Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday appealed to the people of Manipur to maintain peace and promised that justice will be ensured for all sections of the society.
Shah, while laying the foundation stone of the tenth campus of the National Forensic Sciences University (NFSU) to be set up in the Changsari area in Assam's Kamrup district, said he will travel to Manipur to help resolve disputes.
"I will go to Manipur soon and stay there for three days but before that, both groups should remove mistrust and suspicion among themselves and ensure that peace is restored in the state," he said.
"The Centre will ensure that justice is delivered to all those who suffered in the clashes in the state, but people must hold dialogue to ensure peace," Shah said.
During the last six years, before the recent clashes, there was no blockade or bandhs in Manipur, and ''people must ensure the return of such a situation again".
"Charcha Ke saath hi shanti ho sakti hain (Peace can only be restored through dialogue)," he said.
Referring to the establishment of the NFSU campus in Assam, the Union home minister said that this will guarantee 100 per cent employment opportunities for students taking up courses in the institute.
''The Centre is planning to bring changes in the law to make it compulsory for forensic experts to visit the spot for crimes that attract more than six years of imprisonment," he said.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has plans to bring about changes in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), and the Evidence Act in the spirit of the Constitution to increase the conviction rate which will help in the delivery of criminal justice," he added.
Policing can be divided into three parts: law and order situation, crime investigation, and ensuring justice by punishing the guilty, the home minister said.
''This is not the age of using third-degree measures or force on the accused but there are scientific ways of collecting evidence through psychology, fingerprints, and DNA profiling and we need experts for these," he said.
The conviction rate in the country is low at 50 per cent and this is mainly due to lack of evidence or witnesses turning hostile which creates hurdles for the police in submitting chargesheets in the court, he added.
''We have decided to strengthen the forensic infrastructure, upgrade and modernise the laboratories, set up regional forensic laboratories and also district-level mobile forensic laboratories," Shah said.
This will require manpower and generate employment opportunities while research and development in this sector will be intensified and implemented at the grassroots level, he said.
Shah thanked Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for speedily allotting 50 acres of land for the establishment of the state-of-the-art institute from where 3,000 to 5,000 graduates and postgraduates will emerge in different branches of forensic science, wildlife forensics, cyber security, narcotics, digital forensics, drone forensics, forensic psychology, and forensics justice and law.
The campus will also provide training to the police, judiciary, and forensic scientists of all neighbouring countries.
The first phase of the NFSU campus is expected to be completed by 2026 and the second by 2030 while classes will start this year at the temporary campus on the premises of the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).
Shah said that for the last nine years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been trying to integrate the Northeast with the rest of the country and it is ''due to his efforts that we have been able to hold dialogue with Bodo, Karbi and Dimasa militant outfits and bring 8,000 youths to the mainstream".
Shah also launched an interactive web portal, the 'Seva Setu', of the Assam Police, developed jointly with the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL). It will enable people to lodge FIRs, missing person reports, and complete verification of tenants, paying guests, and domestic help without having to visit the police station.