SHILLONG, Dec 2: Some 2,000 vacancies and a thinning SF10, an elite force, have cast a shadow of doubt on the Meghalaya government’s move to set up seven police outposts along the boundary with Assam.
The vacancies are unlikely to be filled soon and many SF10 commandos have been posted for general duties in manpower-starved police stations across the state.
“As far as I know, there are about 2,000 vacancies in the police department. If they are not filling up these posts and not creating new ones, who will man these outposts?” former police officer and BJP leader, M Kharkrang told The Shillong Times on Friday.
He said pulling out police personnel from other units and posting them on the border will affect policing in the state.
“The creation of outposts at sensitive locations on the interstate boundary will definitely help in policing and the people in those areas. But each outpost will require at least three sub-inspectors for 24×7 duty,” he said, insisting on a recruitment drive to get adequate manpower.
Kharkrang also stressed the need for a special operating procedure for the personnel posted along the interstate boundary.
“The police personnel at these outposts should know their role is slightly different from their counterparts in undisputed areas or urban areas,” he said.
Citing that the police should know how to respond if Assam police personnel intrude and what is to be done, he said those posted at such locations should be thorough in dealing with different situations.
Leader of the Opposition, Mukul Sangma had said the state government’s decision to set up border outposts was an eyewash as vacancies in the police department remain unfilled since 2016.
Govt will immediately take steps: Conrad
Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, however, said the state government will immediately take steps on setting up of the seven border outposts (BOPs).
“We will do it as early as possible. In fact, one platoon was sent to Mukroh when the incident happened,” the chief minister told reporters on Friday.
The CM has claimed that the required manpower for these outposts are now budgeted for and sanctioned.
Talking about Khanduli, Sangma said people are already stationed there and they are now going to be regularised.
“We are ensuring that these become sanctioned post so that regular and permanent people will be put in there. Initially, these people were put in with an emergency point of view and not sanctioned posts specifically for those areas,” he said.
According to him, they were either from the police headquarters or the district headquarters; temporarily put in most places.
The seven BOPs will be established in Muriap in East Jaintia Hills; Mukroh and Tiwieh in West Jaintia Hills; Rani (Jirang) in Ri Bhoi; and Umwali, Lejadubi and Langpih in West Khasi Hills.
Sawkmie defends decision to set up border outposts
Suspended Congress MLA PT Sawkmie came down heavily on the Leader of the Opposition for castigating the decision of the government to set up border outposts in sensitive areas of Assam-Meghalaya interstate border.
Sawkmie, on Friday, said that the former Chief Minister, Mukul Sangma should have appreciated the decision of the government.
“The way he has expressed doubts on the decision of the government, it seems that he does not want the government to do things as per the demand of the people in the state,” Sawkmie said.
Recalling the ex-CM’s style of functioning, Sawkmie said governance is all about following a continuous process where if the previous government fails to do something, the incumbent does it.
Mukul had termed the state government’s decision to set up police outposts along the state’s border with Assam as mere eyewash while also raising doubts about whether the government will implement it completely.
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