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Sealing border key to tackling jehadi growth: CM

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, July 12 - Sealing the international border with Bangladesh is one of the keys to dealing with the possible growth of jehadi elements in Assam, observed Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. He also said that the police and security forces are keeping a close watch on the situation and there is no reason for the people to be alarmed.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, Sonowal said that sealing of the international border is on the top of the agenda of the Government of India. The State Government is also in close touch with the Centre in this regard, he said.

On the reports of possible jehadi threat in Assam, Sonowal said that he reviewed the situation in a meeting with senior officials of the Assam Police yesterday and adequate precautionary measures have been taken to prevent any attempt by the jehadis to create trouble in the State. He assured that the government is committed to protect the life and property of the people of the State and no threat would be overlooked.

However, at the same time, Sonowal said that so far the government has not received any input from any agency about the entry of ten jehadi elements from Bangladesh into Assam as reported in a section of the media. He said that the reports were verified, but no agency has given any such input.

The Chief Minister said that the government is in constant touch with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Central agencies, Border Security Force and all other forces operating on the ground. �We have to work in total coordination to deal with possible threat from the jehadi elements and all the agencies are working in total synergy so that jehadi elements cannot establish strong roots in the State,� said Sonowal, who is also in charge of the Home Department. He also revealed that security presence in the sensitive areas has been increased.

Replying to a question on whether the government is planning new police stations in the char areas, particularly near the international border, Sonowal said, �It�s not only the char areas, we cannot leave out any sensitive area out of the security radar and we are working in this direction.�

The Chief Minister revealed that Assam being a sensitive state, the Centre should provide adequate Central forces to maintain law and order. He said that during his recent visit to New Delhi, he met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and discussed the security scenario. He revealed that 75 companies of Central forces were withdrawn from Assam following the last Assembly elections and he had requested the Union Home Minister to redeploy the forces to deal with the situation. The Union Home Minister assured that the Centre would extend all possible support to the State to deal with the security scenario, he added.

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