The history of Assam Police has been a saga of indomitable courage, unflinched devotion to duty and supreme sacrifice by its officers and men. This force has always been in the forefront to defend the status of Assam as an integral part of India. The major milestones crossed are:
In 1921 Assam Police had to tackle a wave of political agitations and disturbances owing to labour unrest, a prolonged strike in the Railways and Non-cooperation movement of Mahatma Gandhi.
In 1939, a severe strain was brought on the Police owing to the Digboi Refinery strike, political unrest and war with Germany.
With the progress of the war, the burden of additional duties increased enormously – control over the foreigners, vigilance over lines of communications, counter – espionage & anti – sabotage activities and maintenance of internal security.
Assam Police faced an entirely novel set of circumstances during 1942. With the fall of Burma imminent, the flow of refugees gathered momentum and the task of requisitioning vehicles for the war effort & evacuation of refugees fell on the Police. And Assam Police did an excellent job.
During 1942–43, the danger of infiltration by enemy agents increased and the impending danger of invasion of India by Japan created new problems of internal security. The Naga Hills & Manipur became the main targets and Assam Police supplied Officers & men to augment the local Police and helped in establishing intelligence screens. When the threat of the Railways & other vital communications was at its height, the Police remained firm in their duties.
Several problems connected with the partition of the country kept the Police busy. Despite severe handicaps & shortcomings, Assam Police managed to tide over the difficult transitional period with out much of its reputation impaired.
The disturbed conditions in the Naga Hills posed a new problem to the Assam Police in 1956. It is a matter of pride that Assam police gave a good account of themselves and proved equal to the task.
Assam Police units gave service in insurgencies in Lushai Hills District rendering yeoman service and losing personnel, including senior officers.
In 1960, the AASU after its formation chalked out a series of agitational programmes for introduction of Assamese language as medium of instruction. Because of its emotional character it led to several law & order complications but due to the effective handling by Assam Police the situation was controlled commendably.
During the Chinese aggression of 1962, when Tezpur almost fell into the hands of the Chinese and was ordered to be evacuated, SP Sri N.N.Changkakoti, IPS, Late Sri J.K.Sinha, IPS (P) and other officers & men of Assam Police valiantly held on to their charge.
The year 1979 is a watershed in the annals of Assam Police history as it marks the begining of the historic Assam Agitation against foreigners and emergence of successive ethnic & separatist agitations resulting in unprecedented law & order problem, public disorder and security challenges.
In 1979, the AASU launched the Student`s agitation resulting in wide spread bandhs, hartals, janta curfew, blockade of the Highway & Railways, stoppage of transportation of crude oil, gherao and sporadic acts of violence which culminated in the massacre at Nellie in 1983.
This was an agitation that convulsed Assam and brought the functioning of Govt. and even courts to a standsill. It was only Assam Police that stood firm to maintain the writ of the State, often at great cost to individual officers whose families faced social boycott while their own lives were under threat and many were brutally killed.
(a) In the mid 1980s & 1990s, Assam faced several violent ethnic agitations starting with the Bodo agitation by the ABSU. The agitation started as a people’s movement, later it took a violent turn claiming many lives of civilians, security forces and large scale destruction of public and private infrastructure. The movement was characterised by ethnic killings, ambushes on police and army and blasts of high intensity and frequency.
Assam Police has shown remarkable professional competence in containing and controlling the situation in the Boro areas. Not fearing ambushes and threat to live, valiant officers and men of Assam Police took the Boro extremists head on. Many extremists were apprehended or neutralised. Pro-democratic elements of Boro society were protected by Assam Police enabling a solution in the form of Territorial Council for the Boros.
(b) Other ethnic agitation in Assam were launched by the Ravas, Tiwas, Deori, Sonowal Kochari, Karbies, Mech, Garos and Deamsas which led to massive law and order problem and was deftly handled by Assam Police minimising loss to unity and integrity of the nation.
In the 1980s two separatist militant outfits namely, the ULFA & the BDSF were formed with the avowed objective of secessionism by waging war against the Govt. of India. These two outfits had bases in Myanmar, Bangla Desh & Bhutan and with the blessing of the ISI who provided all sorts of logistical support for destabilising India by way of assisting in procurement of arms & explosives etc from the international arms cartels.
When the violence committed by the ULFA reached its peak in 1990, almost paralyzing the law & order machinery in the State, on 27/28th Nov`1990 the entire State was declared as Disturbed Area and the AFSPA was invoked for restoring peace and building confidence in the minds of the people from all walks of life. The relentless CI Operation under the Unified Command of which Assam Police was an integral part was started with four pronged strategy of operation against the militants, surrender-cum-rehabilitation, peace overture and psy operation. The Operation All Clear by the Royal Bhutan Army in 2003 to flush out the militant outfits viz. ULFA & NDFB from their hideouts in Bhutan have yielded positive results.
The first success story was the signing of MOU with the BLT (Bodo Liberation Tiger) on 10-02-2003, whereby BTC( Bodoland Territorial Council) came into existence and the BTAD( Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts) was formed by carving out four districts in the State.
In successive years :
i) The tripartite SOO agreement was signed with dreaded militant outfits viz., UPDS (United Peoples Democratic Solidarity) of Karbi Anglong on 01-08-02 .
ii) SOO agreement was signed with DHD (Dima Halam Douga) in the Dima Hasao District on 01.01.03. Already MOU was signed with UPDS on 25-11-2011 and finally the outfit surrendered with their arms/ ammunition.
iii) The DHD (J), renegade group of DHD (Nunisa) and KLNLF, which was a breakaway faction of UPDS, were also brought to the mainstream on 02-10-2009 &11-02-2010 respectively.
iv) In the meantime, BTF (Bengali Tiger Force) and ULFBV (United Liberation Front of Barak Valley) have surrendered.
v) MOU has been signed with DHD (J) and DHD (N) on 08.10.2012;
vi) Discussion with KLNLF is continuing.
vii) Assam Police is still continuing its relentless efforts in coordination with SF/CAPF and has succeeded in neutralizing the efforts of these groups
Last but not the least, on Jan. 24,2012, nine ethnic militant groups including five Adivashi groups viz APA (Adivashi Peoples Army), AANLA (All Adivashi National Liberation Army), STF (Santhal Tiger Army ), BCF (Bircha Commando Force), ACMA (Adivashi Cobra Military Army), KLO/KLA (Kuki Liberation Organization/ Kuki Liberation Army), HPC (D) (Hmar Peoples Conference - Democratic), UKDA (United Kukigam Defence Army), KRA (Kuki Revolutionary Army) have joined the mainstream. This is indeed a new feather in the cap of Assam Police.
There has been continuos surrender and decrease in killings and kidnappings due to counter-insurgency operations during this period.
In August 1999, the State Police successfully busted the ISI-sponsored Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) module in the State with the initial arrest of 4 Hum operatives (one Pak National, 2 are from U.P. and one from J&K). The State Police successfully cracked the network of Hum in the State by arresting 47 nos. of Hum cadres. As a result of this operation 49 nos. of Hum and Huji cadres surrendered before the State Police, some of whom had got trained in POK and Bangladesh.