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No information on external support for insurgents in North East: Govt

Government on Tuesday said there is no information so far that insurgent groups in the North East are getting support from neighbouring countries and incidents of insurgency there have declined over the years.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir told the Lok Sabha if there is any such report that insurgents in the North East are getting external support, then it would be looked into and action would be taken.

During Question Hour, Mr. Ahir said government does not have any such information so far that neighbouring countries are supporting insurgency activities in the North East. There is also no information about such groups getting financial support, he added.

In a written reply, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said there is no specific information that National Socialists Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) was acting at the behest of neighbouring countries.

”... there is intelligence that Indian Insurgent Groups (IIGs) have established their camps, shelter houses and training centres across the border in neighbouring countries of North Eastern Region,” Mr. Singh said.

His response came to a query on whether insurgent or extremist groups in the North Eastern Region were reportedly getting external support from neighbouring countries. Another question was whether the government was aware that NSCN (Khaplang) was acting at the behest of neighbouring nations.

“The neighbouring countries have been urged to take stern action against the leaders of IIGs and dismantle their safe houses/hideouts in their country,” Mr. Singh said.

Stating that incidents of insurgency have come down over the years, Mr. Ahir said, “we are working with neighbouring countries, Bangladesh and Myanmar, and are helping each other to deal with insurgency“.

He said Bangladesh has shut down most of the terror camps in their soil and it has always been the effort of both countries to close down such camps.

“In the year 2015, the number of insurgency related incidents and civilian deaths were lowest in last 20 years,” Mr. Singh said in another written reply.

The Home Minister also said the government has always shown willingness to enter into peace dialogue with any insurgent group that abjures violence.

Noting that law and order is a state subject, Mr. Singh said the Centre was supplementing the efforts of state governments to control militancy.

“Besides, the government has always shown its willingness to enter into peace dialogue with any insurgent group which abjures violence. As a result, a number of militant groups have surrendered after laying down arms.

“Sustained insurgency operations are continuing against the insurgent groups who are indulging in violent activities,” Mr. Singh said.

The government has taken various steps for keeping a close vigil on the international borders through deployment of security forces, equipping them with modern equipment, erection of fencing and strengthening of rivering patrolling, among others, he added.

“We are working with neighbouring countries, Bangladesh and Myanmar, and are helping each other to deal with insurgency,” Mr. Ahir said.

According to Singh, four militants of Bangladeshi origin were arrested during the last three years in a case pertaining to recovery of sophisticated weapons from Aizawl in Mizoram.

“All were released on bail by the competent court before the investigation was taken over by the National Investigation Agency. They had skipped bail and are also escaping from arrest since then,” he said, adding that the special NIA court at Aizawl has issued non-bailable warrant of arrest against the four.

On how many Bangladeshi origin militants have been handed over to Bangladesh, Mr. Singh said “no such militant has been handed over”.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 12:20:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/No-information-on-external-support-for-insurgents-in-North-East-Govt/article14560407.ece

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