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Securitymen among Manipur car thieves

Imphal, July 23: Manipur police arrested 237 vehicle-lifters since April 2012, 10 of them belonging to state forces, deputy chief minister Gaikhangam, who is also the home minister told the state Assembly today.

Replying to a question from L. Ibomcha Singh of the NCP, Gaikhangam said the arrested vehicle-lifters include four personnel of the India Reserve Battalion (IRB), three policemen and three members of the village defence force.

The deputy chief minister said one IRB and three village defence personnel were among the 116 vehicle-lifters arrested between April 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. Three IRB personnel and one policeman were among the 83 arrested in 2013 and 38 lifters, including two policemen, were arrested this year. The 10 arrested personnel were suspended.

“Departmental action has been initiated against the security personnel, placing them under suspension and initiating departmental inquiries against them. A village defence force member has been sacked,” Gaikhangam said.

Village Defence Forces were raised by the Okram Ibobi Singh government to protect villages from anti-social elements and militants. However, the home department is using them in police work to maintain day-to-day law and order.

Police could recover 130 stolen vehicles. Of these, 109 were returned to the owners while 21 vehicles are in police custody. Of the arrested persons, 193 are in jail while 44 are out on bail. So far, the police have submitted a chargesheet in one case while the other cases are under investigation and the chargesheets would be submitted as soon as possible, he assured the House.

Ibomcha Singh pressed for immediate sacking of the personnel as their activities tarnished the image of the state force. He also demanded that the investigation should be expedited and chargesheets submitted without any delay. Assuring the House that the police were working very seriously, the deputy chief minister said the chargesheets would be framed and submitted as soon as possible.

“Concerning termination of the involved security personnel from service we have to follow certain procedures. We can’t terminate them from service summarily. They would be dealt with according to the law of the land,” Gaikhangam said.

Replying to another question from the same member (L. Ibomcha Singh), Gaikhangam said police arrested 2,415 militants since April 2012. Seventeen of them were arrested outside the state. The police seized Rs 61,86,723 from the arrested militants. Of the arrested militants, 1,154 are in jail, eight are in police custody and 1270 are released on bail. Gaikhangam said the cases were under investigation and he did not have the information on number of chargesheets filed in the cases.