AGARTALA, February 14: Union Home Minister Rajth Singh on Saturday said the government would not tolerate terrorist violence in the northeast, calling on militant outfits to shun violence and help the government in developing the region.
"The government would not tolerate the violent activities of the underground militants of northeast region," Singh told reporters here.
“I appeal to the militant outfits to shun violence and to help the government to develop the northeastern states. Unless the violence is stopped, development cannot be done at desired level,” he added.
“Terrorism is a major issue in northeast,” the home minister said.
Singh, who visited Khantlang in northern Tripura along the India-Bangladesh-Mizoram border with minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju and officials, said the Myanmar and Bangladesh governments were also cooperating with the Indian authorities to deal with the militants.
“At least give us 10 years’ time to develop the northeast. Development of northeast India is the top priority of the incumbent central government,” he said before leaving for New Delhi.
The home minister also said that there was clarity in concept of both the central and state governments in curbing militancy in Tripura.
“I assured Tripura chief minister that the central government would extend all cooperation in curbing militancy and to undertake development. Tripura has changed a lot,” Singh said while being accompanied by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.
The central ministers also held a meeting with the leaders of refugees at Kanchanpur (155 km from here) in northern Tripura.
“I have requested the refugees to go back to their villages in Mizoram. Government would provide all assistance to the repatriated refugees. I believe they are ready to go back to their homes,” Singh stated.
He asked the Mizoram government not to discrimite among refugees regarding their rehabilitation and security. “I believe the Mizoram government would extend all help and assistance to the repatriated refugees.”
“Refugee problem would be resolved,” he said when reporters told him that many inconclusive meetings were held earlier to repatriate the refugees to Mizoram.
After visiting the border areas, Singh met Manik Sarkar and senior state government officials in Agartala to chalk out a plan to repatriate the tribal refugees to Mizoram.
Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla could not attend this meet.
“I may talk to Mizoram chief minister late on the refugee issue,” Singh told IANS.
About 32,000 Reang tribals are staying in seven camps in Tripura for the last 17 years after fleeing their villages in Mizoram, following ethnic trouble.
The Tripura government has been asking both Mizoram and the union home ministry to repatriate the tribal refugees to their homes in Mizoram. IANS