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Hovercrafts inducted into Manipur Police
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, March 07 2011: Manipur Police inducted three hovercrafts, military assault boats from USA, into its Loktak Protection Force in a ceremony held at Takmu, Loktak lake today.

With this, the state police has become the first police force in the country having military assault boats, according to DGP, Y Joykumar.

Chief Minister, Okram Ibobi Singh, who attended the launching ceremony, said that the air-cushion vehicle (ACV) will not only be used to flush out insurgents taking shelter in the lake but also for the conservation of the only fresh water lake in the NE.

The CM asserted that Loktak lake is used by insurgents to carry out anti-social activities in the valley areas.

They take shelter in the huts built by fishermen on phumdi (floating biomass).

With the induction of the hovercrafts, the police will be able to dominate the lake by constant patrolling.

If necessary more hovercrafts will by purchased, he said.

The military assault boats, each have a capacity to carry 10 different types of sophisticated weapons.



Hovercrafts, formally inducted in the police force in a function in Takmu, carry dignitaries in trial runs at Loktak lake


The Loktak Protection Force was established with the twin objective of domination of the lake and for enforcement of the Manipur Loktak Lake (Protection) Act-2006 .

These hovercrafts will also be used in checking violations of the Act, Ibobi said.

Emphasizing the need for preservation of the lake, the CM said that government will take up demarcation of the lake areas asserting that many individuals have illegally encroached on the shores.

While taking up lake conservation work, the interests of fishermen will be taken into account.

Their fishing activities will not be hurt but illegal practice of planting phumdi which has impacted the maintaining of the natural condition of the lake will be checked, he added.

DGP, Y Joykumar said that the day would be a historic day for Manipur Police because it has now got three high-tech military assault boats which even the Indian Army and other better placed states of the country have not acquired yet.

He reminded that the hovercrafts will be used to control insurgency.

He asserted that since he took over the charge of DGP, several steps to control insurgency related incidents have been taken up and that he will continue to do so.

The decision to utilise ACVs in counter insurgency operations in Loktak lake was made after a thorough analysis of the mode of operations of insurgents who use the lake to take shelter.

Before the decision was taken the state held consultations with the Army and Coast Guard authorities who had also inspected the lake before the procurement of the hovercrafts.

The Loktak Protection Force, with a strength of 200 personnel under the command of a Deputy Superintendent of Police, will start utilizing the hovercrafts for domination of the lake, the DGP said explaining that the ACVs were purchased from a company based in the United States of America with funds from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs under the programme, modernization of police force in Manipur.

Each hovercraft has a seven men capacity and has a speed of 68 km per hour in the water.

State police personnel who are to operate the ACVs have been imparted training by experts from the USA.

These experts are still camping in the state and so far 14 personnel have obtained training.

The craft can be put into operation from 200 to 210 days a year, he added.

The launching ceremony was attended by Social Welfare Minister N Loken, MLAs, M Prithivraj, Dr Kh Ratankumar, T Mangibabu and SPs of Thoubal and Bishnupur and officials of the state police and the Army.

After the launching ceremony, the CM inaugurated an Indoor Stadium at Mukta High School, Moirang constructed by the Army under its civic action programme.

Speaking on the occasion, Ibobi lauded the Army for their extra activities apart from their primary duties of assisting the state force in maintaining law and order in the state.

The function was presided over by GOC, Maj Gen DS Hooda.


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