To restore peace and normalcy in the state, Manipur Governor Gurbachan Jagat on Wednesday said the state government is prepared to hold peace talks with any insurgent outfit if they abjure violence.

Addressing the Manipur Legislative Assembly on the first day of a two-day session, Mr. Jagat said the state continues to grapple with the problem of insurgency, which is severely hampering its development and growth.

The government has taken various steps to address the situation although there are more than thirty militant outfits operating in the state, he said.

As per the advice of the Ministry of Home Affairs, steps have been taken to strengthen the police force with the creation of a women’s battalion, a commando battalion and other critical posts, the Governor said.

Besides the present police force, the newly sanctioned posts stood at 33,031, as on October 15, he said, adding 21 new police stations at various strategic locations have also been set up.

During last year, 1368 extremists belonging to different outfits were arrested, 279 extremists were killed while 378 assorted weapons were recovered, Mr. Jagat said.

Explosive materials and ammunitions, including 130 hand grenades, 105 lethal bombs, 123 detonators, 6936 ammunitions of different weapons and seven wireless sets were recovered during counter-insurgency operations last year, he said.

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