50,000 licenced arms in Assam; only 20% deposited so far

Police is now trying to contact all owners in order to take possession of these arms as per Election Commission directives.

Guwhati | Published: March 28, 2014 10:44:49 am

Only 20 per cent of the nearly 50,000 licenced arms existing in Assam have been deposited so far with authorities in the run up to the three-phased Lok Sabha elections in the state.

The state police department is now trying to contact all the owners in order to take possession of these arms as per the Election Commission directives.
“As of now, we have 47,286 licenced arms in Assam. Of this, around 9,500 have been collected according to EC norms to have a free and fair election exercise in the state,” a top government official said.
In addition to these, the police have seized around 10,000 unlicensed arms, ammunition and explosives across the state, he added.
“In the unlicenced category, the police recovered 84 arms, 9,910 cartridge and 13 explosives,” the official said. According to information available with the security establishment, Nagaon district alone has 8,550 licenced arms the highest in the state.
It is followed by Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong districts with 5,808 and 4,309 arms respectively.
Surprisingly, the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) of Chirang and Baksa have the least number of licenced arms with just 123 and 140 weapons respectively.
Along with these two, Kokrajhar and Udalguri, also part of BTAD, have active zones with Bodo insurgents and the banned terrorist group NDFB(S) is active in these districts.
Kokrajhar and Udalguri too have comparatively less number of registered arms with 737 and 301 weapons respectively.
The official said 882 arms are owned by public in the state capital Guwahati.
Some of the districts that have minimum number of arms registered are Bongaigaon (238), Nalbari (326), Karimganj (478), Dhemaji (522) and Goalpara (667).
Other districts that have large number of licenced arms are Sivasagar (3,343), Golaghat (2,816), Lakhimpur (1,933), Jorhat (1,580), Barpeta (1,561), Tinsukia (1,443), Sonitpur (1,423), Cachar (1,402), Kamrup (1,395) and Dhubri (1,282).
The official said some other districts, where police is trying to get hold of the arms, include Darrang (1,237), Dibrugarh (1,166), Morigaon (949) and Hailakandi (769).
Assam will go for polling next month in the presence of over 235 companies of security forces from both the state and
the Centre.
The security agencies have identified many districts in the state as critical and have decided to increase presence of forces by one to eight companies in each district compared to the last election in 2009.
With 4.5 lakh first time voters, Assam will see a total of 1.87 crore people exercising their rights to elect the representatives during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in three phase on April 7, 12 and 24.

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