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Opposition stages walkout

- MLAs dissatisfied with Dispur’s take on law & order

Guwahati, Dec. 17: AGP and BJP members today walked out of the Assam Assembly, dissatisfied with the government’s statement on the law and order scenario in the state.

The AGP had moved an adjournment motion yesterday to discuss the law and order situation in the state but it was disallowed by Speaker Pranab Kumar Gogoi.

The Speaker, however, yesterday asked the state government to make a statement on the issue.

Forest minister Rakibul Hussain today made the statement in the House on behalf of chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who also holds the home portfolio.

Hussain claimed improvement in the overall law and order situation in the state in the past decade and said all possible steps are being taken by the state government to curb abduction, extortion and killings by militants in the state, particularly in the BTAD.

The Opposition MLAs expressed their dissatisfaction with the government’s reply and insisted on an adjournment motion.

Though the Speaker ruled that the state government must take strong action to maintain law and order in the state, it failed to pacify the AGP and BJP legislators, who staged a walkout in protest.

Hussain, in his statement, said security adviser to the chief minister, G.M. Srivastava, is preparing an action plan to stop abduction and extortion in the BTAD.

He said the number of civilians killed by insurgents have gone down to 35 this year (up to December 14) from 412 in 2000, which can be an indicator of the improving law and order situation in the state. Similarly, there had also been a drop in militancy-related incidents, down from 643 in 2000 to 297 this year (up to December 14), Hussain said.

He said this year (up to December 14), five security personnel were killed compared to 80 in 2000.

Citing the rescue of abducted NHPC general manager Anil Kumar Agarwal and Meghalaya sericulture officer Dilip Dutta Medhi, Hussain said though there had been a few cases of abduction in the state, in most of the cases, the hostages have been rescued unharmed.

“A few days ago, a hardcore militant, Action Dimasa, who is the chief of DHD (Action), has been apprehended by the security forces,” he said, adding that all these indicate that steps are being taken to curb militant activities in the state.

Hussain said on December 14, a civilian was killed and another injured in a joint attack by militants of the Songbijit faction of the NDFB and Rava National Liberation Front in Kokrajhar but the very next day, one of the militants involved in the attack was shot dead in an encounter with security forces in Mangaljhora forest in the district.

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