BJP accused Sonia of ''politicising'' Naga peace accord

The BJP on Friday accused Congress president Sonia Gandhi of "politicising" the Naga peace accord signed between the central government and the NSCN-IM.

Shillong: The BJP on Friday accused Congress president Sonia Gandhi of "politicising" the Naga peace accord signed between the central government and the NSCN-IM.

"Initially, the chief minister of three states (Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh) welcomed the agreement. They openly stated that they were happy about the outcome and welcomed it," union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said here.

"But the Congress president summoned them and paraded them before the media and criticised the union government... and that is politics," he said.

Rijiju, a parliamentarian from Arunachal Pradesh, said: "The chief ministers should have impressed upon the Congress president that peace is foremost requisite for northeast for development because without peace we cannot develop. They should have not made a U-turn...."

Asked to react upon NSCN-IM leader T.H. Muivah`s statement that "sovereignty issue and integration of Naga inhabited areas is part of the accord", Rijiju said: "I will not say anything about what Muivah has said but the framework has clearly stated that they honour the Indian constitution and the government of India will honour the Naga aspiration based on which we will move forward."

Pointing out that the Naga peace accord was not a final accord but only a framework, the minister said: "We have just come to an understanding with the NSCN-IM through a framework agreement based on which the final accord will determined.

"It is a confidence-building measure. A framework was established where the prime minister has clearly said that the government of India understands the uniqueness of the Naga problem. The government of India will handle it as per the desire and aspiration of the Naga people."

Meanwhile, the central government has decided to hold talks with militant groups only after they surrender and deposit their arms and ammunition with the concerned authorities.

"We have made an appeal to those people (militant groups) who wanted to come to the mainstream that the first and foremost is to lay down arms and abjure violence because violence and talk cannot go parallel," Rijiju said.

However, he made it clear that petty criminal acts of a few people coming together and forming a group and engaging themselves in ransom and kidnapping people will not be tolerated by the government.

Praising Meghalaya Police for its successful operations to contain militancy in Garo Hills, the minister said: "The state government has shown its sincerity, especially in the last one year. The situation has improved but there are issues remaining and we will provide all assistance to the state government."

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