Guwahati, May 18 (IANS) Cadres of the armed militant outfits have joined criminal gangs in Assam, leading to recent spurt in petty crimes across the state, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said here Friday.
“All the militant outfits in Assam, barring two, have signed ceasefire agreements with the government. Now, after the outfits have shunned violence and responded to our peace efforts, some of the cadres have joined criminal gangs. This has led to an increase in petty crimes such as extortion, kidnappings and murder in the state,” Gogoi said.
The chief minister added that the government has been laying stress on civil policing to check crimes across the state and hoped to achieve success very soon.
He was speaking to reporters on the occasion of completion of the first year of his government’s third consecutive term in the state.
Gogoi said that barring the anti-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), led by Paresh Baruah, and Karbi Peoples’ Liberation Tigers (KPLT), an outfit based in Karbi Anglong, all other outfits have shunned violence.
The chief minister also highlighted success of his government in bringing more than 16 militant outfits to the negotiating table.
“The overall law and order situation has improved,” Gogoi said, pointing out that only 29 civilian deaths were registered during 2011-12 compared to 412 in 2001-02.
Gogoi said the state government’s fiscal health also has improved and the per capita annual income has increased from just Rs.13,962 in 2001-02 to Rs.37,481 in 2011-12.
“The Planning Commission has given Assam Rs.300 crore as reward for good financial management and achievements in various sectors. We have also received a debt relief of about Rs.1,267 crore,” Gogoi pointed out.
“The female literacy and rural literacy rate in the state is higher than the national average. In the human development index, Assam is ranked third in the country,” the chief minister said.
He said that a strong Opposition was beneficial for the ruling party as “it motivates the ruling party to work”.
“I wish that Asom Gana Parishad leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta emerges as a strong Opposition leader,” Gogoi said.
Indo-Asian News Service