Guwahati, Feb 12 (PTI) Asserting that there has been an overall improvement in the law and order situation in Assam, Finance Minister Ajanta Neog on Monday said that drugs worth Rs 1,800 crore have been seized since Chief Minister Himanta Biswa assumed charge nearly three years ago.
Presenting the annual budget for the 2024-25 fiscal, Neog said the Assam Police "gained momentous achievements" last year, with the surrender of over 1,200 militants.
"Stringent crackdown on narcotics and drugs has resulted in the seizure of more than 160 kg of heroin, 31,000 kg of ganja and other contraband substances, worth a total of over Rs 1,800 crore, between May 2021 and January 2024," she added.
She informed the state assembly that the overall law and order situation in Assam has improved, which can be gauged from the reduction in crimes from about 1,00,000 in 2021 to about 63,000 in 2023, coupled with an increase in conviction rate from 6 per cent to 16 per cent.
"Moreover, Assam Police played a pivotal role in promoting a peaceful dialogue by signing historic accords with militant groups, including the United Liberation Front of Asom in December 2023," Neog said.
The withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from major parts of Assam marked a phased transition, symbolising the improved security scenario, and the end of decades of hostility and militancy, she added.
Presently, the Assam Police's focus remains on the rehabilitation of over 7,000 surrendered militants from different extremist organisations, the budget speech mentioned, while allocating an annual budgetary outlay of Rs 8,143.96 crore for the Home Department.
The finance minister further said, "The Assam Police is committed to combat child marriage, a severe violation of human rights. Special drives have been initiated under relevant laws, resulting in the registration of more than 5,000 cases and the arrest of over 4,000 individuals.
She said that to provide good accommodation facilities to police personnel and their families, the government will construct 10,000 new 2-BHK housing units of 1,000 sq ft area over the next five years.
"These houses will be constructed in all the Assam Police battalions and in the Lachit Borphukan Police Academy. We will complete the construction of 2,000 houses in the financial year 2024-25. I am earmarking Rs 150 crore for this purpose," Neog said.
She asserted that the recruitment of 14,643 police personnel reflects the government's commitment to bolstering the force and ensuring public safety.
Talking about the excise department, Neog said a set of reforms and effective regulation generated a revenue of Rs 2,527 crore in 2022-2023.
"This department has been able to collect Rs 2,459 crore till January 31, 2024, against Rs 2,008 crore for the corresponding period during 2022-23, registering an impressive growth of over 22 per cent," she added.
"A major highlight of the year was the department's extensive crackdown on illicit activities with more than 13,000 illicit liquor cases registered and 3,000 arrests made," Neog said.
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