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No proposal for President’s Rule in Manipur: Rijiju

Chumthang News Service
SHILLONG (IANS): Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Friday said there was no move by the central government to impose president’s rule in Manipur, but the strength of central paramilitary forces will be increased. “No we are not putting president’s rule in Manipur but decided to increase our (central paramilitary forces) strength there,” Rijiju told journalists here when asked if the prevailing law and order situation in Manipur warrants imposition of central rule.

He added: “Manipur situation is quite delicate but we are hopeful that with the autonomous district council elections just got over and was successful conducted. But the security situation remains to be seen because normalcy has not returned yet.”

Manipur is experiencing a series of law and order arising out the agitation launched by 30 civil society groups under the banner of the Joint Action Committee on Inner Line Permit system. Inner Line Permit is an official travel document issued by the central government to allow inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected/ restricted area for a limited period. It is obligatory for Indian citizens from outside those states to obtain permit for entering into the restricted areas.

Informing that the central government has decided to sent reinforcement to Manipur, Rijiju said Assam Rifles troopers have been instructed to move forward to the zero point of the India-Myanmar border. “Earlier our forces (Assam Rifles) were 20 to 40 km far away from the international border except Moreh and some other points and in some point but we have decided to sent them closer to the border to the zero point to secure the border and it will be a herculean task for them,” the union minister said.

Assam Rifles has the twin responsibility of guarding the 1,643-km-long India-Myanmar border and also conducting counter-insurgency operations. A government official said the decision to deploy Assam Rifles on the extreme point along the unfenced and porous international India-Myanmar border was aimed at preventing the Indian rebels from criss-crossing the border and carry out attacks. “All along, the Assam Rifles troopers have not been able to move in to the zero point of the international border due to various reasons including the treacherous terrain but we analysed those problems and now we have decided to move them closer as part of the government strategies to take on rebels,” a union home ministry official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

The Assam Rifles has 46 battalions, 15 of which are deployed along the India-Myanmar border. The unfenced, porous border with its rugged terrain is used by Indian insurgent groups to slip in and out of the country. Forest and animal products were also smuggled through this route in and out of India.

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