167 terrorists held in two months in Assam: Governor

Guwahati: Security forces have arrested at least 167 terrorists and linkmen allegedly involved in the serial attacks on Adivasi people in many districts across Assam in the last two months.

"The intensive operations by security forces in the aftermath of this gruesome killing has resulted in arrest of over 167 members and linkmen of the terrorist outfits," Assam Governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya said in his written speech on the first day of the Budget Session of the Assembly.

The speech was considered read and accepted in the House as he could not complete it following disruption by the united opposition over economic health of the state.

"Two of their leaders were also killed during the action by the security forces. On the insistence of the state government, the National Investigation Agency has taken up investigation and registered four cases against the terrorists," Acharya said. At least 81 persons, including Adivasis, Bodos and Bengalis, were killed in serial attacks by NDFB(S) terrorists, retaliatory violence and police firing across many districts in Assam in December 2014.

"The carnage on December 23, 2014 perpetrated by terrorist groups in the BTAD and Sonitpur districts and related incidents, in which a large number of innocent people lost their lives, is an example of a cowardly act arising out of sheer desperation of such terrorists and extremist elements," the governor said.

He also said that simultaneous action was being taken against militant elements from outfits across the state. "My government reiterates its strong and continued commitment to deal firmly with all such anti-national and terrorist elements while retaining its focus on peace through development," he added.

The government has so far inked 'Suspension of Operation' agreement with 17 extremist groups, of which Memorandum of Settlement agreement have been signed with BLT, UPDS, DHD(N) and DHD(J), Acharya said.

"The Unified Command structure, set up to enable civil- army cooperation is in place and is operating effectively," the Governor said. Acharya also informed that the state police was being modernised through creation of infrastructure, procurement of latest equipments and weapons, and streamlining of recruitment and training.

"My government is committed to ensure that Assam Police emerges as a people friendly organisation while acting firmly to enforce the law," he said. The Governor said the process to recruit 6,748 constables, 340 sub-inspectors and 345 APRO constables had
already started, and more posts would be created in future.

"To boost the morale of the security personnel engaged in fighting the terrorists and insurgents, the ex-gratia grant to the next of kin of the security personnel, including Home Guards, killed in direct encounters has been increased to Rs 20 lakh," he added.
On human trafficking, Acharya said 344 women and children were rescued, 257 culprits arrested and 330 cases registered between 2011 and 2014 in the state.

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