Dy CM clarifies on escort denial allegation

IMPHAL, Dec 30: Outrightly rejecting allegations by the Ukhrul Assembly Consti-tuency MLA Samuel Risom that he was denied security escort for his Ukhrul visit recently, Deputy chief Minister Gaikhangam today clarified that the Government only suggested that the NPF MLA cancel the proposed visit on security ground.

Speaking to newspersons on the sidelines of a party event at Congress Bhavan today, Gaikhangam recounted that the MLA’s proposed visit to his Assembly Constituency coincided with bandhs enforced both in the hills and valley districts and as such the state Government did not want to take the risk.

Apart from security uncertainty prevailing at that juncture, the Government’s main concern was to ensure safety of the MLA consequent to which he (Samuel Risom) was advised to defer the visit, said the Deputy CM further.

Disclosing that the MLA personally sought security escorts to enable him attend a function in Ukhrul, Gai-khangam said the matter was conveyed to the DGP followed by the latter’s sugges- tion that the travel plan be shelved or postponed.

Even though it was assumed that the MLA might cancel the tour programme information was received about Samuel Risom going ahead with his plan despite House Guard commander proposition that the MLA defer the proposed visit, Gaikhangam maintained.

Insisting that Risom’s case was not an isolated one as similar intimation by other MLAs were also turned down by the Government on security reasons, the Home Minister regretted that the Government’s concern for safety of the Ukhrul MLA has been misconstrued.