No POTA, assures CM
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 16: Chief Minister O Ibobi today assured the House that even if the rest of the country implements POTA the controversial Act would hot be implemented in Manipur.

Participating in the discussion for the demand for grants of Police, Vigilance, Administration of Justice, Fire Protection and Control, Jails, Home Guard, Rehabilitation and State Academy during the evening session of the Assembly today, the Chief Minister said that no one has been arrested or prosecuted under POTA in the State.

The Chief Minister further said his Government will study the feasibility of canceling the order which called for the setting up of designated courts for POTA, allotting jurisdiction and appointment of Government lawyers to the designated courts.

These orders were issued during the PR stint.

There is no need to implement POTA as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act which has been in force .here for decades have the relevant clauses to give teeth to counter-insurgency operations, said the-Chief Minister.

On the Govt refusal to extend the service of the CO of 1st IRB, the Chief Minister said that the decision of the Government was not in any way influenced by the elimination of 11 NSCN (IM) cadres by personnel of the 1st IRB.

O Ibobi said the CO in question here was inducted into the IRB on contract basis for a period of two years after he had retired from Central services.

Admitting that the DGP and the Chief Secretary had recommended the service extension of the CO, the Chief Minister said that the officer's service was not extended as the MPS officers were against it.

The Chief Minister also said that former Chandel DC Y Thamkishore was released by the NSCN (IM) without any preconditions following fervent appeals from the public and voluntary organizations.

Acknowledging the need to give more teeth to the Intelligence wing to tackle the law and order situation, the Chief Minister said that the attention of the Government has already been drawn towards this aspect.

The security personnel have also been instructed not to eliminate militants but to try to bring them back to the mainstream, said the Chief Minister.

This will not dampen the morale of the security personnel, he added.

The Chief Minister further said that no bribery or favoritism takes place at the time of posting and transfer of police personnel.

He also reiterated that the Government is exploring all possible avenues to rehabilitate the surrendered militants.

On the vacancy in the Police Department and Manipur Rifles, the Chief Minister said the total number of vacant posts is approximately 1000.The Centre has also been approached to set up two new IRB battalions.

The Chief Minister also clarified that the Government paid ex-gratia to only 14ofthe 18 people who died in connection with the anti-cease fire agitation as the four of, them did not stake claim for ex-gratia.

It is difficult for the Government to dole out ex-gratia if there is no claim from the side of the victim.

However if there is any claim the Government will surely look into it, he assured the Assembly.