| Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi in Guwahati on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Jorhat, June 11: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi reviewed law and order with deputy commissioners and superintendents of police during a three-hour video-conferencing today, sending in the process a strong message to the officials to get their act together.
“No laxity will be tolerated for inept handling of law and order. Police and administrative officials will have to handle a situation adroitly without allowing it to drift,” Gogoi told the officials.
Chief secretary Jitesh Khosla, director-general of police Khagen Sarmah, principal secretary (home) M.G.V.K. Bhanu, additional DGP (law and order) A.P. Rout and home commissioner G.D. Tripathi were present with Gogoi at the interactive session. Deputy commissioners, inspectors-general of police and deputy inspectors-general of police of all ranges joined the video conference. Issues ranging from NRC update, Maoism, extortion, communal and ethnic tensions and law and order were discussed at length during the review meet.
A section of officials, who participated in the session held from 11am till 2pm, told The Telegraph that the Kokrajhar administration spoke of the panic over the NRC process with a section of people fearing that they would be branded foreigners as most of them did not possess land or all the official documents needed to fill up NRC applications. The panic primarily arises from misconception over the process, which is yet to get under way.
Gogoi said genuine Indian citizens had no reason to fear, as the NRC update would not victimise them. He asked the administration to allay such fears and added that the government would take steps like creating awareness to remove misgivings and confusion.
BTAD officials said they had taken steps to tackle communal and ethnic violence and insurgency. They also conveyed their concern over the delay in getting army help during emergencies.
Gogoi asked Hailakandi to remain vigilant to prevent troublemongers from creating communal tension.
The Tinsukia administration said cases of extortion had been reported in recent times and most of the calls had been traced to Myanmar and the Paresh Barua-led Ulfa (Independent) and Maoists.
Sources said Gogoi was thinking of making such reviews frequent instead of getting the DCs and SPs to come to Guwahati. He asked the officials to be prepared with updates for next month’s review and bring to his notice any problem. He interacted with the heads of 11 districts.
Gogoi stressed on development and security, underscoring the need for the administration to understand the aspirations of the people and maintain cordial relations with them through people-friendly mechanisms.
“The wheels of development have to move on and it should not be allowed to come to a halt because of law and order problems. Development activities have to be accorded top priority and the benefits of the welfare schemes launched by the government have to percolate down to all sections of society,” Gogoi said, stressing on the need to focus on remote areas and the tea belt so that youths are not exploited by “anti-national forces”.
He laid stress on areas like employment, drinking water, sanitation, education, malnutrition, child trafficking and encroachment, among others.