Shah appeals to NE militants to join mainstream

AIZAWL, 1 Apr: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday appealed to the remaining active militants of the Northeast to join the mainstream.

Addressing a rally in Aizawl after virtually inaugurating and laying the foundation stone for 11 projects worth Rs 2,414 crore, he asserted that the establishment of peace in Mizoram is an example of the victory of Indian democracy.

“I appeal to the few remaining active militant organisations in the Northeast to return to the mainstream, become a part of the democratic process and contribute to the development of the region and the country as a whole,” he said.

“Peace has been established in Mizoram, which had faced insurgency. This is an unprecedented example of the victory of India’s democracy,” he said.

Shah inaugurated the new Assam Rifles battalion headquarters complex in the state.

He said that the Northeast was suffering from insurgencies, lack of rail, road and air connectivity and there was “no trace of development” when the Modi government came to power at the Centre in 2014.

“In the last nine years, we have succeeded in bringing peace in the Northeast, improved connectivity and brought the region at par with other parts of the country in terms of development,” Shah said.

Stating that the Centre is dedicated to the development of the Northeast, he said that the Modi government has increased the budget allocation for the region by 276 percent.

“The union government is working towards connecting the state capitals of all the eight states with rail, road and air connectivity by 2025 with a project outlay of Rs 1,76,000 crore,” he said.

The home minister said that, since 2014, incidents of violence in the Northeast have dipped by 67 percent, while deaths of security forces have reduced by 60 percent and civilian deaths have gone down by 83 percent.

“Around 8,000 militants in the region have surrendered since 2014. We have signed a peace agreement with the NLFT in Tripura in 2019, rehabilitated 37,000 Brus in Tripura, and brought peace in Assam by signing the Bodo Accord in 2020 and a peace agreement in Karbi Anglong in 2022. Also, there has been a 70 percent reduction of areas under the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958,” he said.

Noting that Mizoram’s economy grew by 12.15 percent in the last decade, especially under the leadership of Chief Minister Zoramthanga, Shah said that the Centre would explore possibilities of investment in tourism, bamboo and solar energy sectors in the state.

He said that the Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project would connect Mizoram with Myanmar and bring about economic growth in the northeastern state. (PTI)