HomeIndian DefenceMHA enhances air service for CAPF personnel travelling to Manipur

MHA enhances air service for CAPF personnel travelling to Manipur

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New Delhi, The Union home ministry has doubled to six days a week the availability of chartered aircraft for CAPF personnel travelling to and fro between Kolkata and Imphal due to their “continued deployment” in ethnic violence hit Manipur, officials said on Thursday. This enhancement of the air courier service for the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) personnel from the CRPF, BSF, ITBP, SSB, CISF and other organisations under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) like the Intelligence Bureau, NIA and NDRF has been initially done till September 30, the officials said.

The air courier service pertains to the exclusive engagement of commercial airline aircraft, like chartered planes, by the MHA for security personnel serving in the hard and extreme hard areas of Jammu and Kashmir, the northeast and the left-wing extremism (LWE) affected states.

A senior home ministry officer told PTI that the frequency of flights between Kolkata-Imphal-Kolkata was hiked from the existing three days in a week to six days due to the “frequent movement of the CAPF personnel for induction and de-induction from Manipur’s capital of Imphal owing to the dynamic security challenges occurring in the state.”

An order issued by the MHA in this context said the increase in the number of days for the air courier service was being done till September 30 or till the presence of these forces gets thinned due to the law and order situation getting normal, whichever was earlier.

As many as 150 companies have been sent to Manipur as additional reinforcements since violence erupted in the state in May last year. A single CAPF company has an operational strength of about 75-80 personnel.

Ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3, 2023, after a tribal solidarity march was organised in the hill districts to protest against the majority Meitei community’s demand for ST status. Since then, at least 219 people have been killed in the violence between the Meitei and Kuki groups.

The smooth operation of the air courier service for the CAPFs has been facing difficulties due to issues related to the pricing of tickets and adequate availability of the aircraft as many airlines have shut shop over the last few years, a senior CAPF officer said.

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