Insurgency waning, focus on Devt: Rajnath tells NE states

IMPHAL,9th July: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that during four years of NDA government, the security situation in the North Eastern region has drastically improved as compared to the 90s and as such the regional governments need to focus towards accelerating the pace of development. In his address during the 67th Plenary Session of the North Eastern Council (NEC) at Shillong on Monday, Rajnath informed that insurgency related incidents have declined by 85 per cent in the region.

“Today, Tripura and Mizoram are completely free from insurgency and there is tremendous improvement in other NE states as well. Due to this improvement in security situation the AFSPA has been completely lifted from Meghalaya and its coverage reduced in Arunachal Pradesh,” he said.

Rajnath, who is also the chairman of the newly re-constituted NEC, underlined the need to have a forum to address interstate internal security related issues including border disputes, narcotics and arms trafficking, common approaches for tackling terrorism, militancy, etc.

“Private investment and economic activity would not flourish in the absence of peace and normalcy,” pointed out the Union home minister, adding that after the creation of the NEC in 1971, Assam, Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya which were part of the earlier Eastern Zonal Council were deleted from the latter’s purview. As such, there is no forum to discuss issues such as boundary disputes, drug trafficking, smuggling of arms and ammunition, etc. which are the items discussed in other Zonal Councils.

The NEC, having governors and chief ministers of the NE states as its members, can provide a common forum for discussing the two aspects in a comprehensive manner, Rajnath and conveyed that while the Ministry of DoNER is focusing on its coordination role in development matters, the Ministry of Home Affairs is primarily focused on security related issues.

Furthermore, the Union Home Minister directed the Forum to deliberate on pressing security related issues in the NE states. Rajnath also asked the NE states to expedite work on long pending projects of the NEC so as to ensure maximum utilisation of funds and completion of projects in a time bound manner.

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