GUWAHATI, Aug 31 � The Assam Government has directed the border outposts (BOPs) of the Assam Police located in the vulnerable patches of the inter-state boundaries to remain on alert to prevent recurrence of incidents like the recent one in Merapani area, while efforts are also on to strengthen the outposts. Meanwhile, the rehabilitation process of the affected families is on, but it may take some time to complete the process.
Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that the process of upgrading the BOPs would start soon and the Government would also examine the feasibility of setting up of new BOPs in the vulnerable areas. Sources admitted that lack of proper policing in the inter-state border areas is a problem and the Government is examining the possibility of giving powers of police stations and outposts to the BOPs so that they can also register cases.
On the situation along the troubled Assam-Nagaland border area, sources said that the rehabilitation process is on and with deployment of additional forces, those who escaped from their villages out of fear have started returning home. But rehabilitation of around 3,500 people would take some time. Those people belong to around 700 houses burnt down by the miscreants during the clashes and as they were encroachers in the reserved forest land, the Government cannot officially re-construct their houses. However, those persons would get a rehabilitation grant so that they can make their own arrangements. The same principle was used in case of the people displaced in the ethnic clashes in the BTAD, sources added.
Giving details of the security arrangements in the affected area, sources revealed that 30 new fixed pickets have been set up, some of which are manned by Central forces, and a few by both Assam Police and CRPF. Sources said that 13 additional companies of security forces have been deployed in the disturbed area. The State received 10 additional companies from the Centre, while three companies were redeployed from other places of the State.
On the follow-up actions taken after the meeting between the Chief Ministers of Assam and Nagaland in the presence of the Union Minister of State for Home, sources said that a decision had been taken that the divisional commissioners of both the states would meet at least once a year, while the deputy commissioners concerned and other officials, including border magistrates, would meet as frequently as required. The issues, which cannot be settled in the level of the deputy commissioners, would be settled in the divisional commissioner level.
As agreed by both the Chief Ministers, Nagaland has not created any problem in rehabilitation of the displaced people, while adequate measures were taken to ensure security of the people of Assam living in Nagaland so that they do not come under attack of miscreants. According to information available with the Assam Government, the Nagaland Government has arrested 15 persons so far for their alleged involvement in the violence.