| Atuwa Munda |
Jorhat, Dec. 5: Merely changing the superintendent of police of a district will not help maintain law and order unless the subordinates are also made accountable, says a confidential government report.
The report, submitted by Assam parliamentary secretary (home) Atuwa Munda to chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who holds the home portfolio, after a recent visit to Chirang district, says generally the official at the helm is responsible for any outcome, “good or bad”, but he cannot deliver without the sincere support of his subordinates.
Gogoi had sent Munda, a legislator from Tingkhong in Dibrugarh district, on a stock-taking visit to Chirang following reports of rising extortion, abduction and killings in the district, which falls under the Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD).
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, too, had recently expressed concern over the law and order situation in the state, particularly the BTAD.
Chirang superintendent of police Kumar Sanjit Krishna was transferred a few days after Munda reached the district on November 27 and before the MLA submitted his report early this week.
The report says officers below the rank of superintendent of police like additional superintendent of police, deputy superintendent of police, sub-divisional police officers and officers-in-charge of police stations should be made equally responsible for any law and order problem that arises because of lapse on their part.
The rise in extortion and abduction also figured prominently in today’s meeting of the strategy group of the Unified Command in Guwahati. It discussed the situation in the BTAD and Sonitpur, which are among the worst hit.
A senior official who attended the meeting said “massive operations would be launched to combat kidnapping and extortion, the growing incidence of which has not only become a major headache for the government but has also seen the Opposition raise the demand for a new home minister”.
Sources said inspector-general of police (law and order) S.N. Singh has been sent to BTAD to supervise the operations, as the post of IGP (BTAD) has been vacant since G.P. Singh’s deputation to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The government recently deployed two CRPF companies to Chirang to assist the local police, taking the number of CRPF companies in the district to seven.
Munda’s report calls for appreciating the work done by officials to maintain order as well as disciplinary action if they do not act swiftly, resulting in escalation of violence.
The report recommends reshuffle in the middle and lower ranks, too, along with removing the SP, and posting of “young officers having better physical strength and vigour”, who can act promptly, at police stations.
It says peace committees should not be confined to district and sub-divisional levels but should be constituted at the police station-level too.
Munda, when contacted, confirmed having submitted the report to the chief minister but declined to speak on its contents. “I visited several areas of the district (Chirang) and held discussions with a vast section of the people. After taking into account their concerns and anguishes, I have prepared the report which I have submitted to the chief minister,” he said.
Munda is now visiting Kokrajhar, another BTAD district, to review the security measures.
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