Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma during the SP conference | CMO

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said Assam Police must develop SoPs to help it to probe ‘love jihad’, as the government is contemplating providing legislative backing to ensure prosecution of accused held for polygamy and child marriages.

Addressing the 4th SP conference being held at Bongaigaon on July 28, the CM said that in the wake of ‘love-jihad’, the police forces must be empowered with specific operating procedures to deal with the menace. With regard to combating child marriages, another operation will be launched in the month of September in the state.

Himanta Biswa Sarma said crime against women and children in the state has come down drastically. He, however, said high-profile cases will be tried in special courts and special public prosecutors will be deployed and a charge sheet will be filed within a stipulated period for serving a deterrent to future crimes.

The chief minister also said Assam Police must examine how Indian Army personnel can be freed from the state by completely withdrawing Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the state. He also said since insurgency has been defeated in the state, efforts must be initiated to proactively monitor and neutralise elements who try to regroup.

Himanta Biswa Sarma also reiterated Assam Police must maintain strict vigil to prevent surrendered militants from going back to violence.

Chief minister Sarma also stressed the need of intensifying drug seizures across the state, especially at the entry and exit points.

Speaking on the drink and driving cases, the CM said strict enforcement of traffic acts including a combination of fines and cancelling driving licenses might prove to be a deterrent.

For combating economic crimes and corruption, the chief minister asked the SPs to ensure that the smugglers do not get the chance to illegally export subsidized fertilisers outside. He also said vigilance needs to be steeped up to ensure that Assam does not become a traffic corridor for transporting illegal liquor, Burmese betel nut and other contraband items. Stating that over 100 corrupt public servants have been arrested on corruption charges, he said action against corrupt officials will be intensified.

For empowering the police forces, the chief minister said Assam Police will soon become a zero-vacancy force as all vacant positions will be filled up soon. Altogether 119 new police stations are being built and by February 2024, all five battalions will have permanent office infrastructure, Sarma added.

Talking about the police reforms, the CM said all GD entries will be digitised so that no manipulations of criminal investigations can be done in later cases. Talking about the large-scale application of digitisation, the chief minister said more than one lakh fifty thousand police verifications have been completed through the m-passport police app for addressing passport applicants.

On the need for citizen-centric policing, Himanta Biswa Sarma reiterated the improved coordination between police and home guards and involving competent constables in investigative duties.

He also said draft statutory rules will be published shortly for strengthening the partnership between police and citizen committees to deliver citizen-centric policing.

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