Advertisement
Thursday, Dec 09, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

Shoot Criminals If They Try to Escape: Assam CM Justifies Encounter Killings

Assam chief minister Himanta Sarma asserted that shooting at criminals "should be the pattern" if they attempt to escape from custody

Shoot Criminals If They Try to Escape: Assam CM Justifies Encounter Killings
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma | File Photo
Shoot Criminals If They Try to Escape: Assam CM Justifies Encounter Killings
outlookindia.com
2021-07-06T10:01:18+05:30

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma justified the series of encounters in the state since he assumed office and said shooting should be the pattern if criminals try to escape.

A rising number of encounters, which have seen at least a dozen suspected insurgents and criminals being shot dead as they "tried to escape" from custody, has whipped up a political furore in Assam.

Sarma asserted that shooting at criminals "should be the pattern" if they attempt to escape from custody or try to snatch arms from the police to open fire.

"If an accused tries to snatch the service gun and run away, or even simply flee, and on top of it he is, say, a rapist, law allows shooting at such a person on the leg, but not on the chest," Sarma said at the first ever face-to-face meeting with the Officers In-Charge (OCs) of all police stations of Assam.

"When someone asked me whether shooting incidents are becoming a pattern in the state, I replied that (shooting) should be the pattern if it involves a criminal trying to escape police custody," he said.

Sarma, who also holds the Home portfolio, said law has allowed the police to shoot at accused or criminals if they open fire first or try to escape.

"But before doing what law has permitted us to do, we must keep our conscience clear that our work is for the good of the people and not to serve any interest of our own," the CM said.

Under the normal procedure, an accused will be chargesheeted and convicted, he said, adding, but if someone tries to escape, "we will take a zero tolerance approach". 

"Police has no authority for encounters. In democracy, crime is fought through law and not encounter. These happen only when there are no other means," he later told reporters.   

At least 12 suspected militants and criminals have been shot dead in the state since May as they reportedly tried to escape from custody, while several others, including rape accused and cattle smugglers, were injured.     

The opposition, reacting to the incidents, alleged that Assam Police has turned "trigger happy" under the Himanta Biswa Sarma-led regime.     

 The state police, however, refuted the charge, claiming that it was the criminals who forced its personnel to resort to firing.

(PTI inputs)

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Farmers' Agitation Suspended; Samyukta Kisan Morcha To Hold Meeting On Jan 15

Farmers' Agitation Suspended; Samyukta Kisan Morcha To Hold Meeting On Jan 15

Farmers will start vacating Delhi border points from Dec 11, this may take some time, says farmer leader Rakesh Tikait.

Verses From Mon | A Poet's Ode To The Victims Of Nagaland Firing

Verses From Mon | A Poet's Ode To The Victims Of Nagaland Firing

Beni Sumer Yanthan (Yanbeni ) is a poet and folklorist from Nagaland belonging to the Lotha-Naga and War-Jaintia tribe of Meghalaya. Her poetries illustrate deep anguish of AFSPA victims.

Gabba Test, Day 2: Head, Warner Punish ENG; AUS Lead By 196

Gabba Test, Day 2: Head, Warner Punish ENG; AUS Lead By 196

Catch Day 2 highlights of the first Ashes Test at The Gabba. Australia were 343/7 at the close of play with Travis Head unbeaten on 112.

AFSPA: When SC Probe Panel Found Six Encounters In Manipur To Be Fake

AFSPA: When SC Probe Panel Found Six Encounters In Manipur To Be Fake

At present, AFSPA is in force in Nagaland, Assam and parts of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh in the northeast. Jammu and Kashmir has a similar law called Armed Forces (Jammu & Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990.

Advertisement