State deploys personnel to seize illegal weapons

The army staged flag marches in Assam’s curfew-bound Kokrajhar on Friday where an indefinite curfew is in force, with the district remaining incident free in the last 24 hours.

“The army and police are working around the clock to bring the situation under control and no untoward incident has been reported during the last 24 hours,” Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters at a function in Nalbari district here.

Gogoi refuted the allegation that Congress politicians were involved in the violence. However, the Chief Minister said, if any politician of any party was found involved, stern measures will be taken.

Five columns of the army were also kept ready as Director-General of Police Jayanta Narayan Choudhury held a high-level meeting of army, police, CRPF and BSF personnel where a decision was taken to seize illegal arms.

“The main thrust will be on seizing weapons, both countrymade and sophisticated weapons,” Choudhury said.

He termed the fresh violence since November 10 which has left six dead as isolated and that local factors were responsible for it.

The DGP said that several youths of different communities were taken into custody as they appeared to be aggrieved and taking to arms.

IGP (Law and Order) A.P. Rout told PTI: “The army has been deployed in the district. We will take strong action to stem violence. The situation is under control now.”

Kokrajhar Deputy Commissioner Jayant Narlikar said that the army was assisting the district administration by staging flag marches and enforcing indefinite curfew.

Regarding detention of persons for violating curfew, Narlikar said that the law would take its own course.

BPF leader Hemendra Nath Brahma was detained for violating curfew in Gossaigaon police station area, while the police have taken 33 persons into custody following fresh outbreak of violence since November 10.

Industry Minister Pradyut Bordoloi and Parliamentary Secretaries (Home) Rana Goswami and Bhupen Bora, reached Kokrajhar on Thursday and reviewed the situation.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called up Gogoi last evening to discuss law and order in BTAD districts.

The Army and police are working around the clock to bring the situation under control and no untoward incident has been reported during the last 24 hours,” Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters at a function in Nalbari district of Assam.

In its advisory, the Home Ministry said police, paramilitary and army personnel must be put on high alert and deployed in violence-hit areas to maintain peace.

State and Central intelligence agencies were asked to be more vigilant so that they get information in advance about possible trouble and alert law enforcement agencies in time.

The Home Ministry asked the State Government to launch a special drive to seize illegal arms believed to be in possession of warring groups. It said the district administrations should be sensitised to requisition armed personnel without delay when there is an outbreak of violence.

Curfew was clamped in Kokrajhar town yesterday after one person was shot dead and a trader was injured in an attack by armed people, taking the toll to six since November 10.

Four BTAD and Dhubri districts were affected by violence between Bodos and minorities in July-August that left 90 people dead and more than 4.80 lakh homeless.

(This article was published on November 16, 2012)
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