TODAY -

Insurgents rule Indo-Myanmar border : Rajnath
Source: The Sangai Express / Press Trust of India

Guwahati, July 11 2015 : Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today painted a grim security situation in the country's border with Myan-mar and Bhutan where there were reports of insurgents, weapons and drugs crossing over and said that his ministry was taking measures to effec-tively manage the international borders.

240 villages with over two lakh population within 10 km of the Indo-Myanmar border were living without any worthwhile security cover, Singh told a security meeting attended by the chief ministers of all Northeastern states here.

"They are at the mercy of the insurgents.

A similar situation prevails along the India-Bhutan border," he said calling upon the chief ministers of the region to pay atten- tion to this crucial area of security.



CM O Ibobi at the meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath
CM O Ibobi at the meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath


"We must take care of the development along with the security of people living along the international borders.

You would be glad to know that under the Border Area Development Progra-mme (BADP), we have enhanced the share of the region from 30 per cent to 40 per cent," Singh, accompanied by his deputy Kiren Rijiju said.

He said that a committee headed by Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) RN Ravi had been constituted to suggest measures to effectively manage the Indo-Myanmar border.

The committee is likely to submit its report within the next few days and the government would take action as per its recommendations, he said.

He suggested opening and strengthening of police stations in the border areas to instil a sense of security among the people, which is crucial for successful implementation of the Centre's 'Act-East Policy' .

The Union Home minister also urged the chief ministers to provide land for border fencing by acquisition on urgent basis wherever it was pending.

Singh said the region had a huge stockpile of illegal firearms which were smuggled in from across the border and sold here and beyond.

"Existence of illegal weapons will encourage crimes and vitiate the security eco-system of the region.

I would urge the chief ministers to launch sustained drives against illegal weapons and make their respective states free of such arms," he said.

Noting that Mizoram, Tripura, large parts of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya are "almost free of insurgency", Singh said it was time deployment of central forces was reduced in the Northeast.

"In the wake of improvement in security scenario, there is a need to review deployment of security forces in the region.

At present the deployment is more than it was when the insurgency was at its peak," Singh told a conference of North East Chief Ministers here.

The Home minister asked the chief ministers of the region to conduct a "realistic audit" of the Central Armed Police Forces in their states, assuring them of the Centre's help in the deployment of them "when actually needed".

Singh, who was accompanied by his deputy Kiren Rijiju, also said that there had been substantial strengthening of state police forces in the past few years.

"Without compromising with the security, we must plan to reduce deployment to make the environment easy and also to encourage positive thinking of outsiders about this region," he said congratulating the chief ministers on their efforts to improve the security scenario by bringing down the level of insurgency to an "all time low" .

"Mizoram, Tripura, large parts of Assam and Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh, except its three eastern districts, are almost free of insurgency.

There is a strong popular desire for peace in Nagaland and Manipur too," he noted.

He also noted that there had been substantial strengthening of state police forces in the past few years.

Referring to the on-going peace talks with different insurgents groups, Singh said it was on the right track and the government hoped to bring them to logical conclusions soon.

The Home Minister said several small residual insurgent groups were operating from their safe havens across the border and are engaged in kidnapping for ransom, which had almost doubled in Assam and Meghalaya.

He said in Garo Hill district of Meghalaya, some new splinter groups were kidnapping people for ransom or looting businessmen at gunpoint.

"I would like to make it absolutely clear that the Central government would not talk to such criminal elements.

Such criminal activities must be dealt with firmly...

I would like to reiterate and emphasize that we have zero-tolerance policy on insurgency," Singh said.

He also said most of the youths in insurgent groups were misled and they had now realised their mistakes.

"They are welcome to the mainstream.

However, those who have committed heinous crimes and acts of terror will have to face the law and meet the justice," Singh said.

When asked if the government will take any decision regarding removal of Madhya Pradesh Governor for his alleged involvement in the Vyapam scam following the Supreme Court's observations, Singh said, "We will see" .

On repeal of AFSPA, Singh said there was no proposal in the meeting for review of the Act, which is in-force in North East, except Tripura.

"We want to ensure full-proof security in NE.

It is our commitment and conviction," he added.

Talking about the ongoing prolonged talks with militant groups like ULFA and NSCN(K), Singh said it will not take much time now as the government is very serious about it, but declined to share any timeline.

He termed recent violation of ceasefire pact by NSCN(K) "very unfortunate" .

He also said granting of ST status to six communities of Assam was under progress.

Addressing a press conference later, the Home Minister assured the people of Assam that interests of all 'genuine' Indian nationals would be protected while updating the National Register of Citizens under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court.

"I want to assure the people of Assam that all genuine Indians will be included in NRC.

The interest of the Indian nationals will not be affected," Singh promised.

He said the process of updating the NRC was going on under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court and that the Central government had no say in it.

"Any issue arising out of the update process of NRC, the Supreme Court will take cognizance and resolve it accordingly," Singh said.

On inter-state boundary dispute between different Northeastern states, Singh said the Centre had suggested to maintain status quo by all stakeholders as the matter was sub-judice in the Supreme Court.

Asked about the rise of Islamic militancy in the region, especially Assam, he said that the Centre and the state would have to work jointly on this.

"It is challenge for not only one state, it is challenge for the country also.

We are trying our best to stop it." Asked if the government would take any decision regarding removal of Madhya Pradesh Governor for his alleged involvement in the Vyapam scam following the Supreme Court's observations, Singh said, "We will see" .

On repeal of AFSPA, Singh said there was no proposal in the meeting for review of the Act, which is in force in the Northeast, except Tripura.

On the prolonged talks with militant groups like ULFA and NSCN(K), Singh said it would not take much time now as the government was very serious about it.


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