Ex-militants should be rehabilitated

In a move which will go a long way in addressing the insurgency problem in Tirap, Changlang and Longding (TCL) districts, 15 militants of the Eastern Naga National Government (ENGG), along with the outfit’s chief Tosham Mossang, surrendered before Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Sunday. The rebels surrendered with arms and ammunition during a ‘homecoming’ ceremony organised at the police headquarters. This is a welcome move. The police as well as the insurgency groups deserve appreciation for it. The surrender of the ENGG chief and his operatives without firing a bullet shows that both sides took mature steps to work out this solution.

It is time that other Naga rebels operating in the TCL region also explored the possibility of giving up guns. Despite huge potential, these three districts are considered to be very backward. Many have cited insurgency as the main cause of the underdevelopment of these three districts. Hopefully, the steps initiated by the ENGG members will have a positive impact. The state government should extend every possible support to these surrendered militants. Now the main challenge is how to reintegrate them into the mainstream. If they are not properly rehabilitated, there is every chance that they might go back to insurgency. Therefore the government will have to deal with caution.