The final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam was published at 10 am on Saturday. While the draft NRC published a year earlier had excluded 41 lakh people, the final list excludes 19 lakh. While many tried to gain from the list's release by making it seem like the announcement had led to untoward scenes, to their disappointment, not a single untoward incident has been reported so far from any one of the 33 districts of the State.
The law and order situation in Assam is absolutely normal. Even though some section of the society joined hands with a section of media, with an ulterior motive, they failed miserably. The credit goes to the people and the Assam Police. The Assam Police added another feather to its cap after the publication of the final NRC list. It was not achieved on a single day. The Assam Police had put in all their efforts to achieve this feat.
Let me take you through the journey. Much ahead of the publication of the NRC first draft, the Assam Police was ready to tackle any untoward situation. The experience of the pilot project in Barpeta in the year 2010 was a heads-up for them. This helped the police to draw a strategic plan, a flow chart to ensure peace and tranquility. Ahead of the publication of the first draft NRC and also before publication of the final NRC, for a time period of almost two years, the Assam Police was busy with a series of sensitisation programs. These include road corner meets, police-locals interaction, coordination of Citizens Committee and police and awareness on social media through the Assam Police official pages.
In a candid conversation Director General of Assam Police, Kuladhar Saikia said,
"The Nagarik Samitee (Citizens Committee), played a very important role. They ensured that the people work in close coordination with the police so that the anti-social elements stay at bay."
Interestingly, Citizens Committee was a project initiated by Saikia himself way back in 1996 when he was the Superintendent of Police, Kamrup. Saikia further stressed on how the 'Prahari's' played their role in being vigil.
"Regular night patrolling in the rural areas, which are more prone to fake news and rumours by the local people themselves, gave a sense of confidence to the residents of those areas," said Saikia.
The Assam Police, nowadays is very active on social media platforms, be it Facebook or Twitter. The witty tweets with a twist and a sense of humour had also grabbed the attention of Bollywood from time to time. The massive social media awareness helped the people to counter the fake news propaganda. Kuladhar Saikia further spoke on the cyberdome project of Assam Police and how it helped monitor fake news and social media.
Surveillance of internet and social media helped in identifying people who pose a threat. It also helped the police to understand the SOP of the propagandist, a section of national and international media as well as a handful of people. This task was as mammoth as the NRC. Over 50,000 police personnel of the Assam police, including additional forces from Center were on a 24 hour vigil, during this entire exercise. The Assam Police and the security forces deserve credit for the peace that prevails today in Assam. They are not asking for it, it is theirs.