New initiatives against Maoists, fake currency in Assam

Guwahati, May 14 (IANS)

The Assam government will soon set up two separate cells of the state police to tackle Maoist activities and the menace of counterfeit currency, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi announced Monday.

Both the cells will be headed by officers not below the rank of an inspector general of police (IGP), he said.

“The tactics of the Maoists or left-wing extremists (LWE) are different than other insurgents. So, we need officers with specialised skills to deal with the situation. We will tie up with the government of India for the specialised training of the officers and, if needed, we would send them for training outside the state,” Gogoi said.

“The government of India has taken serious note of the reported activities of the Maoist rebels here and we have also taken up the matter seriously,” he said.

Left-wing extremism is a recent phenomenon in Assam and the state government has already claimed to have taken up steps to contain Maoist activities before it becomes too late.

The state government had identified seven districts of the state where the Maoists activities are growing, and asked the deputy commissioners of these districts to implement more developmental schemes in the areas.

Last week, Assam Police killed four top-level Maoist cadres in Tinsukia district, in what is said to be the first of its kind operation against the Maoists.

The chief minister had also taken up the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh several times. During the prime minister’s visit to the state April 20, Gogoi had appealed for inclusion of these seven districts under the Integrated Action Plan (IAP), being implemented by the Planning Commission in at least 78 districts across the country hit by left-wing extremism.

“Similarly, the incidents of recovery of counterfeit currency are increasing in Assam. The fake currencies are pumped into the state mainly through Bangladesh and anti-national forces like (Pakistani spy agency) ISI are involved in this,” Gogoi said, adding that the cell to contain the menace of counterfeit currency has become a necessity.

“The chief minister’s Vigilance Cell and other agencies like the Bureau of Investigation of Economic Offices (BIEO) have already been working on this. The cell will also have officials from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). We will also take help from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) over this,” he said.