New Delhi: Around 400 additional troops of the Border Security Force (BSF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have reportedly been deployed to Manipur in the last few days. According to Hindustan Times, the state government is repurposing the BSF’s Churachandpur campus to serve as a temporary prison, as the two regular jails the state has are over capacity.
Manipur has been witnessing ethnic violence since May 3.
Looting of state armouries has been a recurring problem in the last few months, with reports saying that about 5,668 weapons and nearly 600,000 rounds of ammunition have been looted. Police have recovered only police have recovered only 1,329 weapons and around 14,000 munitions. On September 22, chief minister N. Biren Singh had made an appeal to the public, asking them to return all looted weapons within 15 days. If this were not done, he said, the security forces would launch a recovery drive.
On the need for a temporary prison, a prison official told Hindustan Times, “The two [existing] jails will soon be filled to their capacity. Once the combing operation starts in the next 13 days, the two jails will not be able to hold additional inmates. The inmates with heinous crimes may be lodged in the two jails, but the new ones could be taken to the BSF campus in Churachandpur.”
“An area inside the sprawling campus of the BSF in Churachandpur has been identified to lodge prisoners. The temporary prison will be run by the state government, while the security will be provided by the central and state security forces,” the prison official continued. “Two officials from the state government have already been given additional charge of superintendent and jailor of the temporary jail. In June, the CRPF camp housed three prisoners temporarily when they could not be transported because of the clashes that time.”