By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Feb 21: Chief Minister N Biren has categorically stated that armed groups which have signed Suspension of Operation (SoO) pact with the Government of India and the State Government should not raise any demand for a separate State as and when political dialogue is held.
During question hour today, Opposition MLA K Ranjit asked in the State Assembly the number of cadres of SoO groups, the amount spent in paying stipend to SoO cadres in a year and whether there is any clause in the SoO pact which prohibits recruitment of new cadres.
Replying to the question, Chief Minister N Biren who is also in charge of Home Department stated that the number of cadres is 1122 under KNO and 1059 under UPF.
The pact has a clause which prohibits recruitment of new cadres and an amount of Rs 7,85,16,000 is spent annually in paying stipend to the SoO cadres, Biren informed the House.
The amount spent in paying stipend is borne fully by the Government of India. The SoO pact was signed at the initiative of army and none of the armed groups which are under the pact should ever raise any demand for a separate State as and when dialogue is held.
The SoO pact was signed in the first place after the armed groups gave assurance that they would not raise any demand for a separate State.
Informing that LK Mathur was recently appointed as interlocutor for dialogue with SoO groups, Biren stated that the State Government has not yet received any intimation from the Government of India for dialogue with SoO groups.
Even though the SoO groups had talked with the Government of India, no tripartite dialogue involving the State Government has been held so far, Biren said.
There are reports of armed militants abducting labourers engaged in the Jiribam-Imphal railway construction work and also about collecting illegal taxes along Imphal-Moreh highway by using a separate name (of militant group) not included in the list of SoO signatories. But there is no concrete evidence whether they are supported by SoO groups or not.
Some armed militants were arrested along with arms recently and they were booked according to law, Biren said. Replying to a question raised by Kh Joykisan, the Chief Minister informed the House that one individual was convicted after the Anti-Corruption and Vigilance Department registered an FIR against the particular individual on corruption charges.
Around 835 cases were registered during the past 15 years. While 354 cases were registered by the Anti-Corruption Cell, 481 cases were registered by the Vigilance, Biren said. Anti-Corruption Cell received 530 complaints since it was opened. While 307 cases have been disposed after enquiry, there are 47 cases which are currently under trial. Culprits have been convicted in 38 other cases.
Meanwhile, Vigilance disposed 353 cases after enquiry while 128 cases are pending. 11 individuals who joined service in Home Department fraudulently have been terminated while 27 officers of different departments have been suspended. Whereas three MR personnel have been warned, a case has been registered for recovering money misappropriated by three officers who have now retired, Biren stated.
The Chief Minister replied in the affirmative to Joykisan’s query whether there is any case of providing security to individuals other than Ministers, MLAs, ex-Ministers and ex-MLAs. Altogether 138 police personnel and one section of CRPF are being allotted to 15 ex-Ministers and ex-MLAs. 88 police personnel are allotted to non-Government officials, 23 police personnel are allotted to two individuals included in the Central List and six CRPF personnel are allotted to Binalakshmi Nepram in accordance with an order of the Supreme Court, Biren informed the House.
He said that non-Government officials are given security escorts after examination by Threat Assessment State Level Security Review Committee headed by the Chief Secretary as chairman.
Some other individuals who are not included in the list of non-Government officials are also given security escorts from time to time based on threat perceptions, Biren said. MLA Ranjit asked the Government whether there was any case of threatening Aimol people settled in the southern side of Manipur to merge into a bigger community and if yes, what measures have been taken up for protection of Aimol people. Replying to the Opposition Member, Biren said that there were reports of threatening Aimol people to merge into another community. Two IRB posts where police commandos are also posted have been opened at Aimol Ngairong and Molnom Kuki village for protection of Aimol people. However, there is no case of arresting anyone in connection with threatening Aimol people, Biren said.
Responding to a query raised by D Korungthang, Tribal Affairs and Hills Minister N Kayisii informed that post-matric scholarship for 2016-17 has been paid to some ST students studying outside the State while the larger majority have not been paid their scholarship. Since 2015, the Ministry concerned has been releasing the scholarship amount in phases. So far, the Ministry has released 40 crore in three phases and utilisation certificates for the same amount have been submitted. The Ministry is yet to release Rs 1080.29 crore and the State Government believes that the same amount would be released within a week. Once the pending amount is released, the department would initiate due procedures to pay post-matric scholarship to 1788 ST students studying outside the State, Kayisii said.
By Our Staff Reporter