Peace talks with northeast militants positive: MHA official

Agartala, June 3 (IANS) The peace talks between the Centre and several militant outfits in the northeastern region are moving positively and peace would be restored in the whole region soon, a top official of the Ministry of Home Affairs said on Friday.

“The Central government has been holding peace talks with several militant outfits in the northeastern region. The talks are progressing positively,” Satyendra Garg, Joint Secretary in-charge of Northeast of the Union Home Ministry, told reporters here.

After meeting Tripura Chief Secretary Yashpal Singh and state police chief K. Nagaraj, he said: “Peace talks are going on with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah faction), United Liberation Front of Asom and many other militant outfits of several northeastern states.”

The official said the government is hopeful that with the positive outcome of the on-going peace talks with the extremists’ groups, absolute peace would be restored in the entire northeastern region soon.

“Government’s policy is to hold talks with the militant groups that shun violent activities. The Centre is closely observing the situation in the northeast and bordering areas,” Garg said.

“Tripura and Mizoram are the most peaceful states in the northeast India,” he said, adding that northeastern states are in a strategic location adjoining five countries — China, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.

“India’s strategies for China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and other neighbours are different. For India, Myanmar is located in a significant position,” said Garg, who came here on Friday afternoon.

On Saturday Garg would hold tripartite meeting at north Tripura’s Kanchanpur with tribal refugee leader and officials of Mizoram government.

About 31,300 Reang tribals, who call themselves “Bru”, have been living in seven makeshift camps in northern Tripura’s Kanchanpur areas adjoining Mizoram for the past 18 years.

They had fled after an ethnic violence in Mizoram following the killing of a Mizo forest officer at the Dampa Tiger Reserve.

The Home Ministry official said that the government has given utmost importance to erection of fence along the international borders with northeastern states at the earliest.

“After the completion of fencing, infiltration, cross-border movement of militants and inimical elements, and smuggling of contraband would be checked to a large extent,” Garg added.



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