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Dispur seeks BTC’s support

Guwahati, Dec. 19: Dispur today sought the help of the Bodoland Territorial Council in maintaining law and order in the Bodoland Territorial Areas District, which has seen widespread protests against rise in extortion, abduction and killings of late.

The appeal for co-operation was made by chief minister Tarun Gogoi during a meeting with Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) chief Hagrama Mohilary at his Assembly chamber this morning.

Dispur has asked the BTC, which governs BTAD, to mobilise community participation, particularly of non-Bodo communities, in maintaining order.

The move is being attributed to heightened tension in the area following the killing of two school students by security personnel in an alleged fake encounter in Chirang district last week. Like most organisations, the BPF, a partner in the Congress-led ruling coalition at Dispur, has been critical of the killings.

Sources said the appeal was Gogoi’s way of conveying Dispur’s concern over law and order issues in the BTAD since the riots last year. They said he would also try to reach out to the people of BTAD by attending the BPC conference at Gossaigaon on December 23.

Among those who attended the meeting were director-general of police Jayanto Narayan Choudhury, additional DGP (special branch) Pallab Bhattacharyya, ADGP (law and order) A.P. Rout, home commissioner G.D. Tripathi and state transport minister and senior BPF member Chandan Brahma.

The BPF, which has been asking Dispur to hand over the home department to the BTC for effective maintenance of law and order, has sought additional policing infrastructure, saying that Baksa, Udalguri and Chirang, three of the four districts that make up the BTAD which was created in 2003, lack basic facilities.

Brahma told The Telegraph that the BPF-led BTC, is an elected set-up (the first BTC election was held in 2005) and it is taking steps to maintain peace. “It will help a great deal if our proposal for creation of around 40 additional police stations and outposts is cleared soon. BTC is a new set-up. Once we have the infrastructure and manpower, both security and development issues can be tackled more effectively,” he said.

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