Assam NRC: Police seeks to avoid misunderstanding before final draft, holds meetings, keeps strict watch on social media

Ahead of the publication of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft, the Assam Police is carrying out community engagement programmes to avoid misunderstanding and keeping a strict watch on social media so that no fake news or hate message is circulated, a top police officer said on Friday.

The police’s main intention is to prevent the build-up of any sort of fear psychosis in the society after the publication of the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) on 30 July, Assam Director General of Police, Kuladhar Saikia told PTI in an interview.

“We are doing community engagement programmes to avoid any misunderstanding and lack of faith on the system. Our teams are regularly meeting village elders, student leaders and respectable persons in communities,” he said. “We are doing lots of campaigns in this regard. Police are visiting markets, village haatsfor this,” Saikia said, adding that there is no tension as such.

The top police said the Assam Police is also keeping a strict vigil on social media so that no fake news or hate message is circulated. “We have requested all communities to remain alert for this. We have launched a campaign on social media to avoid any provocative message by anyone. We are giving very important
focus to social media,” he added. Saikia informed that after the lynching of two youths in Karbi Anglong district last month due to fake news of child-lifters, the Assam Police has formed a Social Media Cell and it is being headed by Additional Director General of Police (Security) Harmeet Singh.

“We are trying to make people aware of social media platforms as an interactive place for all. It should be used for a positive purpose,” the DGP said. When asked about the preparedness of the police force, Saikia said the Assam Police is fully prepared and alert to maintain peace and order in the society at any cost after the final NRC draft is out.

“Considering vulnerability of different areas, we have prepared a sectoral plan to maintain law and order in the state. We have asked all the SPs to prepare their own plan to avoid any situation. To maintain peace, senior officers have been placed on different jobs,” he added.

Saikia said additional forces from the Centre have started reaching the state and they have taken positions, while the entire strength is expected to reach within next 1-2 days. “We are not expecting any untoward situation post- 30 July. No person with a vested interest will be allowed to play his game. If anyone tries to create any problem or takes the law into their own hand, he will be dealt with iron hand,” the DGP asserted.

According to officials, the Centre has sent over 22,000 central paramilitary troops, comprising 220 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), in order to beef up security in Assam and adjoining states. The largest contingent among the forces is from the CRPF (53 companies), followed by Sashastra Seema Bal (41), BSF (40), ITBP (27), CISF (20) and Railway Protection Force (5).

A total of 34 companies of the special auxiliary police are also being sent, officials said. One company of paramilitary force comprises 100 personnel. The NRC is being updated with 24 March, 1971 as the cut-off date for a legitimate claim to Indian citizenship in Assam. The first draft of the NRC was published during the intervening nights of 31 December and 1 this year, containing 1.9 crore names out of a total application of 3.29 crore people in Assam.

News credit : Firstpost
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