Army chief visits Assam

Post killings by Bodo militants, General Dalbir Singh Suhag reviews 66 army columns, asks for greater synergy with security agencies

Guwahati: Indian Army chief General Dalbir Singh on Saturday reviewed the security situation in Assam in the aftermath of the gory killings by Bodo militants, as the security forces intensified operations along the international border with Bhutan.

The army chief said he would continue to maintain a close watch on the region.

Chief of the Army Staff General Dalbir Singh Suhag (left) arrives to review the situation in Assam on Saturday. PIC/pti
Chief of the Army Staff General Dalbir Singh Suhag (left) arrives to review the situation in Assam on Saturday. PIC/PTI

An army spokesman said that General Dalbir Singh headed to the army base in Rangia straight from Guwahati airport and reviewed the security situation with top commanders.

The general reviewed the deployment of 66 army columns in the disturbed areas, after Tuesday’s violence unleashed by Bodo militants left 73 people dead and rendered over 70,000 homeless in the four districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Sonitpur and Udalguri.

“He was briefed on the proactive actions undertaken by the army along with different agencies to intensify the pressure against the militant outfits,” a defence spokesperson said.

The army chief interacted with various commanders in the field to obtain a first-hand perspective of the operations, and also undertook an aerial reconnaissance of the strife-torn areas.

Singh expressed satisfaction over the steps taken at all levels, and asked for greater synergy with the central and state intelligence and security agencies, the statement said.

“The general also took note of the roadmap being planned by the army jointly with police and directed his troops to extend all possible support to the state administration in bringing back normalcy, while at the same time carrying out relentless operations against the perpetrators of terror,”
it said.

The army has already intensified operations along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh inter-state border and along the international border with Bhutan in the aftermath of the massacre by the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).

The central government has also sent 50 companies of additional forces, including those from the Sashastra Seema Bal, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Reserve Police Force and Border Security Force, to control the situation. Although there has been no fresh incident of violence since Tuesday’s killings, the exodus of people continued in the districts.

Assam Police sources said the Bhutan border has been sealed and a special operation might be launched soon against militants from the northeast hiding there.

The State Disaster Management Authority said over 70,000 people have taken shelter in 77 relief camps in the affected districts.

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