INCIDENTS ranging from Assam's northeast tip to its west, and a script that is common — of apprehended criminals "trying to escape" from custody the same day as they were arrested, "attempting to snatch weapons" and police opening fire. Since Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took over on May 10, at least 23 people have been shot at while in police custody, with five dead. They had been held for crimes such as cattle-smuggling, rape, murder, drug-peddling, dacoity. This is apart from deaths of 10 militants in encounters in the past two months. As the Opposition raises alarm over the "trigger happy" government and the Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) takes up the matter suo motu, Sarma has said he stands by the new approach. On Wednesday and Thursday, he told the Assembly his government would continue its "zero tolerance policy" on criminals, and that he was ready to face "any kind of criticism". "My clear instruction (to police) is do not break the law, but within the law… you take extreme action, and the Assam government is going to protect you." https://images.indianexpress.com/2020/08/1×1.png Days earlier, at a conference attended by police officers, the CM had said there was nothing wrong… Read full this story
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