[Assam] Fake encounters

Pradip Kumar Datta pradip200 at yahoo.com
Fri May 11 18:54:28 PDT 2007

Fake encounters
  Killing of innocent persons during the counter-insurgency operations in Assam, launched in 1990 has been turning out to be a major problem and if such unfortunate incidents are not checked, these would result in growing sense of alienation among the common masses of the State. Recent killing of one Buddheswar Moran in Tinsukia district by Army once again resulted in widespread protests and though the Chief Minister has ordered a probe into the incident, it failed to defuse the tension. The Chief Minister should immediately send a senior Minister to the area to defuse the tension before the situation goes out of control and adequate compensation should be paid to the bereaved family. Killing of one Ajit Mahanta in the Kakopathar area of Tinsukia district also led to widespread protests and at least ten protestors lost their lives in firing by the police and security forces. The Government should keep in mind the Kakopathar incident and take immediate measures to defuse the
 tension. Language barrier is one of the main reasons for harassment of innocents by the Army and security forces during the counter-insurgency operations and efforts should be made to do away with the problem and the Government can examine the feasibility of imparting crash course on local customs to the Army personnel before they are inducted into counter-insurgency operations. Such unfortunate incidents can also be avoided if the Army personnel, instead of launching operations on their own, take local policemen along with them in all the operations as the local policemen are in the best position to know who is a militant and who is not. The Unified Command Structure for launching counter-insurgency operations is now headed by the Chief Minister himself and he should issue strict orders to all the forces to avoid harassment of innocent persons as far as possible during the operations against militants. The Government should also remember the fact that moulding of public
 opinion against violence will play a major role in fighting insurgency and efforts should be made in this regard. Only ordering of probes into the alleged fake encounters will not be of any help in defusing tension and the Government should make public the action taken on the basis of the reports of such probes.
Assam Tribune, Editorial 12.05.09

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