Assam Chief Minister On AFSPA
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma made a significant announcement on May 22, stating that the Assam state government is committed to completely removing the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Assam by the end of 2023. This decision is part of a broader plan to strengthen the Assam Police Battalions and enhance security measures across the state.
During the Commandants’ Conference, Chief Minister Sarma highlighted the importance of regular meetings and declared that the conference would now be held every six months. He also expressed his intention to personally visit various battalions in the state to evaluate their performance and address any concerns.
One of the key measures introduced by the Chief Minister is the recruitment of retired military personnel to train the police force. These veterans will hold the rank of Additional Superintendent of Police and share their expertise to enhance the professionalism and efficiency of the police.
The government aims to foster a positive environment within the battalions and encourage 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 minimal use of force.
The future of AFSPA
The removal of AFSPA from the entire state is expected to be completed by November, allowing for the replacement of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) with the Assam Police Battalions. However, the presence of CAPFs, as required by law, will continue to ensure the maintenance of law and order.
Furthermore, the Chief Minister stressed the importance of appointing capable and professional police officers as commandants to effectively lead the battalions.
To improve overall performance and discipline within the police force, the government plans to compile a list of underperforming personnel, including officers, taking into account factors such as habits, drinking, obesity, etc. This will assist in offering Voluntary Retirement Schemes (VRS) to those individuals and create a more efficient workforce.
Chief Minister Sarma also emphasized that each battalion should develop its own motto and integrate it into their operations. He encouraged the celebration of Raising days, providing opportunities for the children of police personnel to showcase their talents through debates, extempore speeches, art, and other activities.
The government aims to establish high-quality schools within the battalion premises, utilizing the skills of talented police personnel alongside appointed teachers. Additionally, efforts will be made to provide suitable housing colonies for all 36 battalions, ensuring satisfactory housing for the personnel and their families.