Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that the Centre would soon take pragmatic steps to effectively manage the country’s borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh to check the movement of militants and arms.
Addressing the security review meeting with the chief ministers of the eight northeastern states in Guwahati on Saturday morning, the Union home minister said: “Of late India-Myanmar border has become more active as there are reports of insurgents, weapons and drugs crossing the border. I have constituted a committee headed by R N Ravi, chairman, joint intelligence committee, to review how to manage India-Myanmar border effectively.”
“We also need to tighten vigil along the India-Bangladesh border.”
“When we talk of the border, we should not ignore the population living there. There are about 240 villages with over two lakh population along the 10-kilometer India-Myanmar border. The large population is without any worthwhile security cover and at the mercy of insurgents. A similar situation prevails along the India-Bhutan border,” Rajnath told the chief ministers.
He said the overall insurgency situation in the region had improved.
Mizoram, Tripura, large parts of Meghalaya, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh are free of insurgents now because of sustained efforts by the Army, state police and paramilitary forces while there is a strong popular desire for peace in Manipur and Nagaland, he added.
The Union home minister said the on-going peace talks with various insurgent groups in the northeast were on the right track.
Regarding residual insurgency in various parts of the region, especially in bordering areas, Rajnath termed those as criminal groups and vowed to deal those with very firmly while ruling out holding dialogue with such ‘criminal elements’.
He lauded the efforts of the Army, central paramilitary forces, Assam police and the cooperation of Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi in dealing firmly with NDFB(S) militants in the wake of heinous killings of Adivasi villagers in Sonitpur and Kokrajhar districts of Assam in December last year.
In view of improved situation in the region, Rajnath underlined the need to shift focus to people-centric security.
“Time has come when apart from insurgency-centric security, we must think, plan and deliver on people-centric security in northeast region,” he said.