ITANAGAR: Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Sunday said that strong action as per the law will be taken against those trying to disturb peace and are killing innocent people in Tirap district in poll-bound Arunachal Pradesh.
The Union Minister of State for Home was referring to the Friday incident in the district where a worker of the National People’s Party (NPP) was beaten to death by suspected NSCN (IM) militants.
“Those involved in the incident will be taken to task as per the policy of the Centre and the State government. The Centre has already instructed to initiate measures so that such incidents will not occur again and peace prevails,” Rijiju told reporters here.
The Minister added that the government would not tolerate any attempt by forces from outside the State trying to disrupt the election process in the State by killing people.
“Already operations against underground elements have been intensified in Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts while Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have set up ‘nakas’ with strict checking to prevent such incidents,” Rijiju said.
He added that when the Centre is in peace parleys with the NSCN (IM), such an incident in Arunachal was ‘unfortunate’.
Claiming that incidents of violence in the Northeast have been significantly reduced by 79 per cent in the past five years due to the persistent efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP party to bring peace in the region, Rijiju informed that incidents like kidnapping, extortion and killing by rebel groups have been reduced.
He further said, “The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) which was in effect since 1990 in half of the Northeastern States and in the entire 20 kilometres areas along the Assam-Arunachal border and the three districts of Tirap, Changlang and Longding, has been withdrawn from many States.
“In the last five years, insurgency and antisocial activities in the entire western part of the State has been wiped out and now AFSPA is limited to the three eastern districts of Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts and four police stations of adjoining districts with Assam,” Rijiju said.
He disclosed that “the Act would be withdrawn after getting reports from the State government on improvement of the law-and-order situation.
“Our efforts will be to withdraw AFSPA from the remaining parts of the State soon,” he added.
Rijiju said the NDA government had initiated rehabilitation policy for the surrendered militants of the region and started giving stipends to surrendered rebels, besides imparting skill development training to them so that they can start new businesses.
When asked whether the Centre is willing to start talks with ULFA (I) chief Paresh Barua, Rijiju categorically said that there was no such decision as the government only recognises the pro-talk faction of the outfit led by Arabinda Rajkhowa.
“Paresh Barua has links with many underground groups who are against India. We cannot compromise on our sovereignty,” Rijiju added.
Also read: Arunachal news