CM identifies core issues; internet ban lifted
Centre urged to do away with FMR : Biren

Source: The Sangai Express / DIPR

Imphal, September 23 2023: Chief Minister N Biren has stated that the Free Movement Regime (FMR) with Myanmar which allows people on either side to travel up to 16 Kms inside the other country is suspended at the moment and the Centre has been requested to permanently close the agreement in the State.

N Biren also announced that the ban on internet, including mobile data would be restored for the public from today.

The internet, including mobile data, was restored from today evening.

Commissioner (Home) T Ranjit issued an order to this effect today evening.

Briefing media persons today in the Durbar Hall of the Chief Minister's Secretariat this morning, N Biren highlighted some core issues to be taken up on priority by the State Government.

CM identifies core issues; internet ban lifted
CM identifies core issues; internet ban lifted

The previous Government introduced the FMR without giving any thought to its possible impacts on Manipur.

Security forces/border guards who should be deployed at Zero Km were deployed 14/15 Kms inside the territory of Manipur.

These lapses contributed significantly to the current crisis, Biren said.

Since BJP came to power in Manipur in 2017, the State Government has been working to check illegal immigration as well as drug businesses.

Aggrieved by these initiatives of the State Government, the illegal immigrants were planning for the current crisis, he said.

Although Manipur was pushed to a very unfortunate situation for the past four months, there has been a pause in gunfights and other violent incidents during the past one month and this was possible because of the Centre's full support, cooperation of all sections including media, State Government machinery, MLAs and Ministers.

He stated that the Government has resolved to carry on the activities of the Cabinet sub-committee to check and identify illegal immigrants coming from outside, with an objective to protect and safeguard the future generation of the indigenous people.

Letpao Haokip was appointed as the chairman of the sub-committee.

As biometric recording is necessary as a preliminary exercise to the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the State Government has urged the Centre to extend the time for biometric process by a year in the State, he said adding that it is the first priority.

Further explaining the importance of border fencing to check influx of illegal immigrants, the Chief Minister said some vulnerable sections have been identified for border fencing along the international boundary.

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has been awarded a project of fencing 60 Kms of Indo-Myanmar border in the Manipur section.

Rehabilitation and resettlement of displaced persons at their original places is another priority, said the Chief Minister, adding that around 700 displaced families in Torbung and some in Sugnu have been resettled in their original localities.

The Government has to work for rehabilitation and resettlement of displaced persons, construction of prefabricated houses, deployment of security forces in vulnerable areas, but if there is unrest and turmoil in Imphal, how is the Government supposed to take up all these works, the Chief Minister asked.

It is the police and the security forces that are guarding the State, the Chief Minister continued.

Biren further said that the pause in gun fights witnessed over the past one month or so is because of proper deployment of security forces in vulnerable areas.

On top of those already deployed there, additional security forces have also started entering Churachandpur with the support and cooperation of the people of the town, he said, adding that 25 persons have been arrested so far by the police in the district.

Altogether 7 have been charge-sheeted.

As the charge-sheeted accused cannot be brought to Imphal as of now, they are being housed in a BSF building which has been transformed into a temporary jail, he said.

Another serious issue is rising cases of substance abuse among the youth, the Chief Minister said highlighting the report of "Magnitude of Substance use in India 2019" published by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.

Stating that the finding highlighted in the report regarding prevalence of alcohol use, ganja use, opioids and others in the State is quite alarming and concerning, N Biren expressed the need to strengthen the War on Drugs campaign in the State.

The Chief Minister said a joint committee of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and Narcotics and Affairs of Border (NAB) has been formed to survey and destroy poppy plantations before they are harvested.

The Government has been working to purchase a UAV to survey poppy plantations.

Assam Rifles, BSF, other Central paramilitary forces, Indian Army and State forces have been coordinating with each to destroy poppy plantations, Biren said.

The Chief Minister said during the past two-three months, certain splinter groups who don police uniforms and are armed have created an unrest in the society with a series of unwanted incidents like kidnapping, shooting of persons, etc.

The Chief Minister highlighted a few incidents including kidnapping of an engineer from Tingri by unknown armed persons in combat dress, kidnapping of a Kom individual, placing of grenade at a residence at Ahallup for extortion, among others.

The Chief Minister further lamented distrust and disrespect shown to the Government by a section of the society and said that it is the Government with the support of the public that is facing all the issues in the State.

Biren also expressed strong dismay over the utter disrespect and scathing verbal attacks made by some sections of people against MLAs and Ministers.

He sought people's trust in the Government and said that the Government stands firmly with its commitment against disintegration of Manipur.

Further speaking against the spread of fake news which helps create unrest in the State, he said, "We should be clear on who we are fighting against instead of turning against each other" .

"We should be very clear that we are fighting against forces which are trying to disintegrate and break up Manipur", he said lamenting that certain organizations formed in localities seem to be dictating unrest.

It would be detrimental to the interest of Manipur if smaller and local groups which emerged recently start calling the shots and people extend unconditional support to their agitation, Biren said.

Because of the unrest in Imphal, the Government is unable to send police commandos and Central forces for biometric data collection.

Police commandos, IRBs and village volunteers have been fighting in the frontline against the aggression, Biren said.

Police commandos deployed at Moreh have been discharging their duties with full dedication, he said.

The Chief Minister announced that the Government would start releasing funds for construction of houses of those people whose houses have been burnt down.

The Government would also compensate properties destroyed in the violence, he added.

Steps are being taken up to ensure that there is rule of law in all districts of the State with cooperation of the people, he said.

The Chief Minister further said that Airtel's alleged leakage of internet service in Churachandpur has been found to be true and two employees have been subsequently suspended.

N Biren concluded with an appeal to all indigenous communities including the indigenous Kukis (excluding narco-terrorists) to join hands and stand unitedly and rebuild a peaceful Manipur.

The press briefing was also attended by Ministers Govindas Konthoujam, Thounaojam Basantakumar Singh, MLA Khumukcham Joykisan Singh and Chief Secretary Dr Vineet Joshi.

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