Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday silenced the critiques of the state government who raised questions against the action of the state police force. Sarma said the police have been given a free hand to act within the framework of law as part of his government’s zero tolerance policy towards crime.

Giving details of the state’s war on drugs during the budget session of the Assembly today, a rather emotional Assam Chief Minister asserted that, till the time he is at the helm, the nefarious designs of those wanting to weaken the fight against drugs won’t succeed.

The Assam chief minister further said the police have the right to defend themselves and as long as they act within the purview of law, the state government will go all out to defend them.

Sarma significantly, said that attempts are being made to divert the focus on Assam’s war on drugs by way of attacking the government on other fronts. Efforts, he said, are being made to demoralise the Assam Police.

These statements on the floor of the house assume great significance as questions are being raised on the frequent encounters of accused in the state. In fact, if we look at cases related to drug trafficking, the state police has encountered one accused while 7 others have received bullet injuries as they tried to flee.