| Army officers interact with citizens in a camp in Panbari in Dhubri dictrict on Saturday. Picture by Bijoy Kumar Sharma |
Agia (Goalpara), May 10: Lt Gen. A.K. Ahuja, the general officer commanding, 4 corps, based at Tezpur headquarters, visited army bases at Agia in Goalpara, Dhubri and Kokrajhar districts today to assess the law and order situation in the lower Assam districts.
Gen. Ahuja, who is also the chairman of the operational group of the unified command headquarters, met leaders of the Rabha-Hasong Autonomous Council, Non-Rabha Co-ordination Forum, Rabha Literary Society and All-Bodoland Territorial Areas District Bengali Youth Student’s Federation at the Agia base in Goalpara district.
He also met Goalpara deputy commissioner Preetam Kumar Saikia, superintendent of police Nitul Gogoi, deputy inspector-general (western range) Surindra Kumar, Bongaigaon additional superintendent of police Imdadul Ali and other dignitaries.
Some retired army personnel from Bongaigaon district also met him at Agia.
On operations against militants in western Assam and along the India-Bhutan border areas, the general said, “The state government can take the help of the police to maintain law and order and the paramilitary forces. If the situation goes beyond control, then the army will tackle it.”
He said their duty is to keep vigil along the border. However, during a crisis they also handle internal security, according to the Constitution.
Rabha-Hasong Autonomous Council chairman Tarun Chandra Rabha said, “The general asked about the situation and he sought our co-operation.”
“It was a simple interaction,” added Non-Rabha Co-ordination Forum president Sahjahan Ali.
From Agia, Ahuja left for the other army bases at Panbari in Dhubri district and Patharghat in Kokrajhar district.
At the Panbari army camp of 18 Battalion Mahar Regiment, Gen. Ahuja took stock of the situation in the district that shares a border with the Bodoland Territorial Areas District.
In an interaction, prominent citizens expressed apprehension regarding rumours of untoward incidents after May 16. Gen. Ahuja, however, dismissed the apprehensions. “If anything happens, we are well prepared to handle the situation,” he assured.
He also held meetings with high-level officials and army personnel of 18 Battalion Mahar Regiment.
Dhubri deputy commissioner Kumud Chandra Kalita briefed the GOC about the security presence in the district.
Hundreds of people staged a sit-in in front of South Salmara police station in Dhubri district today to protest against lynching of two persons by villagers of Patakata on May 5. The protesters alleged that they had come to the village to collect money from a person but they were lynched by a mob, reports our correspondent from Dhubri.