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Manipur violence: CISF in talks with MHA to increase personnel at Imphal airport

New Delhi : The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which is responsible for securing public installations across the country, is in talks with its ministry (Ministry of Home Affairs) to increase the number of security personnel posted at Manipur's Imphal airport amid the ongoing unrest in the state. A top airport official told ANI, "The CISF is in talks with the Home Ministry to increase the number of personnel at the (Imphal) airport in view of the ongoing violence and unrest." Senior CISF officers are undertaking regular visits to the Imphal airport to take stock of the prevailing situation and assess the Sṭandard Operating Procedures (SOP) and other activities. On the present strength of CISF personnel at the airport and how many more are required, should the situation so demand, a senior CISF official said, "We generally do not share our personnel numbers due to security reasons and it is better to contact the headquarters." Earlier, on Saturday, a massive protest against the Manipur violence was held near Imphal airport, prompting the security personnel to fire tear gas shells at protesters. In view of the protest, personnel from the Manipur Armed Police and Rapid Action Battalion have been deployed to maintain peace near the airport. The Imphal airport comes under the Airport Authority of India (AAI). According to the authority, “A total of 108 flight activities have been handled till May 6. This includes 50 defence activities and six additional sorties. Till May 6, 10,531 flight passengers were handled.” As per the data of Imphal airport… it reports about 30 flights a day and about three thousand passengers a day. Further, according to an airport official, with relatives of scores of Haj pilgrims visiting the airport to pick them up or drop them off, there was a need for a better security presence there. According to officials, CISF personnel, AAI officials and defence personnel are doing the best they can to ward off similar incidents near the airport and ensure hassle-free services to flight passengers at Imphal airport. The violence in Manipur erupted after a rally by the All Tribal Students Union of Manipur (ATSUM) on May 3 in protest against the proposed inclusion of people belonging to the Meitei community in the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs).

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