TODAY -
Tight security, alert ahead of Sonia's visit
Over 5000 security personnel deployed in Imphal, CCpur

Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, November 11 2010: Security in Imphal and Churachandpur has been tightened and an alert sounded ahead of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's brief four-hour visit.

At least 20 companies (about 2000 personnel) of CRPF and Assam Rifles were called out to assist over 3000 state security personnel in to provide security to the visiting VVIP.

Extraordinary security arrangements have been made across the state and a general alert has been sounded throughout the state to ensure that militants don't carry out any strike and to see that no kind of disturbance comes up from civil organisations who are boycotting the visit, a senior police officer here said.

Authorities here have held consultations with Ministry of Home Affairs on the security aspects of the visit yesterday before the latter gave a green signal.

State home department getting the green signal from the MHA began reviewing the security arrangements made for the visit of the Z+ category VVIP.

Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh has personally inspected sites in Imphal where the visiting Congress Supremo is to tour while in Imphal even as IFCD minister N Biren along with some senior ministers are camping at Khuga project site in Churachandpur where Sonia Gandhi is to inaugurate the project.

Government has strong apprehensions of volunteers of civil organisations attempting a major disturbance as they have already announced a general strike on the day of her visit.

Seventeen major civil organisations have imposed a 15-hour state-wide general strike in protest against the Central government remaining silent on the whereabouts of UNLF chief RK Meghen after he was reportedly arrested from Dhaka last month.

Minority pockets throughout Imphal and Churachandpur have been put on extraordinary vigil and deployments around sensitive installations have been strengthened," an intelligence officer said.

They have taken all possible steps to defeat any designs by insurgents and civil organisations," he added.

However, he clarified that no specific major strike threats have so far been received from insurgent group except from some civil organisations who are boycotting the visit on the matter of the unconfirmed detention of UNLF chairman.

State police department responsible for overall security arrangement for the visit has assembled a strength of 3000 security personnel includes unarmed personnel to create a three-stage security protection of the VVIP at places where she will visit.

The police called out manpower from police stations across in the nine districts of the state.

The strength has been made up by calling out from Manipur Rifles and IRBs to be deployed at different personnel in the state.

Police commando personnel from four districts of Thoubal, Bishnupur, Imphal east and Imphal west have also been put on security duty from 5 pm this evening.

Two companies (200 personnel) of women CRPF personnel has also been called out from the CRPF group Centre Langjing to assist 750 lady constables who will encompass the Kangla fort where Sonia Gandhi will be addressing a public meeting after inaugurating various completed projects and laying foundation stones of new projects.

Over 600 unarmed Village Defense Force (VDF) and Home Guard personnel have also been called out to assist security inside the Kangla fort.

All have reported for duty at their respective assigned places by 5 pm, another senior officer looking after the overall security arrangement said.

According to the itinerary of the Congress president's visit which is subject to last minute changes, she will leave New Delhi by a special flight at 8 am and will arrive at Imphal airport at 11 am.

From there, she will be travel by helicopter to the Khuga Dam site in Churachandpur district.

She will be accompanied by three Union Ministers of state, Kumari Selja for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Daggubati Purandeswari, Human Resource Development, Mallipudi Mangapathi Pallam Raju, Defense.

AICC Manipur in-charge Luizihno Falerio has already arrived in Imphal.

After inaugurating the Khuga dam project at Churachandpur, she will land at the helipad inside the Kangla from where she will visit Bir Tikendrajit Shahid Minar where she would pay a floral tribute then proceed to Khwairamband market to inaugurate three multi-storey women's market sheds at noon.

After that, she will next go to the Congress Bhavan at 12.15 pm where she would unveil a bust of Mahatma Gandhi before inaugurating an annexe building.

She will then proceed to the CM's Secretariat cum residence for lunch which will be followed by a public meeting at the Kangla.

At the public meeting site, she will inaugurate by remote buttons a tribal market and minority (Muslim) girls' hostel.

The foundation stone laying of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU) campus at Makhan, Senapati and Netaji Subhaschandra Bose, INA Memorial campus, Moirang will also be laid using remote buttons.

Her brief four hour tour will be concluded at 3.50 pm.

She will be depart from Kangla to Imphal Airport by helicopter from where she will fly to New Delhi on a special flight.

Her tour programme is subject to last minute changes or cancellations, the source said.


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