MHA urged to relieve AR from border duty: CM
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, February 29 2024: Chief minister N Biren has disclosed that the state government had written to the Ministry of Home Affairs to relieve Assam Rifles from the responsibility of border security and deploy another force while expressing confidence about positive outcome from the centre.

Responding to Congress MLA K Ranjit's posers regarding utilisation of central security forces vis-a-vis the present crisis during question hour on the second day of the 5th session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly on Thursday, the CM said that 198 companies of CAPF and 147 to 153 columns of Army and Assam Rifles were requisitioned to contain the violence with certain changes in columns of Assam Rifles based on deployment formation.

Altogether 200 companies of CAPF were deployed while two companies of RAF have been withdrawn, he said.

To a supplementary from Ranjit regarding inaction of Assam Rifles against obstruction caused by Kuki militants using arms and automatic firearms with apparent reference to an incident near Moreh town, Biren said that reports have been submitted to the PMO and MHA on the same with the state government also examining the case.

Detailed findings can only be known from the investigation report of the Army, he said.

The CM said he is confident that the Centre has realised security loopholes of using Assam Rifles for both counter insurgency and border security.

As such it is highly likely that the Centre would be replacing AR with another force for border security management especially as the state government had apprised the MHA, which had reportedly started process for replacement of officers with suspected activities.

Responding to another query from Ranjit, the CM said that the government has put in place policies to assist displaced people in returning to their respective homes and restart their lives through a scheme launched on November 9, last year.

Some displaced families have already returned to their ancestral homes, he said.

Under the scheme, which has a target of around 5000 houses, financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh will be provided for construction of pucca house, Rs 7 lakh for semi-pucca and Rs 5 lakh for kutcha houses.

The scheme has budgetary provision of about Rs 375 crore out of which Rs 5.60 crore has been released as 50 per cent advance to 139 families in the first phase and Rs 12.60 crore sanctioned for 472 families of Kakching district.

He also conceded slight delay in releasing fund due to loss of bank details in the violence.

The government had also approved another scheme for providing Rs 1 lakh interim relief per family, whose house had been burned down or damaged and 25 per cent of the fund for 6000 families totalling Rs 15 crore has been sanctioned.

Some families, whose houses are still standing had started returning to their homes and these measures are taken up under strict security measures and supervision of district administration.

Biren assured that he will inform about the progress of initiatives for resettlement of the displaced families of Sugnu once the DC and SP submit the survey reports.

Regarding Congress MLA Surjakumar Okram's poser on compensation o the victims, the CM said that a total of 13,274 structures have been burned or damaged in the crisis with further assessment and identification of damaged properties under way.

Biren also said that the compensation amount fixed by the government would not be sufficient for large buildings.

As such, the government is engaging with ISRO North East for a detailed survey of the properties with pre-crisis satellite imagery.

Even though the government could not fully compensate those buildings, it will provide some relief, he assured.

In response to a question on the fund for pre-fabricated houses and facilities for those in relief camps raised by another Congress legislator Thokchom Lokeshwar, Biren said that the pre-fabricated temporary shelter houses are constructed under a special package approved by the MHA.

The Centre sanctioned Rs 9.98 crore for construction of such units at Sajiwa and Sawombung, where 200 units were constructed, he said.

He further informed the House that relief assistance in the form of clothes, beddings, electricity, utensils and others are being provided to the internally displaced persons living in the relief camps.

The government has extended one-time financial assistance for clothing and personal belongings at the rate of Rs 1000 per person three times.

Students in relief camps have been linked up with nearby schools and colleges.

Provision of complementary nutrition and personal hygiene products has begun.

Re-issuance of important documents including Aadhaar cards is in progress.

Skill development trainings are being provided and special cares are being taken up to pregnant and breastfeeding women through line departments.

Necessary relief measures are being provided through DCs and 2868 displaced families with Labour Cards have been provided cash assistance of Rs 5000 each towards education of their children, elaborated the CM.

He also said that the prefabricated houses were constructed on a war footing basis to provide temporary relief, and the project does not have provisions for drains and approach roads.

However, the government will take up these components by any means before the rainy season, he said and drew the attention of the House to share details of any student, who are facing issues in getting education and related areas so that the government could promptly respond.

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