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M’pur to demand security for rly projects
Correspondent IMPHAL, MAR 3:
Published on 4 Mar. 2009 1:20 AM IST
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Deployment of adequate Central Security Forces in the project sites at Tipaimukh Hydro Electricity Project and at the Jiribam-Imphal Rail Line would be among other agendas which Manipur would table in the meeting of Steering Committee on Security and Border Trades of North Eastern Council, NEC at New Delhi on Wednesday. The meeting would be chaired by Union home secretary Madhukar Gupta and would also be attended by joint secretary MHA Border Management Jarnail Singh. Additional secretary, planning and home DS Poonia would represent Manipur, official source here said. The controversial Tipaimukh Hydro Electricity Project is located within Manipur bordering Mizoram under Purbung sub-division of Churachandpur district at the confluence of Tuivai and Barak River. According to state assessment report, the area where the project is to be taken up is dominated by militant outfits, Hmar People Convention-Democratic (HPC-D) and Hmar Naitonal Army (HNA) besides a stronghold area of other rebels like the UNLF, NSCN(K), NSCN(IM) etc. in the midst of anti-dam NGOs. Many NGOs in Manipur are strongly opposing the construction of the dam highlighting the impact of the dam to the ecosystem and biodiversity as the dam would submerge a vast area of land under water. Manipur government would put up a proposal of deployment of 23 companies (4 battalions) at the project site even though Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) had assessed the initial requirement of security forces at 12 companies for the protection of quarries, roads and project site construction. As many as 21 rebels groups are active in the area along the 94 km stretch where the Jiribam (border town of Manipur with Assam)-Imphal (first phase), Manipur government would table a proposal of another four battalions of Central Paramilitary Forces for deployment for the protection of the project sites. As per government assessment reports, UNLF, Naga National Council (NNC), NSCN(K) and Kuki National Front (KNF) also operate in the areas from Jiribam to Kaimai along the stretch of the railway line. The area from New Kaimai along Khongsang upto Irang is operated by NSCN (IM) and at Awangkhul by both factions of NSCN. As such at present altogether 21 rebels outfits (eight each of Naga and Kuki, two each of Zomis, Hmar, one Muslims and five Meetei operate from the area where the railway has to pass, the assessment report stated. Currently five companies of CRPF are deployed along NH-53 which runs nearby the stretch of the proposed railway line. However four more battalions of security forces, additional security personnel are required to conduct counter insurgency operations in the areas, the source maintained. The railway line which aim to connect Imphal with other states is targeted to be complete by 2012.

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