To avoid distrust, 'executive magistrates' to accompany forces during operations in Manipur

Imphal, Jun 8 (IANS): To flush out the militancy and their hideouts, the Army and other central forces continued their counter-insurgency operation and to avoid mistrust, 'executive magistrates' will accompany the forces during the operations.

Officials on Thursday said that based on a request, received from the Army authorities in Manipur regarding the requirement of 'executive magistrates' in the five valley districts and Kangpokpi for conduct of combing operations, Home Department advised the Deputy Commissioners to detail the 'executive magistrates' as AFSPA has been lifted earlier from many police stations falling in these six districts.

The Army requested 'executive magistrates' only for these six districts as 'executive magistrate' is not required for conduct of combing operations in other districts where Armed Forces Special Powers' Act (AFSPA) is in force.

However, it has been widely circulated in social media that combing operations will be conducted only in the valley districts, which are hit by militancy. Combing operations, if necessary, will be conducted in both the valley and hill areas equally to restore peace in the state, an official statement.

It said: "To dispel the misunderstanding among the public, the Deputy Commissioners of the districts of Churachandpur, Pherzawl, Tengnoupal, Chandel and Kamjong have also been advised to detail 'executive magistrates' for the operations conducted by the security formations even though AFSPA is in force in these districts."

Clarifying the rumour about the counter-insurgency operation, Manipur Chief Secretary Vineet Joshi said that the Army and para-military can conduct the combing operation without an 'executive magistrate' in those areas where the AFSPA is still in force.

The Act is still in force in most of the hill districts of ethnic violence-hit Manipur.

The Army, Assam Rifles along with Manipur Police commando and other Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), including Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force and Indo-Tibetan Border Police, have continued their search operation to recover the looted arms, to flush out the militants, their camps and hideouts.

The Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), an apex body of valley-based civil society organisation, in a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on June 4 alleged that a section of para-military troops remained inactive against the terrorists and they are not impartial.

The COCOMI after a day-long convention on Wednesday declared a "national war against the Chin-Kuki narco-terrorists".

Saying that the local youths were not willing to surrender arms as attacks by militants are intensifying, the convention's moderator R.K. Nimai and coordinator Jeetendra Ningomba said in a joint declaration that the government of India must bear responsibility for the current conflict between Chin-Kuki narco-terrorists and the Meitei people.



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Title: To avoid distrust, 'executive magistrates' to accompany forces during operations in Manipur

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