GUWAHATI: Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly, Debabrata Saikia has requested chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal to take measures to streamline the lock down process whereby the police and civilians do not work at cross purposes despite following the same guidelines issued by the government.
“I would like to draw your attention to certain aspects of the ongoing lockdown in Assam. I have observed with great consternation media reports along with video footage of some police personnel physically assaulting and otherwise harassing some civilians who ventured onto the streets during the lockdown,” Saikia wrote in the letter to the chief minister on Thursday.
The Opposition leader requested Sonowal to ensure that the Assam Police personnel are instructed to treat civilians found on the streets with due courtesy. “They should make proper inquiries before taking action against anyone, and that too as per law. On no account should any civilian be beaten up on the streets,” Saikia said.
“If, after proper inquiry, anyone is found to be loitering in the streets without due cause, then that person should be booked and the courts of law should be allowed to penalise him or her under Section 188 of the Cr PC or other relevant laws. Even such willful offenders should not be thrashed in public,” the senior Congress leader said.
He further said that sufficient safety gear and testing kits should be procured and house-to-house testing to locate infected persons, if any, should be started forthwith. “The entire exercise should not be restricted to Guwahati but carried out throughout Assam,” he added.
“The Assam State Agricultural Marketing Board and FISHFED should be mobilised immediately to ensure that civilians under lockdown can continue to procure vegetable and fish during the (remaining) 19 days or so,” the letter to the chief minister, read.
Saikia expressed his appreciation of the (Rs 1.70 lakh crore) relief package announced by the central government on Thursday to mitigate the effects of the three-week nation-wide lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
“The district administration concerned should enlist the help of elected panchayat members and workers of recognised political parties during execution of the central package on the ground,” he added.
Source: The Shillong Times