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Just Say No to gun: Swami Agnivesh

’In the case of Assam our dialogue is: goli se nehi, boli se. Even when the guns are used, problems are solved only by sitting across the table’.– Swami Agnivesh

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, January 7: Swami Agnivesh, who visited violence–ravaged Dhekiajuli yesterday, said today that such killings had been occurring almost at an interval of six months in Assam in the past few years.

Swami Agnivesh is the winner of the Altertive Nobel Prize (the Right Livelihood Award), 2004.

Talking to newsmen in Guwahati today, Swami said: “In order to solve such problems I’m in Assam now. The Centre wants Army operation, but we want to unite the civil society here and start a peace process. Such problems are solved through dialogue, not through guns. In the case of Assam our dialogue is: goli se nehi, boli se. Even when the guns are used, problems are solved only by sitting across the table.”

Swami further said: “I met Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. He lent me support. We will hold a round–table conference in Assam this month. We’ll try to bring all tribal groups of Assam on one platform. Such a conference is a must in order to solve the clashes between ST (Hills) and ST (Plain) in Assam.” “There’re other problems too in the state. There’re surrendered militants who have not been properly rehabilitated. The government should try to rehabilitate them properly so that they don’t have to go to the jungle and take the gun again,” Swami said, and added: “I had talks with Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju. We had talks regarding early start of talks in Assam. Back in Delhi, I’ll talk to Union Home Minister Rajth Singh. They talk of zero–tolerance army operation, but we talk of talks.”

“We have fought many wars with Pakistan and Chi. Have our problems with these neighbouring countries solved? At the end of the day we have to sit together to get problems solved. Fresh talks have been started with both Pakistan and Chi. In the backdrop of such experiences, should we try to solve the problems of our country with the gun? We may use the gun but at the end of the day we have to sit for talks,” Swami said, and added: “I’ll ask the government all such questions.”

During his visit to the state, Swami Agnivesh had talks with Anjali Daimary, Homen Borgohain and leaders of various tribal groups so as to solve the problems afflicting the state through dialogue. 

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Ankur Kalita

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