GUWAHATI, April 28 - NEPOL, the ambitious institutionalized mechanism to improve coordination among police forces of the Northeast, not only to check activities of militants but also to deal with organized crimes, may soon become a reality with the Government of India approving the project.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Director General of Assam Police, Mukesh Sahay said the coordination among the police forces of the northeastern states has improved considerably, but a need for an institutionalized mechanism was felt and that is why the concept of NEPOL was mooted. He said the Prime Minister had also stressed the need for better coordination among police forces of the country and the Centre has already given its green signal to setting up of the NEPOL. The Centre has also agreed to provide required funds for the project, while the National Informatics Centre (NIC) has been roped in to provide technological support.
The DGP pointed out that for years, militants and criminals involved in organized crimes, including vehicle theft, human trafficking, drug smuggling, rhino poaching and smuggling of rhino horns, etc., are crossing from one state to another and it could be checked with a coordinated effort by police forces of the region. In recent times, coordination among police forces of the region led to arrests of a number of militants that restricted activities of the ultra groups, but an institutionalized mechanism will help in checking the trans-border crimes, he added.
Sahay said the police forces must respect the inter-state boundaries, but the criminals have no such obligations and they freely move from one state to another after committing crimes. Improved coordination among police forces of the Northeast would be of great help in this regard, he said, adding, use of technology would give teeth to policing and that is why the NIC has been roped in to provide required technological support. He said the Centre has also agreed to develop the Central Forensic Laboratory in Assam into a state-of-the-art laboratory that would be beneficial for police forces of all the states of the region.
Admitting that human trafficking has become a cause of concern, the DGP said that a coordination mechanism among all the states of the country is in place to deal with the problem. The Inspector General of Police of the Criminal Investigation Department is the nodal officer for Assam to coordinate with the police forces of other states to deal with the problem. He said that recently a few girls trafficked from Assam were rescued in Siliguri with the help of West Bengal Police.
Sahay revealed that as per records available, most of the victims of human trafficking of the State are taken to the National Capital Region and southern states. He pointed out that the victims become pray to the traffickers because of their ignorance, while those affected by disasters and riots also become easy prey. The help of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) is also a must to deal with the problem as in most cases the victims are taken by trains.
The DGP expressed the view that police alone cannot prevent the problem and all the stakeholders, including gaonburhas, VDPs, anganwadi workers, etc., can play a major role in preventing such incidents.