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Govt downplays allegations of encounter-raj

Guwahati: An orgy of "encounters" triggered no less uproar in the state assembly on Monday, where the government denied any such case of an encounter by police. According to the government, there is nothing new in a few incidents of deaths of criminals in police firing in the state.

Opposition legislators alleged a mysterious rise in the number of deaths in police firings since the new government was installed in Dispur.

Senior minister Piyush Hazarika tried to pacify the legislators by saying that there is no such word as "encounter" in the Assam police manual. He said that police can’t remain idle if a criminal tries to flee from custody.

 “It was during the erstwhile Congress regime that Shibu Mandal was killed in police firing. The same thing happened when Krishna Hazarika died in police firing. But 30% crimes have some down since the present dispensation started getting tougher with the anti-social elements in the state,” said Hazarika.

The discussion assumed significance amid the growing hullaballoo over the killing of a few criminals in an orgy of police firing cases.

The Gauhati High Court accepted a PIL alleging rampant killings in police firings in the name of a crusade against anti-social elements.    

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