Rijiju reviews law and order situation in Assam

Guwahati,2nd august-2014,IANS: The central government Saturday agreed to deploy five units of CRPF’s elite Cobra battalion to launch counter insurgency operations in Assam, where a senior police officer was killed by militants two days ago.

Besides, the centre agreed to continue the existing deployment of additional central forces in the state for a period of three months.

The decisions were taken Saturday after union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju held a law and order review meeting with Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in state capital Dispur.

Rijiju reviews law and order situation in Assam

MHA 394223
MHA 394223 (Photo credit: Tutenkhamun Sleeping)

The meeting was attended by senior officials from the ministry of home affairs (MHA) and state government.

The review meeting followed after the killing of Superintendent of Police of the Hamren police district Nityananda Goswami and his personal security officer during a gun battle with militnats in Karbi Anglong district Thursday night.

The centre earlier decided to withdrawal 36 out of total 58 companies of additional forces deployed in the Bodoland Territorial Areas Districts (BTAD) area June 11.

Rijiju accompanied by MHA’s Joint Secretary (in-charge of northeast) Shambhu Singh Saturday rushed to Guwahati on the directive of union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to take stock of the law and order situation in Assam.

We were of the view that the situation in Assam has improved. But the recent incident forced us to rethink, Rijiju told newsmen after his meeting with Gogoi.

The centre will give all possible help to the state government but the state forces also have to improve their sense of commitment in handling these kinds of situation, he said.

The centre has taken the matter seriously and that is the reason I personally came on behalf of the central government. I was planning to come to Guwahati after the parliament session but due to the incident in Karbi Anglong, I have advanced my visit, said Rijiju.

I am from the northeast and I know the situation in the region. Now, since I am in the home ministry it is good for the state governments in the northeast to pursue any matter, he said.

He also requested all militant groups operating in the region to join the mainstream. Please do not kill your own countryman as you are doing a great dis-service to the nation by killing your own people, he said.

Assam Chief Secretary Jitesh Khosla assured Rijiju that the state government would deal with the law and order situation firmly by taking up all possible security measures in Karbi Anglong district in the wake of the recent incident.

Khosla, however, requested Rijiju for help and support to strengthen the security apparatus in the state to deal effectively with subversive forces in the state, including left-wing extremism and fundamentalist elements.

Besides, the chief secretary sought assistance from the MHA to strengthen the existing police stations and to increase the number of police stations in the state, particularly in BTAD and hill districts like Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao.

Khosla urged the MHA to take up with the department of telecommunications (DoT) for strengthening of mobile network service in Assam.

Mobile network is very weak in areas like Karbi Anglong. This hampers operations against extremists in inaccessible and difficult terrains.

Our humble request to the MHA is that it should pursue the matter with DoT so that mobile towers are installed soon in places like Karbi Anglong. It will be of great help to us, he said.

MHA Joint Secretary Shambhu Singh assured that his ministry would take up the matter with DoT for early installation of mobile towers in far flung places.

The DoT is planning to install 7,000 mobile towers in the north east region alone, mostly along the borders. We will soon take up the matter with the DoT to strengthen the mobile network services in Karbi Anglong as well as Dima Hasao districts, Singh said.

He said the MHA would also pursue vigorously with the 14th Finance Commission for awarding sufficient funds for strengthening of the police apparatus in Assam that includes riverine patrolling.