Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma Gets Z+ Security

New Delhi | Updated: 14 October, 2022 12:35 pm IST

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s security cover has been upgraded from Z category to Z-plus by the Central government, as per government officials.

Sarma, a top BJP face in the northeast, has been enjoying a Z-category security cover provided by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in northeastern states.

After a recent review, the Union home ministry directed the CRPF to provide him with the top category security on an all-India basis, the officials cited above said on Friday.

The 53-year-old, who was once the close confidante of then Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, quit the Congress party and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2015, alleging that the Gandhis were inaccessible to regional leaders.

Since then, he has been projected as BJP’s single big face in the northeastern state. In line with Union home minister Amit Shah’s ambitious plan to bring peace and prosperity to seven states in the northeast, he founded the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) for better coordination among ‘Seven Sisters’.

In 2020, Himanta announced to shut down all madrasas in Assam, arguing that the move will bring uniformity to the education system.

He had said that teaching the ‘Quran’ at the cost of the government exchequer could not be allowed to continue. “Otherwise, we would need to bear the expense of religious education for other communities as well,” he said in October 2020.

“All state-run madrassas will be converted into regular schools or in certain cases teachers will be transferred to state-run schools and madrassas will be shut down,” Sarma had said.

The BJP leader has launched a massive campaign to eradicate Islamic radicalism from Assam, which shares the border with Bangladesh. As per his directives, the Assam Police busted several terror modules, unearthing links between madrasas and extremists Islamic outfits based in India and Bangladesh.

Speaking on the issue, he recently remarked that the bust of at least five modules of Bangladesh-based Islamist fundamentalist groups since March indicates that technology-savvy foreign trainers are threatening to turn the state into an Islamist hub.

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