Manipur govt to go ahead with policy to arm civilians

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Imphal, May 7: The Manipur Cabinet has decided to extend the policy of providing arms and ammunition to civilians to protect themselves from militants to areas having inadequate security.

Official sources said here today that the issue was discussed for the second time at a Cabinet meeting yesterday.

They said 300 youths will be recruited at Heirok and 200 at Chajing, who will be commanded by police forces. Each youth would be provided Rs 3,000.

The modalities would be worked out by a police team headed by a DIG and the entire process was expected to begin in June.

The recruitment would be done under the guidance of the Deputy Commissioners of the concerned districts.

The Cabinet also asked Manipur DGP Y Joykumar to submit a report on the possibility of extending the scheme to more villages.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet decision has triggered off a debate in the state with several organisations observing that civilians and recruited youths should not be used for counter-insurgency operations.

The United Committee Manipur (UCM) had appealed to all to seriously study the implications of the government decision.

The United People's Front (UPF), Women's Welfare Association, Charangpat Mamang Leikai Awang Kangcheibung, Thoubal district, United Women's Development Organisation, the Women's Welfare Association, Singjamei Wangma, Kongba road, Women's Action Committee, Singjamei, Manipur Forward Youth Federation and others also urged the government to seriously discuss the matter before implementing it.


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