GUWAHATI, June 17 � The Assam Police has launched a specialized force called Assam Police Rangers to launch specific operations against militants. Meanwhile, the Task Force created by the State Government for dealing with Maoists is planning to visit some other states where the Maoists have strong bases to study the problem.
Highly placed police sources told The Assam Tribune that the Assam Police Rangers will operate directly under the Inspector General of Police (Law and Order). The personnel of the Rangers include around 120 police personnel specially trained for counter insurgency operations and the men of the force are deployed in insurgency infested areas of the State including Tinsukia, Sivasagar, Karbi Along etc.
Sources said that the force was formed with personnel drawn from various battalions of the Assam Police and the force has already yielded the desired results by launching successful operations against insurgents. Sources revealed that personnel of the Rangers were also involved in the recent operation against Maoist rebels in Sadiya area of Tinsukia district where four rebels were killed and one police man also received injuries. Sources also clarified that the personnel of the Rangers would not be used for general law and order duties and they would be used only for specific operations.
The Assam Police has also hired more than 30 ex-Army personnel for giving special training to Assam Police personnel on handling of modern weapons and three counter insurgency training programmes are now on. However, sources refused to divulge the locations where the trainings are going on.
Meanwhile, members of the Task Force created by the Government will soon visit Maoist infested states of the country including Jharkhand and Chattisgarh to study the situation on the ground and the measures taken by the Governments of those states to deal with the problem.
The Task Force is headed by IGP (TAP) BJ Mahanta, while, IGP (Law and order) LR Bishnoi and DIG of Eastern range Anurag Tangkha are the other members of the Force.
Police sources said that the Government has directed the Task Force to identify the reasons of the growth of Maoists, to identify the problem areas, networking of the Maoists in the State and to recommend the measures need to be taken to deal with the problem. The Task Force is also studying the history of left wing extremism in the State.
Sources said that with leaning of the Maoists in Assam towards Manipur based militant group PLA, their movement is likely to be concentrated more towards armed movement rather than mass movements. Though the Maoists are still not strong enough in Assam, they should be dealt with immediately to prevent the growth of left wing extremism.