(Eds:Upgrading, adding details) Guwahati, Jun 9 (PTI) Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday announced that 10 professional commando battalions,comparable to the NSG, will be formed to deal with new emerging forms of crimes sternly.
The commando battalions will be deployed in sensitive and critical areas like Assam-Nagaland border, in Tinsukia district where there are several sensitive border outposts, Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) and the three hills districts, the chief minister said at a press conference.
He speaking to the media after chairing a day-long conference of the Superintendents of Police at Kaziranga.
Sarma said that the deliberations were a step towards a more professional force and discussed issues related to law and order, organised crime, intelligence gathering and ways to modernise the police force in the wake of new forms of crimes detected by the police.
'For this purpose 10 professional commando battalions will be formed to deal sternly with these emerging crimes and 23,000 civil police personnel and 12,000 commando police personnel will be added to the system', he added.
The chief minister said that the battalions will be raised in phases proportionate to the available training capacity in police training institutions across the country and the Director General of Police will accordingly work out the modalities in this regard.
Recruitment rules for appointment in the police forces will be modified to bring in more professionally qualified and skilled manpower into the system, Sarma said.
Taking into consideration the welfare of police personnel, police quarters will be constructed and two shifts duty at all police stations would be introduced to reduce the workload on police personnel, he said.
New recruitment will be done for the commandos, sub inspectors and necessary police personnel required for two shifts in police stations.
The chief minister directed the SPs to devise strategies and supervise operations to ensure that districts will serve neither as a transit route nor will there be any consumption of drugs in their areas.
Similarly, in the case of cattle smuggling, no cow which is usually brought from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh via West Bengal, will be allowed to enter Assam either legally or illegally, he said.
'In the case of drugs and cattle smuggling, the police will have to be aggressive, adopt zero-tolerance and strike at the root', Sarma added.
The chief minister announced that seven forensic laboratories will be set up in the state to ensure quick testing of evidences so that criminals cannot take advantage of the delay and secure bail.
Asked about talks with the banned ULFA, Sarma said some progress is likely during Union Home Minister Amit Shah's proposed visit to the state next month.
Regarding border issues with neighbouring states, the chief minister said that Assam would protect its borders at all cost but he would like to elaborate on this as there is Supreme Court mandated status quo with Nagaland.
'Neither of the states should think of each other as weak but live together in the spirit of friendship of the seven sisters', he added.
The day-long conference also discussed welfare of police personnel, including construction of residential quarters for them.
One month compulspry special leave will be given to the police forces living in battalions to stay with their families living in different stations and this will be in addition to their extra-ordinary leave, Sarma said.
Compulsory annual health check up for all police personnel will also be held.
The chief minister said that annually two conferences will be held for SPs, with the next to be held in Duliajan, and Deputy Commissioners.
The first DC meeting will be held in August at Diphu.
The meeting was attended by Director General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, Special DGP G P Singh, all Superintendents of Police and senior officials of the state government. PTI DG SNS SNS