Guwahati, Sept. 22: Assam police are planning to deploy five companies of its 24th battalion in 18 riverine police stations to check crime.
Sources said though Dispur was planning to raise a new battalion for the riverine areas, it was now considering a proposal submitted by the police to deploy its 24th battalion. Each of the five companies comprises around 100 personnel.
A source in the border branch of the police said the battalion, raised in 2009, is at present based at Charaimari in Baksa district.
“Deployment of armed personnel in the sars (riverine) police stations is necessary to improve security arrangements. A strong network of criminals smuggling drugs, fake currency notes and fertilisers are active in the riverine areas and it is not possible for our policemen to carry out proper operations without armed policemen. The battalion personnel will add teeth to our security arrangements in the riverine areas,” the source said.
In 2010, Dispur had set up 18 riverine police stations in Cachar, Tinsukia, Dhubri, Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Darrang, Nalbari, Nagaon, Kamrup, Barpeta, Bongaigaon and Goalpara districts.
These police stations handle law and order issues and criminal cases reported in the riverine areas.
At present, the police stations are not well equipped to tackle mob violence and serious situations.
The deployment of the battalion assumes importance as some of the riverine police stations are situated close to the Indo-Bangladesh border, particularly in Dhubri and Cachar districts.
Apart from maintaining law and order in the inaccessible areas, the battalion personnel will also be used to keep a watch on illegal infiltration from Bangladesh.
The police, the BSF and custom sleuths from the riverine areas often seize consignments of psychotropic drugs (cough syrup), cattle and fake Indian currency notes (FICN).
They insist that a continuous drive is necessary to check the illegal activities.
The BSF has busted several fake currency rackets in the riverine areas.
“Apart from criminal activities, the riverine areas are increasingly witnessing mob violence. Many times, policemen come under attack but it is difficult to send reinforcements immediately,” the source said.
Once the formalities are finalised, the battalion personnel will be given special training on how to tackle crimes like smuggling and illegal infiltration, the source added.