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Arms to be for only self protection, agrees govt, School achievers to be given scholarships

IMPHAL, May 23: The state Cabinet after a thorough deliberation today agreed to provide arms to the civilians only for self protection under the modalities for the implementation of supply of arms to the Village Defence Guard, VDG under the Special Police Officers, SPOs.
The Cabinet also decided to abolish cadre post sanctioned at the Manipur Information Centre and replace it by an ex-cadre post at the rank of joint director apart from revising the honorarium of the advocate general of Manipur.
It also reviewed the issue of arms licence to the people and also decided to pay scholarships to the 300 students of government schools securing highest marks in the HSCL exam in order of merit like in the case of HSSLC exam.
However, the Cabinet reportedly did not take any decision regarding the SoO operation with Kuki militants and disturbed area status of the state while reviewing the law and order situation of the state, a source said.
The Cabinet meeting which commenced from 4 pm today discussed the issue of arms to the villagers of Heirok and Chajing who have been hit by militant activities.
The Cabinet also thoroughly discussed the report submitted by the two police officers of the state who visited Jammu and Kashmir and studied the system of arming civilians there taken up by the state government.
Mention may be made that the SP, Thoubal district, Clay Khongsai and SDPO, Imphal west, AK Jhalajit were deputed by the state government to study the modalities of the implementation of arming civilians in J&K by opening Jammu and Kashmir Volunteers Forces, JKVF.
Considering the modalities of the JKVF based on the report submitted by the two officers, the Cabinet decided to supply the arms to the villagers of Heirok and Chajing only to protect themselves from the militants in their localities.
The volunteers of the VDG will be under the control of the SPOs and they will not be allowed to go outside the jurisdiction of the SPOs, the modality as decided by the Cabinet reportedly said.
The SPOs would be kept under the command of a well trained non-commission officer, NCO from the police and would guard the village covered by a particular SPO.
If any of the weapons issued by them are used outside the purview of the SPO and in an illegal manner, the guard would be dismissed from the VDG, the Cabinet decided, the source said.
The state Cabinet also approved the proposal for increase in the honorarium and other allowances of the advocate general of Manipur. As agreed by the Cabinet, appearance allowance of the AG would be increased from the current Rs. 2000 per appearance to Rs. 3000, the appearance allowance to the Supreme Court and other higher courts by the AG would also enhance from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 7000.
The allowance for consultation with the AG by the government in drafting government memorandum would also be increased to Rs. 3000 apart from hiking the allowance of AG appearance in a court outside the state from Rs. 1000 to Rs. 2000.
The AG will also be given permission to appoint an advocate of his choice with an monthly honorarium of Rs. 8000.
The Cabinet also reviewed the arms licence issue policy of the government in today’s meeting.
After the review it was decided that 20 percent of arms licences would be issued to the ministers, 15 percent to the MLAs and MPs, 10 percent to the zilla parishad members, 10 percent to the private or individuals, 10 percent to the government employees and 10 percent to the retired Central government officers.
The Cabinet also agreed to payment of scholarships to 300 students who secured highest marks beginning with the first position holders per month for three years. But the amount was not fixed by the Cabinet even though it discussed payment of at least Rs. 500 or above.
The scheme for payment of scholarship to 300 students of HSSLC exam which was approved by the Cabinet in one of its meetings was also re-discussed today.
The Cabinet approved the distribution of 300 students to be given scholarship as 150 from the science stream, 100 from arts stream and 50 from commerce.
The other agenda discussed today and approved by the Cabinet was abolition of information officer of the directorate of information and public relation, DIPR.
After abolishing the post a ex-cadre post is to be created. The post to be created will be in the rank of joint director, designated as joint director, media coordinator.
(Courtesy: IFP)

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