Maoist-hit states model for Assam


Jorhat, April 9: The Assam government has decided to learn from Maoist-hit states to tackle the menace making inroads in Tinsukia district.

Deputy commissioner S.S. Meenakshi Sundaram told The Telegraph today that Tinsukia officials would be sent to states like Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Odisha to get first-hand knowledge of the development plans being implemented in the rural areas of these states.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting held in Tinsukia town under the chairmanship of power and industry minister Pradyut Bordoloi yesterday.

It was also decided that chief minister Tarun Gogoi would be urged to send police teams to the Maoist-affected states for an orientation course on strategies adopted there to tackle “Left-wing extremism”.

The meeting was a preparatory one before the first sitting of the 13-member high-powered committee constituted by Dispur recently under the chairmanship of Bordoloi for Tinsukia after the district was accorded special category status.

The committee, comprising senior officers from several departments, including the commissioner of Upper Assam division and deputy commissioner of Tinsukia, was constituted to frame plans to focus on infrastructure development and avenues of employment generation in the district to contain Maoist growth.

Sundaram said the meeting, which was attended by him and all heads of government departments, decided to acquire knowledge about the integrated development plans taken up in Maoist-hit states. Apart from borrowing schemes undertaken by different departments, it also decided to send officials from various departments for training and field exposure.

“We have unofficially taken up the matter with several district magistrates of Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha. Now we shall officially approach these governments with the minister assuring to take up the matter at the highest level,” he added.

He said such visits could help learn the difficulties in implementing development plans and how these could be surmounted.

“We could learn from the shortcomings, if any, and rectify those in our proposals.”

Sundaram said the meeting also recommended that police officials visit Maoist-hit states to get a first-hand experience of methods adopted to tackle Maoist violence.

The proposal will be placed before the chief minister, who is in charge of the home department, for consideration, he added.

The deputy commissioner said the meeting also decided to get a baseline survey conducted in all the 1,126 villages of the district with special focus on about 200 villages identified as Maoist and Ulfa-affected to prepare an integrated district action plan. Most of the villages of Sadiya subdivision on the north bank of the Brahmaputra, where Maoists are said to be gaining a foothold, will be included in the list.

Dibrugarh University and Sri Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development in Guwahati will be asked to conduct the survey. Talks are on with both the institutes and an agreement or an MoU is expected to be signed shortly, he added.

Source http://telegraphindia.com/1130410/jsp/northeast/story_16765914.jsp#.UWjWuMsaySN

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