GUWAHATI, July 21 - The government will have to launch an awareness campaign to educate the people that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is being updated in national interest and there is no political or other agenda behind the move. At the same time, the police and security forces will have to boost the intelligence network and any troublemaker should be dealt with firm hands. This was the observation made by security analyst and former Director General of Assam Police GM Srivastava.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Srivastava said that changing the perception of all sections of people is a must as it is a fact that there is suspicion in the minds of certain sections of people about the process of NRC update, while on the other hand, there are vested interest groups, which are trying to create confusion for their own interest. There should not be any lack of transparency on the part of the government on the process and reasons for updating the NRC and there should be more interactive sessions with people, he said. He pointed out that every citizen should be made to understand that the main reason for updating the NRC is to safeguard the national interest. By doing so, the government would also manage to check the misinformation campaign sought to be launched by certain groups to create tension in the society, he added.
From the security point of view, Srivastava revealed that the Assam Police and other security agencies have a list of communally sensitive areas, where trouble can break out following the publication of the NRC. He said the list should be upgraded immediately with a proper analysis of the past records of tensions and incidents of violence. A case study of the last two decades could help the police in mapping of the potentially vulnerable areas and adequate precautionary measures should be taken to deal with any trouble. �Earlier, such maps had to be prepared manually, which was a painstaking job. But these days, such maps can be prepared easily with computers and proper analysis of the past information,� he pointed out.
The former DG said that a close watch should be kept on potential troublemakers and they should be dealt with strongly. He also admitted that the possibility of elements of certain groups trying to create disturbance sneaking in from abroad to create trouble cannot be ruled out and the security agencies should keep a watch on the movement of people from outside. The Border Security Force (BSF), which is entrusted with the responsibility of guarding the international border with Bangladesh, should also remain alert to prevent any such element from sneaking into Assam from the neighbouring country, he said.