Highways should be opened at any cost : Rijiju
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, December 23 2016:
Union Minister of State (Home) Kiren Rijiju has stated that both Imphal-Dimapur highway and Imphal-Jiribam highway should be opened at any cost.
Briefing media persons at the conference hall of Old Secretariat this afternoon, Kiren Rijiju stated that he is here to do the needful and address the plight of the people of Manipur caused by the prolonged economic blockade.
Meanwhile, the State Government received an intimation from the Ministry of Home Affairs informing that 37 companies of Central Paramilitary Forces would be sent to the State by January 6 .
The CPMF which the Ministry of Home Affairs would be sending to Manipur includes 17 companies of CRPF, four companies of SSB and 16 companies of BSF.
It is said these companies of CPMF would be utilised in clearing Imphal-Mao highway, informed a source.
"I'm here at Imphal to make a direct assessment of the situation prevailing in Manipur", he added.
He conveyed that he held a meeting with Chief Minister O Ibobi, Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam, senior State officials and high ranking officials of security agencies.
During the meeting, the participants agreed that maintenance of law and order is a State subject and the Union MoS (Home) rued that the Central Government could not respond quickly enough to the issue of highway blockade due to certain communication gaps between the State and Central Governments.
Nonetheless, he assured to bridge whatever gap that exists between Imphal and New Delhi.
He also maintained that the meeting held today was quite positive.
Rijiju stated that this particular trip to Imphal was solely aimed at solving the humanitarian crisis being witnessed in the State, and it had no connection with BJP's political activities.
He categorically stated that the Central Government cannot accept any activity or agitation which keeps the whole population of a State under siege.
Highlighting the recent Tengnoupal ambush in which three police personnel were killed and confiscation of weapons from IRB personnel at Nungkao, the media persons asked the Union MoS (Home) whether the Government of India was aware about NSCN-IM cadres operating freely in Manipur.
Kiren Rijiju maintained that the Central Government has no idea NSCN-IM's presence in Manipur.
If they (NSCN-IM) are operating freely in Manipur, a thorough investigation should be done.
The ground rules of the cease fire pact signed between the Government of India and NSCN-IM are clear and cannot be flouted, he declared.
"Nobody is permitted to break the ground rules.
If anybody breaks the rules, necessary action would be taken", he stated.
He further asked the State Government to send reports in time if anyone is breaking the cease fire ground rules.
Both the two National Highways, (NH 2 and NH 37) should be opened at any cost.
Neither the State Government nor the Central Government can escape from the responsibility of keeping all National Highways opened, he continued.
He further assured that the Central Government would not tolerate any form of economic blockade on highways.
Noting that economic blockade is a crime against humanity, he further assured that the people of Manipur would not suffer any longer due to the blockade as the Central Government is ready to provide any assistance.
Already 184 companies' of Central paramilitary forces are present in the State for guarding border, maintenance of internal security etc.
Seven companies are also on the way and more will be sent, if required.
"When it comes to humanitarian crisis, there is no political colour, though we represent different parties.
Common people's life should not be affected.
From today onwards all the basic steps, whatever is necessary will be taken up soon", the Union Minister added.
No political party or leader should ever try to take political advantage out of the humanitarian crisis witnessed in the State.
The Joint Secretary of the Union Home Ministry also attended the press conference.