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IMPHAL, 27TH JULY, 2017 (DIPR): Chief Minister Shri Nongthombam Biren Singh has assured the Manipur Legislative Assembly today that problems with Groups under Suspension of Operations (SoO) will be sorted out soon to find an amicable solution. He was replying the clarifications sought by the opposition members while discussing the demands for grants for different constituent departments under Home Department.

            Chief Minister said, Government is fully committed to ensure a peaceful environment in the State and therefore all outstanding issues and problems will be sorted out to discuss with the stakeholders. He said, to bring an amicable solution to the problems with the Kuki Millitants Groups under SoO, State Government has approached the Centre to initiate dialogue process and therefore, former Director of Intelligence Bureau (IB) Mr. Devendra Sharma has been appointed as Interlocutor. Dialogue process will soon be started and may begin this week and within a time frame Government will try to bring a durable solution, he added.

Chief Minister further said that, tripartite talk with United Naga Council (UNC) will continue and any solution to their demands will be made only after consulting with people of the State. He hinted that any demand which is against the interest of people will no longer be discussed at all.

Shri Biren Singh said, the main concern of the Government is to ensure rule of law in the State. No one is above the law and therefore, anybody which is found guilty will be punished. He said, to establish a cordial relationship between the people and police, community policing will be a good option and it will be very helpful in the timely intervention of mob justice, accidents, rape and suicide etc. Police must be proactive in their duties as well.

Clarifying  concerns expressed by the opposition members over the increasing number of illegal tax collection in the national highways, Chief Minister said, stern action is on to ban such illegal acts and strict instruction have been given to the police and other security agencies. Altogether 37 NSCN (IM) cadres have been arrested so far with such cases.

On establishment of Highway Protection Force, Shri Biren Singh said, four new Battalions of  India Reserve Battalion (IRB) will be established especially dedicated to the protection of National Highways in the State. Clarifying that no restrictions have been imposed to the police recruitment process, Chief Minister said, all pending results pertaining to police recruitment will soon be out and the process of recruiting new IRB personnels will be started after that. Altogether, 30,819 sanction posts are in the police department but there are 7,411 posts lying vacant in the department.

On drugs and other substance abuse, Chief Minister said, mass drive is being carried out by police with people in various places including innumerable hill areas and as many as two kilograms of Heroin No.4 have been seized so far and a number of tablets have also been seized. He appealed the people through the House to co-operate with the initiative taken up by the government to stop such acts in the State.

Expressing concern over the increasing number of crimes against women in the State, Shri Biren Singh said, there is the need to conceptualise a system to check any form of violence against women even by using social media. Government is serious to check any form of violence against women and therefore dedicated First Track Court has been established.

On the demands made by the Home Guards personnel, Chief Minister who is also in charge of Home said, Government respects the service given by Home Guard personnel but the State is not in a position to fulfil their demand to implement the same salary with the police personnel in the State. As the State has limited resources, their demands cannot be met for time being. But, Government will look into the matter and will try to increase their allowances.

             Chief Minister said, more fire stations and sub stations will be established to enable timely intervention on any fire fighting in the State. Forensic Science Laboratory will be equipped with the best sophisticated equipments under Police Modernisation Scheme. Remote operating vehicles, remote wire cutting vehicles and other bomb diffusing equipments will be procured under the Scheme, he added.

Earlier, Members from the Opposition raised Policy Cut in the demands and expressed concern over the irregularities in Home department. Opposition Members Shri K. Ranjit, Shri Yamthong Haokip, Shri Kh. Joykishan, Md. Abdul Nashir, Shri Okram Henry, Shri Surjakanta Okram and Shri K. Meghachandra participated in the demand discussion.

Later, the House unanimously passed a total amount of Rs.1412,71,29,000 (One thousand Four Hundred Twelve Crore Seventy One  Lakh Twenty Nine Thousand) for five different departments under Home Department. It includes Police, Vigilance, Fire Protection and Control, Jails and Home Guards. (DIPR)