North East

After decades, Army to be withdrawn from several districts of Assam

Guwahati, October 14: In a major policy decision, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Ministry of Defence have decided to “de-induct” (withdraw) Army from several districts of Assam. Sources, however, informed that the Disturbed Area Act and the AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) would continue to remain in the State.
The Army will be de-inducted from 20 of the 33 districts of Assam in a phase wise manner. The de-inducted Army battalions will be posted in the other States on a need-based manner. It has been also learnt that the Army might be redeployed in Assam only if special situations arise.
Following the joint decision of the central ministries, the State government wrote a letter to the MHA requesting it to continue the deployment of the Army in Assam. However, there has been no response from MHA in this regard.
Talking to The Sentinel on this significant development, Additional Chief Secretary (Home and Political), Assam, Kumar Sanjay Krishna said, “The joint decisions of the Central ministries have been taken as the law-and-order situation has improved considerably insofar as the insurgency scenario is concerned.”
The improvement in insurgency related incidents in the State over the decades can be gauged from 2009 till July 31, 2019. Official data indicate that in 2009 there were 424 insurgency-related incidents in the State whereas there were only 15 such cases in 2019 (as up to July 31). Altogether 194 extremists, 152 civilians and 22 security force personnel died in such incidents in 2009 but none lost lives in any insurgency-related operation during the mentioned period in 2019.
The Army has been posted in Assam for several decades now to carry out the anti-insurgency operations across the State. The anti-insurgency operations are undertaken in close coordination by the Army, the Assam Police, and the CAPF (Central Armed Police Forces) under the ‘Unified Command Structure’. The different committees of the Unified Command Structure will continue to function as before, sources confirmed. Presently, Army has been inducted in the entire State except Guwahati in Kamrup (Metro).
(Courtesy: The Sentinal)