In view of the threat from Islamist militants, the Assam Police on Tuesday started a programme to survey and bring the char areas -- the riverine sand bars, as they are locally called -- of the state under surveillance.
Director General of Assam Police Mukesh Sahay on Tuesday visited the Azim Ali char in Nalbari district and interacted with the local people to have a first-hand knowledge about the inhabitants in the sand bar.
"Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has asked the administration to go to the char areas so that anti-socials as well as anti-nationals cannot gain ground in these areas. Accordingly, we have started this mission to visit the char areas and bring them under surveillance," said Sahay on Tuesday.
"Our basic intention is to collect information about the inhabitants and about those people from outside who visit the island frequently," he said.
Notably, there are over 2,300 riverine areas in Assam.
"This is the beginning of the programme and we are going to intensify our vigil in those areas and to bring these areas under surveillance," the DGP said.
The Assam Police have already arrested over 40 Islamist militants, particularly members of Bangladesh-based Jamat-ul-Mujaheedin (JMB), in last two years and busted several of their training camps. One of the top JMB activist, Sahanur Alom, who was in the custody of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) at present, was arrested from Nalbari district.
The riverine areas are mostly inaccessible and are without any basic amenities.
Sahay said that the Assam Police also want to strengthen the capability and capacity of the river police for better surveillance of these areas.
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