Threat persists, Unified Command to stay : Gogoi

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Guwahati, Sep 27 (UNI) Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today dismissed any possibility of disbanding the Unified Command (UC) structure, set up for counter-insurgency operations, in the near future adding that a terror threat persisted in Assam.

''The Unified Command will continue till necessary. There is no question of dismantling it till the law and order situation improves to satisfactory levels,'' Mr Gogoi told reporters here.

He pointed out that UC had a term of six months and it was extended only subject to necessity, hence it would make its exit whenever the need was no longer felt.

The UC structure, with the Chief Minister now heading it and top security and administration officials as its members, was set up to fight insurgency in the state.

It had come under strong criticism at times from different quarters for allegedly giving security personnel a free hand in the name of counter-insurgency operations.

However, the government has maintained that the UC structure had made counter-insurgency more effective.

Conceding that terror threat persisted in the state, Mr Gogoi said, ''The proximity to Bangladesh has added to our vulnerability.

''But the threat exists across the country and is not confined to states with international borders alone,'' he added.

He stressed on the need for modernisation of police and improvement in intelligence gathering mechanism for tackling the insurgents more effectively.

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