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Assam: Cow smugglers, traffickers will not be spared, says CM Himanta Biswa Sarma | Guwahati News

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GUWAHATI: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday reiterated his stand to deal with any crimes related to cow smuggling, drugs and human trafficking with a firm hand even though his two-month government has already earned flak for human rights violations in the series of encounters that the state has witnessed recently while dealing with these crimes.
While speaking in the assembly, Sarma said the police have been given full operational liberty to deal with such criminals within the ambit of the law. The chief minister also said that his government has adopted a zero-tolerance policy towards crimes against women and children.
“As the chief minister of Assam, I am saying with full responsibility that any such crime will be dealt with firmly,” Sarma said and added, “We will stand by the police but if they act against innocent people, we will condemn them in equal measure,” he added.
He said that criminals, irrespective of religion and community, must keep in mind that there is a government which has confidence and resolution. “We will retaliate heavily without looking at anything. However, when I say heavily, I know the government has to abide by the law,” Sarma said.
He said the word encounter has been misused in Assam of late. Except for a few encounters, with the Dimasa and Kuki militants in Karbi Anglong, and the killing of the RPF inspector, who turned into a drugs kingpin and snatched the service revolver of a policeman, Sarma said the state police have fired only on the legs of criminals who tried to flee. “We are working within the ambit of powers conferred under the CrPC,” he said.
“Heavy arms recovery was witnessed while dealing with the militants. They were in arms fatigue and launched an operation against the police,” Sarma said, affirming that the police also need to defend themselves.
While allegations of human rights violations have been levelled by the opposition against the police while dealing with cow smugglers, the CM told the assembly that the police had to fire at a few accused.
“In my brief tenure, 504 people were arrested for their involvement in cow smuggling but all were not killed. When four of them tried to escape from custody, we had to fire at their legs,” Sarma said, urging the MLAs that the police should not be restrained from exercising their power.
“In Morigaon, a nine-year-old girl was raped by one Patha on both sides-vaginal and anal. Still we did not kill him because there is a law. But those who are trying to escape from custody and attacking the police cannot be spared,” Sarma said, cautioning all not to indulge in misplaced sympathy.
“During my stint, 23 people sustained bullet injuries, including extremists, and of them 15 died. Most of them belonged to the militant outfits of Dimasa National Liberation Army and the United People’s Revolutionary Front,” Sarma said.
A Delhi-based lawyer from Assam moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) against the Assam Police for going ‘on an encounter spree’ on July 10. Prior to this, the Assam Human Rights Commission took suo motu cognizance of the matter and asked the state government to probe into the incidents.
A delegation of the Assam Congress met governor Jagdish Mukhi at governor house on Thursday, urging him to constitute a judicial enquiry under a sitting judge of the High Court to enquire into these encounters and find out the circumstances that compelled the police to shoot the accused. “We want the probe to find out whether there were any alternate ways to capture the accused alive, averting encounters,” stated the memorandum.
Assam PCC president Ripun Bora said it is pertinent to mention that CM Sarma, at a recent conference of the OCs of the police stations of Assam, had commented that to shoot an accused trying to flee is a pattern of the police. “This statement of the chief minister has not only sparked a controversy but also provoked the police to misuse power. It is noticed that thereafter the incidents of encounter have been growing with the same modus operandi being followed,” he said.



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