GUWAHATI, Aug 4 - Contrary to face-saving claims made by those at the helm of affairs, the BTAD (Bodoland Territorial Area Districts) continues to remain a hotbed for unabated and free movement of illegal arms and ammunition.
Together, the four districts of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) have recorded an aggregate of nearly 35 per cent of the total arms and ammunition recovered in the State in the last five years or so. Needless to say, the conviction rate remains abysmally low in these cases, giving a leeway to the offenders.
With the killing of ABMSU president Lafikul Islam once again laying bare the hollow feature of the existing security mechanism, there now emerges a serious question mark on the existing law and order scenario of the four BTC districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Udalguri and Baksa together.
In 2016, of the 546 arms recovered across the State, the districts under BTC recorded over 200 of these cases. In fact, Kokrajhar topped the list of recovery of arms in the State with 111, closely followed by Karbi Anglong with 96.
In the first six months of 2017, 64 weapons were recovered in the four BTC districts while the number of ammunition recovered stood at 521.
�Going by the records we have, it is clear that there has been no let-up in the scenario in the last many years. Apart from BTC districts, Karbi Anglong too is witnessing a consistent trend of arms and ammunition recovery. With poor conviction rate, there is hardly any deterrence,� a senior Assam Police official told this reporter.
As far as registration of cases under the Arms Act is concerned, Kokrajhar had registered over 140 cases between 2014 and 2016 followed by 95 in Udalguri. Chirang and Baksa recorded 64 and 53 cases respectively during the same period.
As far as other serious offences are concerned, as many as 36 cases of murder and 155 cases of kidnapping were registered in Kokrajhar in 2016 followed by 28 and 166 cases of murder and kidnapping reported in Baksa. Chirang recorded the lowest number of cases of murder (16) and kidnapping (76) among the four districts.