Hitches in process of arming civilians to fight militants

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Imphal, June 2 (UNI) The Manipur government and the people of Heirok, Thoubal district, are yet to reach an understanding over the issue of arming civilians to fight militants.

Official sources said here today that following the state government's decision to provide arms and ammunition to the civilians to protect themselves from militants, the recruitment process had already started at Heirok.

However, the local people had misgivings on whether the recruited youths will be used in counter-insurgency operations in other areas of the state as well.

Subsequently, the people of Heirok discussed the issue at a meeting yesterday, organised by local Congress leader M Oken and the meeting resolved to ask the state government to provide arms only for protection from militants and demanded that the recruits should not be used for counter-insurgency operations in other areas.

The state Cabinet discussed the issue and assured the people that the recruited youths would not be deployed in other areas of the state.

The Cabinet also decided to provide arms by opening special posts to be commanded by Special Police Officers (SPOs), the sources added.

Officials said 300 youths will be recruited at Heirok and 200 at Chajing, commanded by the regular police force.


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