Guwahati, July 10: Assam police will soon deploy personnel for patrolling the highways to check accidents and curb criminal activities.
The decision was taken during a law-and-order review meeting convened by chief minister Tarun Gogoi here last evening.
DGP Khagen Sarma, who attended the meeting along with other senior police and home department officials, said the decision to start “special patrol” on the highways has been taken keeping in mind the increasing number of accidents on the highways.
Sarma said police had carried out a study on the accident-prone areas in the highways and patrolling will begin in the areas identified so far.
Sources told The Telegraph today that the police patrol vans would focus on that stretch of the highway, which reported the highest number of accidents and robberies. “As it is easy to drive your vehicle at a high speed on highways, drivers often resort to competitions among themselves resulting to many fatal accidents. The police patrolling the highways will help to check mishaps. Besides, there are areas where criminal gangs target the trucks coming from outside the Northeast and rob them,” a source said.
In Assam, more than 3,200 road accidents have been reported annually on the state’s highways in which more than 2,200 people have died since 2006. Police and transport department officials have been struggling to control mishaps.
The police have also come across incidents where criminal gangs waylaid trucks, took the drivers hostage, hijacked the trucks and looted goods. The police last year busted a similar criminal gang and arrested six persons in connection with a truck hijack case on the NH 37 on the outskirts of Guwahati.
The review meeting also fixed a month’s time for disposal of police verification for applicants seeking passports. “An action plan has been chalked out to bring down the number of verification cases in all the districts by August 15 this year,” a source said.