North East Current Affairs

Cabinet approves umbrella scheme of Modernisation of Police Forces

The Cabinet Committee of Security (CCS) has approved implementation of umbrella scheme of Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF) for years 2017 to 2020 to strengthen country’s law and order mechanism, modernise police forces and effectively fight against terrorism.

It is biggest ever internal security scheme in country. It has financial outlay of Rs.25,060 crore out of which Central Government share will be Rs.18,636 crore and states’ share will be Rs.6,424 crore.

Salient Features of Scheme

Special provision of scheme: It convers internal security, law and order, women security, availability of modern weapons, mobility of police forces, upgradation of police wireless, logistics support, National Satellite Network, CCTNS project, hiring of helicopters, E-prison project etc.

J&K, North Eastern and LWE States: Central budget outlay of Rs.10,132 crore has been earmarked specially for internal security related expenditure for Jammu & Kashmir, North Eastern States and left wing extremism (LWE) affected States. It introduces Scheme of Special Central Assistance (SCA) for 35 worst LWE affected districts to tackle issue of underdevelopment in these districts. It has outlay of Rs.100 crore earmarked for North Eastern States for upgradation of police infrastructure, training institutes, investigation facilities etc.

Upgradation of Infrastructure: It introduces new initiatives to provide assistance to States for upgradation of police infrastructure, forensic science laboratories, institutions and equipment available with them to plug critical gaps in the criminal justice system.

Integration of Police Stations:  It will aid in integrating police stations to set up national data base of crime and criminals’ records. It will be linked with other pillars of criminal justice system such as ‘prisons, forensic science laboratories and prosecution offices.

Forensic science laboratories: It provides for setting up of state-of art forensic science laboratory in Amravati (Andhra Pradesh) and upgradation of Sardar Patel Global Centre for Security, Counter Terrorism and Anti Insurgency in Jaipur (Rajathan) and Gujarat Forensic Science University in Gandhi Nagar.

Comment

Implementation of this scheme will help to bolster Government’s ability to address challenges faced in different theatres such as areas affected by LWE, Jammu and Kashmir and North East effectively. It will also aid to undertake development interventions which will catalyze in improving quality of life in these areas and help combat these challenges effectively at same time. It is expected that, the scheme will go a long way to boost capability and efficiency of Central and State Police Forces by modernizing them.

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Government to grant citizenship to Chakma, Hajong refugees

The Union Home Ministry will soon grant citizenship to nearly one lakh Chakma and Hajong refugees, who came from erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) five decades ago and are living in northeast.

Government’s decision comes in line with Supreme Court order in 2015 in this regard. The apex country had directed Union government to grant citizenship to these refugees, mostly staying in Arunachal Pradesh.

Chakmas,Hajongs

Chakmas and Hajongs were originally residents of Chittagong Hill Tracts in erstwhile East Pakistan. They had fleed their homeland after it was submerged by Kaptai dam project in 1960s. Chakmas are Buddhists by faith and Hajongs are Hindus. They had faced religious persecution in East Pakistan and entered India through the then Lushai Hills district of Assam (now in Mizoram). Later, Union Government had shifted majority of them to North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), which is now Arunachal Pradesh. Since then, their numbers have gone up from about 5,000 in 1964-69 to 1 lakh. At present, they don’t have citizenship and land owning rights but are provided basic amenities by Arunachal Pradesh Government.

Supreme Court Order

In 2015, the Supreme Court had given deadline to Union Government to confer citizenship to these refugees within three months. Later, Arunachal Pradesh Government moved to top court against the order. However, the apex court rejected Arunachal Pradesh Government’s plea. Since then state and the Centre began consultations on the issue.

Opposition to citizenship

Several organisations and civil society in Arunachal Pradesh are opposing granting citizenship to refugees saying it would change demography of state and would reduce indigenous tribal communities to minority and deprive them of opportunities. The Union Government is trying to find workable solution by proposing that these refugees will not be given rights to own land, which are exclusively enjoyed by Scheduled Tribes in Arunachal Pradesh. However, Government may be given Inner Line permits (required for non-locals to travel and work in three states Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland).

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