| File picture of security personnel conducting search operations in riot-hit Kokrajhar |
Jorhat, Nov. 27: Dispur has asked the police top brass to prepare a blueprint to tackle ethnic violence, extortions and kidnappings by insurgent groups and criminals by carrying out a detailed study across the state.
The move comes in the wake of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing concern over the law and order situation in the state this week and the Centre extending the Disturbed Areas Act in Assam.
Official sources said the killing of Rajib Kumar Pathak, an engineer of the irrigation department posted at Halflong (Dima Hasao district) on Friday by suspected militants, abduction and subsequent rescue of NHPC general manager Anil Agarwal this month and similar incidents in recent times have resulted in the government directive.
A small tea grower, Prabin Sharma, who was kidnapped from a plantation near the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border in Tinsukia district on Monday, is still to be traced. Police are yet to arrest the culprits who allegedly gang raped a woman and brutally murdered her in Lakhimpur district on Friday. She succumbed to her injuries on Monday.
Assam parliamentary secretary for home Atuwa Munda told The Telegraph today that as part of long term strategy to tackle crimes relating to law and order of the state, chief minister Tarun Gogoi has asked the top police officials to carry out a study across the state.
He said that police have been directed to find out the nature of crimes affecting the different areas of the state zone-wise and identify the bottlenecks before they come up with a feasible action plan.
“A detailed study is needed as area-wise crimes are different and in some cases though the crimes are similar, the causes are not same and so different ways to contain it have to be adopted, taking into account the topography and other related factors,” Munda said.
In some areas of Assam, ethnic tension is a major problem while in other areas, extortion, kidnappings by militant groups, or by surrendered cadres or by local gangs are being reported, he added.
The state is divided into six ranges for the sake of policing, with each range covering three to five districts and an officer in the rank of deputy inspector-general of police posted in charge of a range. However, in certain ranges, the government has posted an inspector-general of police. For instance, the four districts of BTAD are looked after an IGP.
Munda said as part of short-term measures, top state police officials have been asked to direct the districts superintendents of police to take immediate steps to tackle incidents of extortion and abductions.
He said that police have been directed to take strong action against troublemongers in the BTAD districts in view of sporadic incidents of violence in the recent times.
“Police have been told to take strong action and keep a strict vigil to prevent recurrence of violence last year’s in the BTAD districts for which army had to be brought in to quell the violence,” Munda said. He added that tomorrow he would visit Chirang district to review the situation there.