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Security forces need to change mindset, says Manipur CM

Biren also urged Lt. Gen. P.C. Nair, Director General Assam Rifles, to initiate the process of vacating the Assam Rifles camp from the Manipur University campus. 

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Imphal: Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh said that both armed forces operating in Manipur and public need to change mindsets and their view toward each other as the law and order situation of the state has been considerably improved.

Security personnel should ensure the safety of the people and healthy relationships should be created between them, said the Chief Minister, while participating in a seminar – Future Ready Manipur – Looking Beyond Ethnicity & Insurgency’, organised by the Assam Rifles in association with the Manipur University here on Wednesday.

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Biren also urged Lt. Gen. P.C. Nair, Director General Assam Rifles, to initiate the process of vacating the Assam Rifles camp from the Manipur University campus. 

Lt Gen PC Nair, while speaking at the end of the programme, explained that his forces were ready to shift at any given day, however, due to lack of proper road connectivity, electricity and water, they are stuck in the same place. 

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh maintained his Government’s commitment, since its formation in 2017, was to bring bandh and blockade free in the State with improved law and order. His first priority as a Chief Minister was to bridge the gap between hill and valley and also among various communities, he added.

The Chief Minister continued that the Go to Hills mission was introduced to know and understand the grievance of the people residing in hill areas. Interacting and meeting face to face is the need of the hour, he said, adding that we can exchange our thoughts with civil society organisations, church leaders and village chiefs and know their grievances for redressal. He informed that after the Go to Hills mission, the Go to Village mission was launched to take Government officials to villages and provide services to the people at their doorsteps.

Continuing his speech, N. Biren Singh mentioned the North-East region is blessed with abundant natural resources, rich cultural heritage and young dynamic population. Manipur, with its strategic location, has huge potential in the field of Trade, Tourism, IT enabled services, Hospitality, Entrepreneurship, Sports, Culture, Horticulture and Handicrafts, he added. He stressed the need for a collective vision and coordinated response from all stakeholders to translate these into reality.

The Chief Minister said the security scenario in the State has been improving over the recent years. Disturbed area under AFSPA has reduced further. His government has successfully rolled out numerous outreach programmes bridging developmental gaps and ensuring deeper emotional integration. He observed that Manipur had lost opportunities in the past due to problems of insurgency and polarisation on ethnic lines and added resolving identity based issues requires a comprehensive approach, based on mutual respect and a collective aspiration of a shared and united future.

The Chief Minister further stated that being a border state, problems of drugs and illegal immigration not only present a socio-economic problem but also has security dimensions. He added that the State Government had been making all efforts under its initiative of War on Drugs 2.0 to tackle the problem of drugs in the State. Simultaneously, programmes to provide alternative livelihood for poppy planters are being taken up.

Regarding connectivity, he stated that connectivity infrastructure air, helicopter services and rail connectivity in the State has also been strengthened. Steps are also being taken to improve connectivity infrastructure along the border, he added.

The seminar was attended by Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution L. Susindro Meitei, Education Minister Th. Basanta Kumar Singh, MLA of Lamlai AC Kh. Ibomcha Singh, Director General of Assam Rifles Lt. Gen. P.C. Nair, Vice-Chancellor of Universities, senior officials of Assam Rifles and other paramilitary forces and students among others.

The Seminar had two plenary sessions on topics ‘The trouble neighbour-turbulent Myanmar : implications & impact’ and ‘Past v/s Future- shedding the historical baggage in Manipur’.

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