Whoever tries to shoot at police will get an answer, says Assam CM

Those who defend drug dealers should train them not to escape from custody, he says.

July 14, 2021 06:08 pm | Updated 06:13 pm IST - GUWAHATI

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. File

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. File

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday said the police will continue to take “extreme action” within the law against criminals as long as he is in-charge of Assam. He holds the Home portfolio too.

To a question on the anti-drug drive from Asom Gana Parishad MLA Pradip Hazarika, the Chief Minister also advised the government’s critics not to encourage criminals of all shades by calling the police trigger-happy.

“Those who defend drug dealers should train them not to escape from custody, snatch arms or attack the police,” he said after Opposition legislators attacked the government for alleged fake encounters.

“Whoever shoots at the police will get an answer. I will not allow my department to be weakened,” Mr. Sarma said after providing the data on the seizure of drugs and arrests since May.

“The police registered 1,121 cases and arrested 1,879 drug peddlers in the last two months. During this period, almost 28 kg heroin was seized compared to 27 kg in 2020. Huge quantities of cannabis, opium, [high codeine] cough syrup, morphine, methamphetamine tablets and other psychotropic substances were seized too,” he said.

“When so many drugs are seized, the peddlers know this is the end of their life. They are desperate to escape, but whoever tries to shoot at the police will get an answer,” the Chief Minister said.

He said one person was killed while trying to escape from police custody while seven others got shot. At least 12 others were killed in encounters.

He also said the seized drugs would be burnt at four places in Assam on July 17-18 to send a message of “zero tolerance of crime”.

Police state, alleges Opposition

The Opposition had earlier compared the Assam government with that of Yogi Adityanath-led government. The Congress, The All India United Democratic Front and Raijor Dal’s Akhil Gogoi had panned the State government for trying to turn Assam into a “police state” by staging fake encounters.

“Criminals trying to escape from custody and getting shot in the leg is becoming very coincidental,” Congress MLA Rakibul Hussain said.

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