TODAY -

Stand to remove security forces opposed
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, May 13 2024: People living at the peripheries of Bishnupur, Kwatha, Imphal East and Kwatha in Tengnoupal district rose in protest against orders to remove Border Security Force (BSF) and some other Central security forces today.

The BSF, CRPF, ITBP and Gorkha Regiments deployed in the sensitive areas of the peripheries of the valley and Kwatha have been vital in maintaining peace amid the ongoing violent crisis.

Removing them from the regions would be a blunder, said the villagers.

In Kwatha in Tengnoupal district, womenfolk in large number held placards and protested a Government order to remove the BSF from the area.

Since May 3, 2023, when the violence first erupted in Manipur, the BSF in Kwatha have been guarding the village.

Their presence had deterred unwanted incidents and violence in the area, said the locals.

The villagers had been living with a sense of security because of the presence of the BSF and 3 Assam Rifles in the region.

The order to remove the BSF now has caused uneasiness among the locals, they said.

The BSF shouldn't be removed until peace truly returns in Manipur, they added.

Meetei Council Moreh (MCM) president M Thoiba has also urged the Centre and the State Government against removing the BSF from the region.

BSF shouldn't be removed from the region before peace returns to the border district.

In case the force is removed adequate India Reserve Battalion (IRB) personnel should be first deployed in the district for security, he added.

Echoing the same concern of the Kwatha villagers, the Federation of Civil Society Organisations (FOCS) has also advised the Government against removing BSF from the region.

Tengnoupal district has seen some of the worst violence amid the ongoing conflict.

The presence of the BSF is vital for the security of the people, it said.

In Bishnupur district, people rose in protest as reports of BSF, CRPF and Gorkha Regiments being removed from the region emerged.

The Border Security Force was deployed in the "red zone" of Watha Lambi area, under Saiton Gram Panchayat in Kumbi from early May 2023.Following an order to redeploy them in elections, the personnel were preparing to leave the post when womenfolk of Watha Lambi and Salankonjil thronged the streets in protest.

Peace has not returned in the region yet and as such, the force shouldn't be removed.

Removing them without sending a replacement force would land the people in deep trouble.

The area has seen intense attacks from the Kuki militants in the past, said the protesters.

Meira Paibis in and around Chairel Mangjil also rose in protest and demanded the Government to scrap the order to remove BSF, CRPF and ITBP from the region.

People also protested a bid to replace the Gorkha Regiment deployed in Leimaram Waroiching with the Assam Rifles.

Womenfolk sat on the road in protest and urged the Government to scrap any ploy to replace the Gorkha Regiment with AR.

The people in the region would launch intense agitation if the bid continues, they said.

Meanwhile, at Manipur Press Club in Imphal today, United Committee Pukhao and Makeng Dolaithabi GP president, Thokchom Sanjoy appealed to the Government against removing BSF 37 E Company deployed at Purum.

Dolaithabi, Ikou Yengkhuman, Mairenpat and other adjoining villages have seen some intense onslaught of the Kuki militants in the ongoing conflict, he said.

Houses in Dolaithabi, Ikou Yengkhuman and Mairenpat have been burnt down and hundreds of people have been displaced.

The presence of the BSF is a deterrent to Kuki militants.


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