Guwahati: Amid the ongoing ethnic violence in Manipur, the state government led by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, has created a new post of Senior Superintendent of Police (Combat) and appointed a retired Colonel of the Indian Army’s elite 21 Para SF to fill it. The post was created amid sporadic clashes in the state that has seen months of ethnic tensions.
The state Home department created the post on 28 August, citing a decision taken by the state cabinet on 12 June.
Colonel Nectar Sanjenbam (Retd), who was part of the 2015 operations undertaken by the Army against insurgents based in Myanmar near the border, has been appointed to the post — a development criticised by Kuki groups and activists.
The appointment order issued by the Manipur governor said he has been appointed as SSP (Combat) “in relaxation of all prevalent recruitment norms as a special case”.
Colonel Sanjenbam would be serving a fixed tenure of five years until further orders, said the order, a copy of which has been accessed by ThePrint. He would be leading the commando battalion of the Manipur police.
The veteran was part of the elite 21 Para (Special Forces) and was awarded the Shaurya Chakra for his Myanmar operations.
However, the citation, as is the case generally, does not mention his operation as being inside Myanmar but in Manipur.
The Shaurya Chakra citation awarded to then Lieutenant Colonel Sanjenbam on 8 June, 2015, honours him for “meticulous planning, exemplary gallantry, bold and daring action under most challenging conditions”. The incident cited is a raid on an insurgent camp in Manipur.
While he was a Lt Col at the time of the raid, he was promoted to Colonel rank, but commanded a Battalion of the Assam Rifles.
The citation reads that he was leading a raiding party that took on an insurgent camp. He is personally credited with killing at least six insurgents with his silenced Uzi rifle even as he ordered a fire assault with rocket launchers into the camp, which lasted for 20 minutes.
There has been no let-up in violence between the Meiteis and the Kukis in Manipur with, most recently, 8 killed and 29 injured in gunfights reported between 29 August and 1 September.
(Edited by Richa Mishra)
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