Inquiry commission constituted to investigate Nagaon incident
GUWAHATI: Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today stressed that the Assam Police must act tough against criminals but should adopt a friendly approach towards the common people. If any police officer tortures innocent people, the government will take strict action against him, he said while addressing media persons.
The Chief Minister was referring to the incident at Kachalukhua, Nagaon on Saturday in which a student leader was allegedly injured in police firing. He said that an inquiry commission under Additional Chief Secretary Paban Borthakur had been constituted and the inquiry commission will submit its report within seven days. "If any police officer is found to be guilty, the government will take tough action against him," said the Chief Minister.
Meanwhile, till the inquiry commission completes its investigation, the police personnel involved in the incident have been sent to Police Reserve with immediate effect.
Chief Minister Sarma said that the police have been instructed to act tough against the drug mafia and other criminals. But the police must approach the common people with a humane touch and in a friendly manner. A police officer without a people-friendly approach will not be spared, he said and added that the government was working towards building an environment where people consider the police as their friend but at the same time, the police must instil fear in the minds of law offenders.
Inter-State border issue
The Chief Minister emphasized resolving border disputes with neighbouring States amicably. "We have made much progress with Meghalaya and we are in the process of having talks with Arunachal Pradesh over border disputes," he said. He further said, "Whenever I meet the other Chief Ministers, I discuss the border issue with them. Yesterday I met Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, today I talked to Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and tomorrow I will talk with Arunanchal Pradesh Chief Minister Prema Khandu. The people of the Northeast want peace and harmony and so we have to resolve all border disputes."
On the Congress' criticism of the Assam Government's proposal to resolved the border row with Meghalaya by handing over land to the neighbouring State, Sarma said that it was during the rule of the Congress government that all the other States of the Northeast were carved out of Assam. "If the boundaries had been demarcated clearly at that time, this border tension would have never been there. But the Congress government intentionally kept the issue alive by not demarcating the boundaries. So now the Congress' objections do not hold ground," he said and added, "Keeping the interest of Assam in mind, we will solve the border disputes with neighbouring States in an amicable manner."
Talks with ULFA
The Paresh Baruah-led United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) has not given any call to boycott the forthcoming Republic day celebration. There was also no call to boycott the Independence Day celebration last year. These said the Chief Minister, are good gestures and such confidence-building moves would help in creating a favourable environment for the government to hold peace talks with Paresh Baruah soon.
"We are alert but there is no reason to raise an alarm over the Omicron variant," said Chief Minister Sarma. He said that during the ongoing wave of the pandemic the mortality rate and hospitalization has been less while affected people are recovering sooner. "In the last 2-3 days, the number of fresh cases has decreased. From February 1, the night curfew will be extended from 10 pm now to 11 pm and slowly we will start reopening the schools for lower classes," said Sarma.