GUWAHATI, Feb 9 � A State Cabinet nod will now clear the decks for setting up of a base of the elite Cobra force of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Assam to facilitate launching of specific operations against the militant groups active in the State. Meanwhile, the State Government has started the process of filling up the vacant posts in the State Police force.
Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that the State Government requested the Centre to set up a base of the NSG in Assam to deal with militancy, but the Centre agreed to set up a base of the newly created Cobra force of the CRPF in the State. The base, which will be a battalion headquarter of the Cobra force, will cater to the needs of the entire North East region.
Sources said that at least 300 acres of land would be required for setting up of the base of the Cobra battalion, which will also include training facilities, which can also be used for the Assam Police personnel for specialized training. The Government of Assam has already identified a plot of land near Sipajhar in Darrang district for the setting up of the base of the elite force.
However, sources said that as per the rules, the land should be provided by the State Government at free of cost. Sources revealed that the required documents for it have been prepared but the proposal has to be cleared by the State Cabinet. The concerned department has already prepared the Cabinet memorandum and the decks for setting up of the base of the Cobra force would be cleared immediately after the allotment of land at free of cost is cleared by the State Cabinet.
The decision to raise the Cobra force of the CRPF as an elite force was taken in 2008 mainly to deal with Maoist militancy in different parts of the country and the first battalion was pressed into service in 2009. The Cobra battalion is known to be the best equipped paramilitary unit of the country and in addition to AK series rifles, the personnel of the force are also equipped with INSAS rifles, Glock pistols, electronic surveillance equipment etc. Recently, the Government of India has also procured Israeli AX95 assault rifles for the Cobra force.