Rijiju rules out integration of Naga pockets

PTI/HINDUSTAN TIMES GUWAHATI, 7th Apr: Union minister of state for home, Kiren Rijiju said that the territorial integrity of the north-eastern states would not be compromised and the contentious demand of the NSCN (IM) for unification of all the Naga-inhabited areas would not be included in the final Naga Framework Agreement.
He also said the Centre would come out with the final version of the Naga Framework Agreement, signed between it and the NSCN (IM) in August 2015, to solve the Naga imbroglio within the tenure of the Narendra Modi government.
Rijiju said some "outside agencies" and "elements" were trying to foment trouble in the north-east, adding that the government was tracking them.
The Union minister of state for home told a press conference here on Saturday that the NSCN (IM)'s demand for unification of all the Naga-inhabited areas, including parts of Assam and other neighbouring states, would not be included in the final agreement.
He said the sovereignty and "other serious issues" had been dropped from the NSCN (IM)'s charter of demands and the Naga Framework Agreement was signed under the ambit of the Constitution.
Referring to the "outside agencies" and "elements" who were trying to foment trouble in the north-eastern region, the BJP leader said, "We know about the groups and we are tracking them. Anyone found indulging in anti-national activities will be firmly dealt with.
"We have an intelligence mechanism, which is much robust now."
On the final version of the Naga Framework Agreement, he said, "We (Centre) are progressing with absolute clarity. The unique history of the Nagas will be recognised and we will come out with a clear, tangible solution.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said we will give a result during the tenure of this government."
Asked about the Naga peace talks, where the framework agreement came in for criticism from various quarters because the content is still not known, Rijiju said, “Many people do not understand the framework agreement.” The Centre had signed a framework agreement for the settlement of the Naga issue with Issak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) in 2015.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said in the framework agreement, the issue of sovereignty and some other serious issues that were a part of the Naga agenda were dropped. “Talks are going on according to the Indian constitution,” he added.
Rijiju pointed out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his visit to Nagaland in the run-up to the elections, had spoken about a solution in a few months.
He said the talks with Naga groups are on for a political solution and “not one inch” of territorial integrity of other states will be compromised in the process.
Rijiju spoke about the government’s special development packages for border areas, but steered clear of a question on increased Chinese aggression, saying, “It is too sensitive an issue to comment on.”
Regarding Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma's proposal to the Centre for giving work permits to Bangladeshi nationals in order to tackle the infiltration problem, Rijiju said the government would not take a decision that was detrimental to the interest of the region or the country.
"The proposal has certain positive points. We are looking into it. But whatever decision is taken, it will not have any adverse impact and will not aggravate the existing problem of illegal migration," he added.
Referring to the demands of the pro-talks faction of the ULFA, Rijiju said they were "genuine", adding that the government would soon sign a final agreement with it.
"The demands of the Arabinda Rajkhowa-led faction of ULFA are genuine and the central government has agreed to them in principle. We are giving a final shape to the settlement.
"It will not take much time before the final agreement is signed," the Union minister said.
“The progress is being reviewed on a case to case basis, and the talks are in final stages,” he added.
On the ongoing talks with the Arbind Rajkhowa-led ULFA (P), he said the Centre has agreed to the genuine demands of the group in principle and instructions have been given to give the settlement a final shape.
Regarding the development of north-east, Rijiju said the Centre was working at "double speed" to transform the region into an economic hub within a decade.

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