GUWAHATI, May 16 - Citing yesterday evening�s grenade blast in the city and the recent communal clashes at Hailakandi, among other incidents, the opposition parties today blamed the State government for what they termed as �all-round failure� on the law and order front.
On the other hand, the ruling BJP accused the opposition parties of indulging in politics over the recent incidents and called for all sides of the political spectrum to stand united.
�The government machinery has virtually ceased to function. There is a total failure on the law and order front. All these recent incidents, including yesterday�s grenade blast in Guwahati, amply demonstrate the failure of the Home department which is headed by none other than Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal himself,� said Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) secretary and spokesperson Rhituporno Konwar.
�The government is functioning with a very casual approach on all matters, including with regard to the NRC update process which has now reached a very sensitive stage. The state of affairs has reached such a point where even junior officers are no longer following the orders of the Chief Minister,� said Konwar, claiming that the law and order situation had witnessed considerable improvement during the previous Congress government.
�The very same police officials who are now working in the State were also here during the 15-year period of our government. At that time, they functioned very effectively and showed good results. So what has happened now that there is so much failure on the security front? There were clashes at Hailakandi. Then the AASU office was defaced at Basugaon. There have been frequent thefts and robberies at temples, including one which is located very near the official residence of the Chief Minister. Where are the CCTVs in Guwahati for which the government claims to have spent crores of rupees?� said the Congress leader.
He added that the State police force is demoralised. �The police are being used by the present political masters to carry out unscrupulous activities related to syndicates and it has demoralised the force. Even a serving MLA of the BJP has made such an allegation. Mere review meetings are not enough. The government must take responsibility. All talks about zero tolerance are nothing but mere talks,� said Konwar.
The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) accused the BJP-led government of failing to ensure security to common citizens of the State.
�First, there were the events at Hailakandi. Chaos relating to NRC update process is still going on. False objections are being raised to harass some people and the defacement of the AASU office at Bongaigaon. And now, the grenade blast in Guwahati. All these incidents point to total failure on the law and order front. It also reveals the lax attitude of the government. Despite intelligence reports, the authorities failed to take precautionary measures. If the grenade blast had taken place at Fancy Bazar, Panbazar or Ganeshguri, the toll could have been much higher,� said Haidor Hussain Bora, general secretary of AIUDF.
He claimed that the government is functioning without a �sense of direction�.
Meanwhile, the ruling BJP accused the opposition of trying to gain political mileage over yesterday�s grenade blast and other recent incidents.
�This is a serious issue. The opposition should not politicise it. Innocent people have got hurt. Let us not do politics on such a matter,� said State BJP spokesperson Rupam Goswami.
�Terrorism does not differentiate among its victims on the basis of their political affiliation or ideology. Now the time is for all of us to stand united and fight against those forces which are seeking to create disorder in society,� said Goswami.
Goswami refuted the allegation regarding the government�s failure on law and order front. He also alleged that some elements have been trying to destabilise the government since the day it assumed office.