Situation in Assam improving fast: Army Commander

Situation in Assam improving fast: Army Commander

Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel keep vigil as activists of All Assam Students Union students participate in Satyagraha rally against amendments in Citizenship Act. PTI

The situation in Assam was improving fast and hence the army personnel deployed in the state will hopefully return to the barracks within a couple of days said Army Commander Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan on Monday.

Speaking to journalists in Kolkata at Fort William, the headquarters of the Eastern Command Chauhan said that till Saturday 24 Army columns were deployed in upper Assam and 12 in lower Assam although only eight conducted flag marches.

“Now that number has come down to four or five which indicates that the situation in Assam was fast improving. Hopefully, the jawans will be back in the barracks within a couple of days and the civil administration will start functioning as usual,” said Chauhan. He was in the city to attend a ceremony to commemorate India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war.

He also said Army columns were also deployed in Tripura and some were kept on standby in Meghalaya although they were not deployed.

Asked whether the West Bengal government has sought help from the Army following violent protests against the Citizenship Act Chauhan pointed out that it was the prerogative of the state administration to seek help from the Army during a law and order situation.

“It is for the state administration to decide whether they will seek the Army’s help. If the civil authorities feel that they will not be able to handle a situation and call upon the Army then we extend cooperation,” said Chauhan.

He also said that in Assam and Tripura Army was called in after the civil administration exhausted all its resources in their effort to restore law and order.

Assam had witnessed violent protests against the Citizenship Act last week during which about four people were killed when security forces opened fire.