In a significant announcement, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma stated on May 22 that the state government is determined to completely withdraw the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Assam by the end of 2023. The move is part of a broader plan to strengthen the Assam Police Battalions and ensure enhanced security measures throughout the state.
Addressing the Commandants' Conference, Chief Minister Sarma emphasized the importance of regular meetings and announced that the conference would be held every six months. He also revealed his intention to personally visit various battalions across the state to assess their functioning and address any concerns.
One of the key initiatives introduced by the Chief Minister is the recruitment of retired military personnel to train the police force. These veterans will hold the rank of an Additional Superintendent of Police and share their expertise to improve the professionalism and efficiency of the police.
The government aims to create a positive atmosphere within the battalions and promote a change in mindset among the commandants and forces. Efforts will be made to empower the battalions, enabling them to handle law and order issues with minimum use of force.
The lifting of AFSPA from the entire state is expected to be completed by November, facilitating the replacement of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) by the Assam Police Battalions. However, the presence of CAPFs, as required by law, will remain in place to ensure the maintenance of law and order.
Furthermore, the Chief Minister emphasized the importance of appointing efficient and professional police officers as commandants to lead the battalions effectively.
To enhance the overall performance and discipline within the police force, the government plans to compile a list of low-performing personnel, including officers, considering factors such as habits, drinking, obesity, etc. This will aid in providing them with Voluntary Retirement Schemes (VRS) and creating a more efficient workforce.
Chief Minister Sarma also stressed the need for each battalion to develop its specific motto and imbibe it in their operations. He encouraged the celebration of Raising days, providing opportunities for the wards of police personnel to showcase their talents through debates, extempore speeches, art, and other activities.
The government aims to establish quality schools within the battalion premises, utilizing the expertise of talented police personnel in addition to appointed teachers. Additionally, efforts will be made to provide suitable housing colonies for all 36 battalions, ensuring housing satisfaction for the personnel and their families.
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