Sunday, May 4, 2008

Manipur to arm people against militants

Imphal, May 3: The Manipur government will provide arms to people in two villages and give them training to protect themselves from attacks by militants , a move akin to the controversial "salwa judum" in Chhattisgarh.

The decision to arm 500 villagers — 300 at Heirok in Thoubal district and 200 at Lilong Chajing in Imphal West district — was taken during a Cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister O. Ibobi Singh on Friday, official sources said.

Salwa judum is a vigilante group formed to take on the naxals in Chhattisgarh. It has kicked up a controversy with even the Supreme Court voicing reservations.

Sources said the police would train the villagers in Manipur to be known as special police officers and each would be paid Rs 3,000 per month after completion of training.

These armed villagers would be deployed at their respective villages from June next, sources said, adding that five barracks. three Heirok and Two at Lilong Chajing, would also be constructed. (PTI)

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