TODAY -
State asked to rein-in police commandos
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 25 2009: The Union Home Ministry has reportedly asked the Chief Minister to take the initiative in ensuring discipline among the rank and file of the police commandos even as information has been received regarding availability of a retired judge to head the investigation on the BT Road firing incident.

According to a senior Cabinet Minister, the Union home Minister P Chidambaram recently advised Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh at New Delhi to chalk out a viable model for instilling sense of discipline in the functioning of police commandos.

It is informed that the Central Government is not at all amused with the conduct of the police commandos under the assumption of the Centre that police commandos are being given a free hand.

Thereby, the Chief Minister, who is also in charge of the Home portfolio has been advised to effectively keep the police commandos under control so as to make the law enforcing agency acceptable to the general public.

The Minister further disclosed that the Union Minister had cited indiscipline of the commando personnel as the chief factor that resulted in the BT Road firing incident and subsequent public rage.

It has been also informed that purpose of recent visit by the high level Central Government team led by the Union Home secretary GK Pillai, was to assess the overall law and order situation in the State in addition to taking first hand account of development works being undertaken in the State.

GK Pillai had held talks with SPs concerned of the valley districts on the law and order context besides conveying his personal viewpoints to the SPs, the Minister maintained while adding that at a meeting attended by the State DGP Y Joykumar and other top police officials the Home Secretary strongly recommended control of police commandos to avoid recurrence of unwanted events.

Regarding investigation into the controversial July 23 firing at BT Road, the Cabinet Minister said search for a retired Judge to head the judicial probe has narrowed down to three and there is strong possibility to begin the investigation at the earliest.

Out of three retired Judges enlisted from outside Manipur as potential candidates to head the probe one incumbent would be finalised for which the State's Advocate General has left Imphal for Guwahati, the Minister disclosed.

After consulting Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court at the Assam capital, the Advocate General will return back to Imphal to finalise procedural modalities.

Mention may be made that following intense public agitation the State government was constrained to order judicial inquiry into the BT Road firing instead of a previous decision for a magisterial probe.

decision for the judicial probe was also taken based on directive from Central leaderships to the State Government not to affront the Manipur public further on the issue.

The Senior Cabinet minister also revealed that Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh was apprehensive of possible pressure from various circles in case a native judge was chosen for the task.

As such a Cabinet meeting convened by the CM approved for search/nomination of a retired judge from outside to conduct the investigation fairly and transparently.

It is also worth mentioning that inspite of demands for judicial inquiry, certain organisations such as the agitation spearhead apunba Lup had been questioning necessity for such probe on the ground that exposure by the Tehelka news weekly of police commandos' involvement in the extra judicial killing of Ch Sanjit Singh is evidence enough to put the police commandos on trial for expeditious punitive action.

Movements are being launched on the demands that the Chief Minister should resign on moral ground, top police officials along with the guilty commando personnel be punished and the detained Lup activists be released without any conditions.


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