Guwahati, Aug 20: Intensive anti-insurgency operations, a crackdown on drugs and human trafficking, encounter killing of extremists and escalated border disputes with neighbouring states mark 100 days of the Himanta Biswa Sarma government in Assam.
Since May this year, 10 extremists were killed in an exchange of fire with police while 65 others were arrested, Sarma said. Addressing a press conference on the occasion of completing 100 days in office on Friday, he said that a huge amount of narcotic drugs were seized while several militants surrendered during the period. Sarma heads a BJP-led government in the North-eastern state.
The leader of the insurgent outfit National Liberation Front of Boroland (NLFB), along with 21 other cadres, had surrendered on July 22 and so far 99 cadres of the outfit have laid down their arms, he said. Another 130 cadres of NLFB are likely to surrender soon while 27 militants of the Kuki National Liberation Army also gave themselves up recently and deposited arms and ammunition in Karbi Anglong. The police have arrested 1,912 people following the crackdown on drugs since May and 1,115 cases have been registered so far, he said.
Drugs value at Rs 190.21 crore were seized, which included 24.844 kgs of heroin, 9364.41 kgs of ganja, 17.993 kgs of opium, 87850 bottles of Codeine based cough syrup, 14,26,790 tablets/capsules and three kgs of Crystal Methamphetamine.
"We will continue to deal with the drug menace with an iron hand and achieve our mission for drug-free Assam," Sarma said.
In a major breakthrough in the drive against human trafficking, 175 victims were rescued, 36 cases registered and 37 people arrested, the Chief Minister said. He said that for the first time in many years, people celebrated Independence Day with a free mind with no organisation calling a bandh on the day. Assam recently faced border problems with neighbouring states, especially with Mizoram, and efforts are on to resolve the disputes. At least seven people including six Assam Police personnel were killed and over 50 others injured in a clash between forces of the state and Mizoram last month.
A joint resolution was signed by both the states on August five at Aizawl following which all efforts are being made to normalize the situation and establish peace along the border.
Sarma said, "Over the past 100 days, we made sufficient progress to put an end to the decades-old legacy disputes, particularly with Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram."
On the Assam-Nagaland border issue, an agreement was reached between the two states on July 31 to withdraw armed police forces by both sides from disputed locations, and normalcy has been restored. At a meeting on August 6, the chief ministers of Meghalaya and Assam decided to set up three committees from both sides to be headed by cabinet ministers to minimize the areas of differences. Referring to waive microfinance loans, Sarma said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed with the companies on Saturday and the Reserve Bank of India has already given statutory clearance for it.
The daily wages of tea garden workers was hiked from Rs 167 to Rs 205 in the Brahmaputra Valley and from Rs 145 to Rs 183 in the Barak Valley with retrospective effect from February 22, 2021, he said.
The Chief Minister said that to make the forthcoming "five years a glorious era of Assam's history, we used our 100 days to lay the foundation of some transformative days".
Under the maxim 'minimum government and maximum governance', more powers were delegated to district deputy commissioners to fast track various projects, he said.
"After the first 100 days, I can say with confidence that Assam's contribution will increase by 100 per cent in building a New India," the Chief Minister asserted.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister along with his cabinet colleagues released a booklet titled "100 Days of Good Governance-Embarking on a journey for holistic development".