Chief Minister also highlighted the holding of the Shirui Lily Festival at the State level at Ukhrul and Shirui village. The Shirui Lily Festival started from May 16 and will continue till May 20.
Source: The Sangai Express