Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has made an appeal to all criminals “to avoid encounters”, asking them to raise their hands on seeing the police or wave a white flag.
He was replying to the ‘Motion of Thanks’ on the governor’s address to the budget session of the 15th Assam legislative assembly Wednesday. Encounters, Sarma said, “are not premeditated”. Criminals, including drug smugglers, should be sensitised on how the Assam Police has evolved, and what should be done when caught, he added.
“The police will wield a revolver only when another provokes. Criminals should know that Assam Police has changed — if you wield a pistol, they will respond with one too. The drug smugglers should raise their hands immediately when caught and their consignment seized. There’s no appeasement politics here, but bullets would be answered with a barrage of bullets.”
Posting his speech on Twitter, the chief minister wrote that “the onus of not facing an encounter is on criminals, not police”.
The onus of not facing an encounter is on criminals, not police. Criminals must surrender to police.@assampolice pic.twitter.com/ScCcFQVh0u
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) March 15, 2023
In a written reply to a question by All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) MLA Ashraful Hussain Monday, Sarma had said that from 10 May 2021 to 28 February 2023, 35 people had died in gunfights with police across different districts, and 12 injured. In the same period, he added, 26 accused had been killed in police firing and 146 injured. Five others were killed in accidents while trying to escape police custody, he said.
In the assembly Wednesday, Sarma also said that crime against women had come down, but “every action has to be as per law”.
(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)
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