42 SITs to probe violence-related cases swiftly in Manipur

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Imphal, September 1 (IANS) At least 42 Special Investigation Teams (SITs) will be set up which will investigate all the violence-related cases expeditiously in Manipur, Raj Bhavan sources said on Friday.

Former Deputy National Security Adviser D. D. Padsalgikar, who was appointed by the Supreme Court to monitor and supervise cases handed over to CBI and those of SITs, met Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey and apprised her of the current crisis in the state.

Raj Bhavan sources said that Padsalgikar informed the Governor that to begin with 42 SITs will be set up and investigate all the violence-related cases in Manipur expeditiously.

The former deputy national security adviser has been recently posted to Manipur mainly to supervise the cases investigated by the CBI and SITs.

“As far as the cases in the Hills districts are concerned, Padsalgikar informed the Governor that video conferencing facilities would be provided through BSNL and NIC to get the cases investigated,” the sources said.

According to Padsalgikar, the first status report of the investigation will be submitted to the concerned authority by the first week of October.

He said that he had visited many relief camps and met internally displaced people in the camps.

Padsalgikar requested the Governor to take all possible steps to extend help to the people.

The Governor stated that both the Central and state governments have already taken up necessary common programme of actions to extend help to the violence-affected people and also instructed concerned state machineries to provide help to those people and measures to be taken up to re-settle them at their respective places at the earliest possible time.

Meanwhile, the Governor while interacting about the prevailing Manipur situation with newly appointed Inspector General of CRPF, Manipur and Nagaland sector, Akhilesh Prasad Singh, said that the timely deployment of Central security forces including CRPF, could contain the situation from bad to worse.

Further, the Governor requested Singh to extend assistance to the violence affected people who have been taking shelter at different relief camps both in the Valley and Hill Districts.

The CRPF IG said that he is already well aware of the current crisis arising out of the ethnic clash.

“Further, the IG informed the Governor that he would extend his fullest cooperation from his side to restore peace and tranquillity in the state which was warmly reciprocated by the Governor,” the Raj Bhavan sources stated.

Over 170 people have been killed and more than 700 injured since ethnic violence broke out in the state on May 3, when a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

In view of the ethnic strife in Manipur, approximately 70,000 men, women and children belonging to different communities have been displaced and are now sheltered in 350 camps set up in schools, government buildings and auditoriums in Manipur and several thousand sought refuge in the neighbouring states including Mizoram.