Assam Rifles presence restricted in AFSPA-free areas: DGP
SOGs formed to take over security from AR
DIMAPUR, JUNE 11: Despite the withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from 15 police station areas of Nagaland, the Assam Rifles have not “totally vacated” those areas, according to Nagaland Police.
Addressing a press conference at Chumüokedima on Saturday, the Director General of Police (DGP), Nagaland, T John Longkumer said that removal of AFSPA doesn’t mean automatic withdrawal of the Assam Rifles or Indian army personnel from the area.
“It is just that their functions are now restricted in that area”, he said, adding that conversely, the Police’s role has increased, especially in terms of law and order.
“We have immediately formed a special operations group; we have set up a security grid so that we can take over the security from the Assam Rifles. We have done so with additional security forces deployed within these areas. We are grateful to the Government of India for having sanctioned Rs 6.5 crores on transport for our special operations group.
“So far all the reports from these areas are normal. We are very much alert to any security threats in these area. We have also reached out to the various NGOs and tribal hohos in this regard with the approval of the Government of Nagaland”, he said.
The Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Sandeep M Tamgadge added that the Assam Rifles have thinned out from the 15 police station areas, though they have yet to totally vacate their camps.
Missing gold biscuits
The ADGP also informed that police investigation into the gold biscuits that went missing in September last year is at itsfinal phase. He informed that the “misappropriated gold items” have been seized and submitted to the Kohima Sessions Court.
Seven police personnel, “who were suspects and subsequently accused”, were placed under suspension and have now been transferred out of PHQ to various units “till such time the investigation is completed”, he said.
“Investigation is in final phase, we are trying to locate and ascertain the chain and place of origin. In fact, even as we speak, a team is already out of the State to ascertain the place of origin. Departmental inquiry has been initiated against the delinquent persons”, he said while claiming that the Department did not try to hide anything.
On September 12 last year, the State Crime Police Station had filed an FIR against 13 cops posted at the Narcotics Branch of PHQ after some seized gold biscuits reportedly went missing. The matter came to light a month later in October when they approached the Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court seeking anticipatory bails.
War on drugs
The DGP said that Nagaland Police has launched a ‘war on drugs and psychotropic substances’ since last year. “This drive is still going on. This is in consonance with the Government of India’s Act East Policy wherein we wish to make the Northeast drug-free.
“We understand that this is a long ongoing operation but we are determined to make a difference. We are also very happy that many of the NGOs are starting to give their support to this war on drugs. So we look forward to more cooperation from the public”, he added.
Protection to companies
Longkumer also said that Nagaland Police has started providing security to infrastructure companies, especially those involved in road construction and repair works in the State.
“Recently one of the new companies which had entered had faced some issues. Five complaints were received, we have registered 5 cases; investigation is going on and will be taken to its logical conclusion”, he said.
The DGP informed that they have made other Departments aware that the Government of Nagaland has approved and notified a uniform code for Nagaland Police ~ “that is the kind of uniform that we are authorised to wear”.
“This uniform unless approved by the Government shall not be used by another Government Department. So we have requested the other Departments who are using uniform similar to ours that they also review; then get the Government approval for their uniforms”, he said.
(Page News Service)