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Manipur to recruit 2000 cops

Imphal, Dec. 18: The Okram Ibobi Singh-government will revamp the state police force by recruiting 2,000 more male police personnel to deal with the increasing challenges of law and order and militancy in the state.

An official source today said the state cabinet took the decision last night to recruit 2,000 police constables as part of its plan to strengthen the task of policing, particularly in the hill districts.

“After last night’s cabinet decision, the state home department began the process for recruitment of the additional personnel,” an official source said today.

The sanctioned strength of the state’s police force is 33,000. However, at present, the total strength of the state police is only 28,000.

The home department officials felt that the task of policing in the five hill districts was not effective because of lack of adequate police personnel, while the valley has near-adequate number of police personnel.

Police commandos, specially trained for tackling militancy, moved to the hills only recently despite strong opposition from the hill settlers, who feared that the commandos would commit acts of human rights violation.

With inadequate presence of state forces in the hills, the state government has to depend on central forces for maintaining law and order.

The Ibobi Singh-government is also concerned with the increasing number of blockades and bandhs along the state and national highways by hill-based public organisations, particularly Kuki and Naga groups to press for their demands.

“Whenever there is trouble in any part of the hill districts, additional police forces have to be rushed from the four valley districts to control it. This has the disadvantage of late intervention, as travel from the valley takes time,” the source said.

The state government is also facing heat from human rights groups over the issue of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. A case is now pending in the Supreme Court after a retired government official filed a petition seeking repeal of the act. The hearing will be held next month.

The chief minister has always been maintaining that the state force alone could not deal with the prevailing situation in Manipur.

The home department feels that with 2,000 more police constables the task of policing in the hills could improve considerably.

The source said Manipur does not have enough state police personnel, unlike the neighbouring states of Tripura and Nagaland.