Guwahati: With the publication of the contentious National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam scheduled for Saturday, security arrangements have been beefed up across the state, Director General of Police Kuladhar Saikia said.
"Saturday is when the NRC will be finally released and we have made all arrangements to maintain public order, so there is no reason for anybody to worry about security,” Saikia said. Using inputs from SSPs and district magistrates stationed across the state, the police has conducted vulnerability assessments for various regions in Assam and has deployed forces accordingly, especially in the NRC Seva Kendras, he said.
Police control rooms have been activated and linked with the police headquarters and the NRC headquarters for real-time monitoring of the law and order situation, Saikia said. Night patrolling, too, has been increased in the interior areas of the state for people to feel confident about the security arrangements in their localities.
Central armed police forces have also sent troops to the state ahead of the publication of the citizenship registry. “Sixty-one new companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have joined the existing CRPF personnel to take the total to over 200 companies in Assam at the moment. We also have the various battalions under Assam Police to aid these forces,” he said.
The police chief added that nagrik committees comprising of citizen volunteers have been also briefed and put to action along with the local outpost officers. These groups have also been asked to perform outreach activities in villages to convince the people that there is no cause for alarm when the NRC is released on Saturday, and to stay away from rumours on social media.
Asked if the police is expecting disruptions in public order in specific regions of the state, Saikia said, “We are not apprehending any such situation but we are ready for any eventuality. The people have accepted that the NRC is a done deal.”
"The people of Assam are basically very calm people. On previous occasions when the two drafts of this citizenship registry were made public, the people of Assam reacted very sensibly, and positively contributed to the whole process. We expect the people to behave similarly this time around as well and help us maintain public order… I appeal to everybody in Assam to come forward and participate in the peaceful release of the NRC on Saturday."
Last day in office
Saturday also happens to be Saikia’s last day as an officer of the Indian Police Service. Reflecting on what is widely considered in the state to be an illustrious career, Saikia says that he looks back at his tenure with “a fair amount of satisfaction and happiness”.
"The whole idea of making the police force people-friendly, and a part of the community, was an endeavour I led since the time I was the police chief of Guwahati in 1998. I’m very happy to see the progress of this vision over the years — the people of Assam now see the police as an approachable institution which can help them live better lives,” the 1985-batch IPS officer said.
Any significance of his tenure ending on the day the supposedly historic NRC is finally released? “I’d put it down to just coincidence,” Saikia quipped.
Recepient of the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2015, Saikia looks forward to moving back to academics. “I have another life outside the police service. I deliver lectures as a visiting professor in various institutes such as IIM Ahmedabad and National University Singapore, and I plan to give more time to that now.” The National Register of Citizens will be released online publicly at 10am on Saturday.
Updated Date: Aug 31, 2019 09:24:54 IST