Guwahati: The Centre on Saturday assured the people of Assam that interests of all 'genuine' Indian nationals will be protected in National Register of Citizens (NRC) updation, going under direct supervision of the Supreme Court.
"I want to assure the people of Assam that all genuine Indians will be included in NRC. The interest of the Indian nationals will not be affected," Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said at a press conference after a security issue- related meeting with all Chief Ministers of North East here.
He said the process of updating the NRC is going under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court and the Central government has no say in it.
"Any issue arising out of the update process of NRC, the Supreme Court will take cognizance and resolve it accordingly," Singh said.
Talking about the meeting, the Union Home Minister said it was "fruitful" and discussed various issues.
"After a long time, we met on security issue. We got very valuable suggestions from all the CMs on how to solve insurgency with comprehensive development of the region," he added.
On inter-state boundary dispute between different North Eastern states, Singh said the Centre suggested to maintain status quo by all stakeholders as the matter is sub-judice in the Supreme Court.
Asked about rise of Islamic militancy in the region, especially Assam, he said, "The Centre and state has to work jointly on this. It is challenge for not only one state, it is challenge for the country also. We are trying our best to stop it."
"In the wake of improvement in security scenario,
there is a need to review deployment of security forces in the region. At present the deployment is more than it was when the insurgency was at its peak," Singh told a conference of North East Chief Ministers here.
The Home minister asked the chief ministers of the region to conduct a "realistic audit" of the Central Armed Police Forces in their states, assuring them of the Centre's help in the deployment of them "when actually needed".
Singh, who was accompanied by his deputy Kiren Rijiju, also said that there had been substantial strengthening of state police forces in the past few years.
"Without compromising with the security, we must plan to reduce deployment to make the environment easy and also to encourage positive thinking of outsiders about this region," he said congratulating the chief ministers on their efforts to improve the security scenario by bringing down the level of insurgency to an "all time low".
"Mizoram, Tripura, large parts of Assam and Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh, except its three eastern districts, are almost free of insurgency. There is a strong popular desire for peace in Nagaland and Manipur too," he noted.
He also noted that there had been substantial strengthening of state police forces in the past few years.
Referring to the on-going peace talks with different insurgents groups, Singh said it was on the right track and the government hoped to bring them to logical conclusions soon.
The Home Minister said several small residual insurgent groups were operating from their safe havens across the border and are engaged in kidnapping for ransom, which had almost doubled in Assam and Meghalaya.
He said in Garo Hill district of Meghalaya, some new splinter groups were kidnapping people for ransom or looting businessmen at gunpoint.
"I would like to make it absolutely clear that the Central government would not talk to such criminal elements. Such criminal activities must be dealt with firmly... I would like to reiterate and emphasize that we have zero-tolerance policy on insurgency," Singh said.
He also said most of the youths in insurgent groups were misled and they had now realised their mistakes. "They are welcome to the mainstream. However, those who have committed heinous crimes and acts of terror will have to face the law and meet the justice," Singh said.