Centre reiterates appeal to NE militants for talks

Militancy-related violence in Northeastern states barring Assam and Manipur was subsiding, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said today and appealed to all rebels to come forward for talks.

Updated: Dec 15, 2010, 17:42 PM IST

Imphal: Militancy-related violence in
Northeastern states barring Assam and Manipur was subsiding,
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said today and appealed to
all rebels to come forward for talks.

The Centre, he said, was working for solving problems
of the Northeastern states and stressed that peace was
necessary for good governance.

Reiterating his call to militants, he told civil
society representatives in interior Churanchandpur in Manipur
that development in all fields would suffer if there was no
peace.

Winding up his two-day visit, he said there was not
much militancy-related violence in the state this year, but
kidnapping of officials for ransom, extortion and crime
against non-Manipuris by rebels were still continuing.

The Union minister also visited some designated camps
of militant group Zomi Revolutionary Army which had earlier
signed `suspension of operation` agreement with the government
under which operations against them by the security forces has
stopped to enable to hold talks with the government.

Earlier, the Manipur government appealed to him for
more central forces for security problems caused over the
years by over 25 militant groups active in the state.

A high-level meeting between Chidamabaram and Chief
Minister O Ibobi Singh last night also discussed protection of
national highways frequently blocked by hill-based militant
groups or organisations on one pretext or the other, official
sources said.

The meeting discussed steps to prevent bandhs and
blockades on national highways and felt that there should more
deployment of central forces along the two national highways
-- Imphal-Dimapur-Guwahati (NH 39) and Imphal-Silchar (NH 53),
but it was not known what decision was taken, the sources
said.

Militants, demanding extortion and targetting private
residences with bombs came up during the meeting.

The sources said that the Union minister gave
assurance that every possible measure would be taken to
overcome the existing problems related to law and order.

Chidambaram also met Governor Gurbachan Jagat and
discussed the problems faced by the state, the sources said.

Chidambaram had said during a meeting with students
yesterday that there was no question of redrawing the map of
Manipur.

-PTI