Assam Police chief says probe needed

The Assam Police are ascertaining the role of extremist groups in the ongoing protests in the State against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

Addressing a press conference with Chief Secretary Alok Kumar on Saturday, Director-General of Police Kuladhar Saikia, however, said security forces did not have specific inputs about the involvement of extremists in the movement.

“Eight cases have so far been registered over stray incidents of violence, and several people arrested. We can ascertain the involvement of underground outfits only after a thorough interrogation,” Mr. Saikia said.

Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday said the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent was remote-controlling the protests. He claimed that the Bill was needed to save the State from “going Jinnah’s way.”

Appeal for restraint

Appealing for restraint, Mr. Alok Kumar said, “The State is passing through a challenging phase, although the law and order situation [arising out of the protests] is under control. The people have a right to protest, but there have been certain deviations.”

Mr. Saikia said the police were overburdened with cases of social media abuse. Such cases, he felt, were taking up much of the time of police personnel.

“Police stations are flooded with cases in connection with social media posts that people find objectionable or abusive. The police need some space to look into theft and other cases of crime,” he said.

Many cases of alleged social media abuse turn out to be frivolous, the DGP added.

The social media monitoring cell of Assam Police has been on overdrive since the lynching of two Guwahati-based youth in Karbi Anglong district last year.

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