The Telegraph
Saturday , June 7 , 2014
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Security strategy under scan

Dispur seeks more forces

Sonitpur SP Sanjukta Parasor meets Nityananda Goswami’s family members at his Tezpur residence on Friday. Picture by UB Photos

Guwahati, June 6: The death of another senior police officer at the hands of militants in Assam this year has jolted Dispur into taking multiple steps to tackle the situation and a request by a Congress MLA to revisit the police’s operational strategy.

Hamren SP Nityananda Goswami gunned down last night was the second Assam police officer killed this year after Sonitpur additional SP Gulzar Hussain died battling NDFB (S) militants at Laudangi under Dhekiajuli police station on January 28.

The day began with chief secretary Jitesh Khosla holding a stock-taking meeting with senior police and home department officials.

This was followed by an emergent law and order review meeting by chief minister Tarun Gogoi and another meeting held by Assam police’s Special Branch.

Gogoi, who is also the home minister, condoled the death of the brave police officer and assured proper response.

Additional security forces were rushed to the volatile Karbi Anglong district.

Additional army personnel were asked to carry out counter-insurgency operations with renewed vigour besides Dispur moved the Union home ministry for five additional units of the CoBRA force for intensified operations in Karbi Anglong.

A new Hamren SP, Debojit Deuri, was also appointed. He will take charge tomorrow.

The government also announced ex gratia of Rs 20 lakh each to families of the deceased, besides a job to a family member.

“The other important decision taken was to extend the suspension of operations with Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF) till September 30. The agreement was signed on February 11, 2010,” commissioner-secretary (home), G.D. Tripathi, told The Telegraph.

Asked whether any fresh advisory was issued to senior police officials involved in counter-insurgency operations, he said they had been informed earlier to not move with a small force and without bullet-proof vests and helmets in vulnerable areas.

While Dispur stepped up efforts to contain KPLT, sitting MLA and AICC secretary Bhupen Kumar Borah wrote to Gogoi requesting him to revisit the police’s operational strategy.

A copy of the letter, available with The Telegraph, said, “The killing of Hamren SP N. Goswami by militants is very unfortunate and disturbing news, having the potential to demoralise the police force as a whole. It is my humble submission that a very serious review of the operational strategy involving senior officers needs to be undertaken urgently to avoid loss of experienced and brave police officers. I also strongly feel after my stint as parliamentary secretary (home) that all sensitive districts should have a special trained exclusive group to carry out operations under the SP and they should carry out operations only after proper information, arrangement and backup.”