| Gaikhangam |
Imphal, July 16: Candidates from chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh’s district of Thoubal are the “fittest” physically and academically as far as police recruitment is concerned and as a result they are the most successful in getting into the police department, according to Manipur deputy chief minister Gaikhangam.
Gaikhangam, who is also the home minister, told this in the state Assembly today while replying to a question raised by ruling member Yumkham Erabot Singh, who was unhappy with recruitment of more candidates from Thoubal district in police department in the past few years.
Erabot, whose sour relationship with Ibobi Singh is an open secret, wanted to know why Thoubal got the highest number of candidates recruited in various ranks in the police department.
The information provided by the home minister to the House says out of more than 14,160 police recruitment, candidates from Thoubal account for more than 3,700. The recruitment was made during the period from 2005 to 2014.
The ranks include sub-inspector, assistant sub-inspector, India Reserve Battalion and Manipur Rifles riflemen, constable (male and female) and drivers.
The lists of district-wise candidates from the nine districts recruited during that period show that in most of the recruitment drives candidates from Thoubal was most successful.
For instance, in 2005, out of 776 candidates recruited as Manipur Rifles and India Reserve Battalion riflemen, Thoubal’s share was 218. During the same recruitment drive, only 23 candidates from Tamenglong, the home district of Gaikhangam, were recruited.
In 2007, out of 1,284 Manipur Rifles and IRB rifleman recruited, 398 candidates hailed from Ibobi Singh’s district.
Erabot Singh was peeved at the recruitment of highest number of candidates from Thoubal district. “Why is there imbalance in the district-wise recruitment and why Thoubal got the lion’s share?” Singh asked.
In his reply, Gaikhangam said as far as police recruitment was concerned, candidates from Thoubal district were more qualified.
“They are more qualified, physically fit and well educated. In addition to this, Thoubal has the highest number of candidates who applied for police jobs. Moreover, Thoubal is a big district,” Gaikhangam said.
He said there was no question of favouritism in police recruitment.
Not satisfied with the replies, Singh demanded that the home minister provide district-wise list of candidates that took part in recruitment drives during the period of the ongoing state Assembly.
In a written reply to another question from Opposition Naga Peoples Front member Samuel Risom, Gaikhangam said the total strength of the state police force is 10,967, Manipur Rifles 6,185 and India Reserve Battalion 7,675.