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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Patnaik diktat irks Pramila

Kokrajhar, Nov. 25: Former agriculture and welfare of plain tribes and backward classes minister and Kokrajhar East MLA Pramila Rani Brahma today said no community should be singled out during the operations in BTAD to recover illegal arms.

Reacting to governor J.B. Patnaik’s directive calling for house-to-house search for illegal arms in BTAD, Brahma said a particular community should not be the target as “militant groups from various communities possess illegal arms and the search operation should cover every community”.

“We support seizure of illegal arms from all over the state. But we won’t support harassment of Bodos in the name of the search operations. For the state to become free of illegal arms, search operations against illegal arms must be conducted all over Assam. One particular community should not be branded as possessing illegal arms,” she said.

The Assam governor on Thursday had ordered house-to-house searches for illegal arms in BTAD. Patnaik had expressed deep concern at the fresh upsurge of violence in the area and had instructed director-general of police Jayanta Narayan Choudhury to conduct house-to-house searches for illegal arms.

He has also called for strict action under provisions of IPC and the Arms Act against the offenders.

The senior BPF legislator alleged that illegal arms existed all over the state, which had rebel groups like NDFB, Multa, Ulfa and KLO, among others. These groups possessed illegal arms that should be seized first. “Innocent civilians must not be harassed in the name of search operations,” she said, fearing harassment of civilians by security forces as had happened during the Bodoland movement.

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