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Steps taken to ensure peaceful BTC polls

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, March 14 - Police and security forces are going all out to ensure that no one is keeping illegal weapons in after surrender of more than 1,600 militants belonging to four factions of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) and strict action will be taken against anyone found with illegal weapon. This is the assertion made by the Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) GP Singh.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, Singh admitted that as no security agency has an assessment of the weapons in possession of the militant outfits, it is difficult to ascertain whether the militants deposited all the weapons when they surrendered. That is why, efforts are on to ensure that no member of the NDFB factions kept weapons after their surrender.

Singh said all the district superintendents of police have been instructed to keep vigil and take strict action against anyone found to be in possession of illegal weapons. He asserted that no one would be allowed to keep illegal weapons in the State.

On steps taken by the police to ensure that election to the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) is peaceful, Singh said he already had two rounds of meetings with the police officers of the four districts under the Bodoland Territorial Region to discuss the security scenario.

Another round of meeting will be held soon.

Though the area has a history of violence during the elections, Singh asserted that the police and security forces would make all out efforts to ensure peaceful, and free and fair polls.

He said there should not be any shortage of force to ensure peaceful polls and the available forces would be mobilized according to requirement as the situation is being monitored constantly.

Singh said leaders of the political parties and the candidates would be provided with PSOs according to threat assessment. Though the Army will not be used for election duty, counterinsurgency operations by army personnel would continue in the BTR, he said.

The BTC election will take place on April 4 and the counting of votes will be carried out on April 8.

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