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Citizens committees came to police aid in ensuring peaceful


Press Trust of India Guwahati
The Assam police effectively tackled major challenges to maintain law and order during the updation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) list by adopting an innovative model of community policing, the state police chief said.
"Nagarik Samitis" (citizens' committees) which were set up under various police stations across the state about 23 years ago were used by the police to ensure that peace prevailed during the process of preparation of NRC list, Director General of Police (DGP)- Kuladhar Saikia- told PTI on Friday.
Final NRC list is all set to be published on the stipulated date of August 31.
The formation of committees was a brainchild of Saikia when he headed the Guwahati police in 1996.
"The massive exercise of updation of NRC has been going on in the state for quite sometime, and the police, with the help of citizens' committees, managed to effectively maintain law and order in the face of extreme challenges," the DGP said.
Handling law and order situation during this crucial phase has been widely appreciated and was even a topic of intense discussions at the All India DGP and IGP Conference that was organised in Gujarat's Kevadiya in December 2018, he claimed.
The purpose of setting up such committees was to provide a common platform for peoples' participation in enforcement of law and order in a more better manner.
"Such 'samities' provide the guiding force and so far those have helped in maintaining peace during the complex and challenging updation process", he said.
Giving details, the DGP said members of the nagarik samitis acquired useful information during their daily interaction with the people and the relevant inputs concerning updation of NRC were passed on to the police, which helped the force immensely, Saikia added.
The police after receiving information about what the common people were thinking about the NRC process used to organise counselling sessions for them to allay their fears about the exercise.
The samitis not only enriched the information base for the police, but also helped people realise the complexities faced by the police in the law enforcement task, Saikia added.
The members of the committees are residents of the ward/police stations having no civil or criminal case pending against them and it is essentially voluntary.
The district SPs play an active role to ensure that citizens representing different sections of the society are included in such a body.
Services of volunteers of Village Defence Party (VDP) were also utilized as force multiplier along with the security forces for peaceful conduct of the NRC updation process, the DGP said.

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First Published: Aug 30 2019 | 3:15 PM IST

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