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Tackling radicalization may be new challenge: DGP

By R Dutta Choudhury
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GUWAHATI, April 24 - With militancy on the wane, tackling radicalization may turn out to be a major challenge for the Assam Police in the days to come and to deal with such a problem, capacity building in both physical and cyber space will be required. This was the observation made by the Director General of Assam Police, Mukesh Sahay. He also expressed the hope that the process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) would be completed without any major law and order problem.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, the DGP expressed the view that though militancy is now confined to a few pockets, the police and security forces cannot afford to lower their guard as the possibility of the militant groups gaining ground once again cannot be ruled out. However, he said that radicalization can prove to be a major challenge for the police in the days to come. He pointed out that even at its peak, militancy was confined only to some states, while, on the other hand, radicalization has become a cause of concern for the entire world. He pointed out that the present Government in Bangladesh has been taking tough action against radical elements including terrorist groups and the possibility of elements of such groups spilling over to Assam cannot be ruled out.

Sahay pointed out that in the past, radical groups tried to set up bases in the State, but they failed to do so because of the sustained efforts of the police and security forces. He said that though the Jamaat-ul Muahideen, Bangladesh (JMB) tried to set up bases in Assam and recruited a number of persons, almost all of them have been nabbed. The radical groups, which tried to set up bases in the State so far, have been neutralized by and large, while, police and security forces are keeping a close watch on the situation to prevent such elements from establishing roots in the State.

The DGP said that to deal with radicalization, capacity building would be required both in the physical and cyber world. Most of the radical groups try to influence youths into their fold by using the cyber world and that is why, it is necessary to increase the capacity building of police in the cyber space, he added. He revealed that a cyber dome project has already been launched for cyber security and surveillance. Cyber labs are being set up in the ranges and districts in phased manner and the Assam Police is taking the help of all the stakeholders including experts in the field to train up the police personnel. He said that the radical elements spread their messages through the social media and efforts are on to keep surveillance on it. At the same time, the police would have to come up with mechanism to monitor the �dark web� used by the radical elements.

Sahay expressed the view that most of the new recruits in the police force at various levels are now techno savvy, which is a positive sign and it would be easier to train them up to deal with cyber surveillance.

Replying to a question on whether the police is apprehending law and order trouble after the publication of the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the DGP said that the Superintendents of Police of all the districts have been directed to take strong action against anyone found to be indulging in rumour mongering on the issue. He pointed out that so far, the process has been going on smoothly with majority of the political parties and organizations extending support to it. He said that as the process is going on under the supervision of the Supreme Court, if anyone has any issue, he or she can approach the court. However, police and security forces are keeping a close watch on the situation and �we hope that the process will be completed smoothly,� he added.

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Tackling radicalization may be new challenge: DGP

GUWAHATI, April 24 - With militancy on the wane, tackling radicalization may turn out to be a major challenge for the Assam Police in the days to come and to deal with such a problem, capacity building in both physical and cyber space will be required. This was the observation made by the Director General of Assam Police, Mukesh Sahay. He also expressed the hope that the process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) would be completed without any major law and order problem.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, the DGP expressed the view that though militancy is now confined to a few pockets, the police and security forces cannot afford to lower their guard as the possibility of the militant groups gaining ground once again cannot be ruled out. However, he said that radicalization can prove to be a major challenge for the police in the days to come. He pointed out that even at its peak, militancy was confined only to some states, while, on the other hand, radicalization has become a cause of concern for the entire world. He pointed out that the present Government in Bangladesh has been taking tough action against radical elements including terrorist groups and the possibility of elements of such groups spilling over to Assam cannot be ruled out.

Sahay pointed out that in the past, radical groups tried to set up bases in the State, but they failed to do so because of the sustained efforts of the police and security forces. He said that though the Jamaat-ul Muahideen, Bangladesh (JMB) tried to set up bases in Assam and recruited a number of persons, almost all of them have been nabbed. The radical groups, which tried to set up bases in the State so far, have been neutralized by and large, while, police and security forces are keeping a close watch on the situation to prevent such elements from establishing roots in the State.

The DGP said that to deal with radicalization, capacity building would be required both in the physical and cyber world. Most of the radical groups try to influence youths into their fold by using the cyber world and that is why, it is necessary to increase the capacity building of police in the cyber space, he added. He revealed that a cyber dome project has already been launched for cyber security and surveillance. Cyber labs are being set up in the ranges and districts in phased manner and the Assam Police is taking the help of all the stakeholders including experts in the field to train up the police personnel. He said that the radical elements spread their messages through the social media and efforts are on to keep surveillance on it. At the same time, the police would have to come up with mechanism to monitor the �dark web� used by the radical elements.

Sahay expressed the view that most of the new recruits in the police force at various levels are now techno savvy, which is a positive sign and it would be easier to train them up to deal with cyber surveillance.

Replying to a question on whether the police is apprehending law and order trouble after the publication of the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the DGP said that the Superintendents of Police of all the districts have been directed to take strong action against anyone found to be indulging in rumour mongering on the issue. He pointed out that so far, the process has been going on smoothly with majority of the political parties and organizations extending support to it. He said that as the process is going on under the supervision of the Supreme Court, if anyone has any issue, he or she can approach the court. However, police and security forces are keeping a close watch on the situation and �we hope that the process will be completed smoothly,� he added.

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