What is stopping PM Modi from visiting ‘disturbed’ parts of Northeast? asks Congress

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that Manipur has been in a "state of virtual civil war" for nearly a year now

March 09, 2024 12:10 pm | Updated 01:04 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said beyond Kaziranga, there are four questions for PM Modi on the “increasingly disturbed” situation in different parts of the Northeast of India. File

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said beyond Kaziranga, there are four questions for PM Modi on the “increasingly disturbed” situation in different parts of the Northeast of India. File | Photo Credit: PTI

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Assam's Kaziranga National Park, the Congress on March 9 attacked the Centre over the "increasingly disturbed" situation in different parts of the Northeast and asked why the PM had not found time to visit the violence-hit Manipur yet.

Prime Minister Modi took the elephant and jeep safari inside Assam's Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve on Saturday morning

In a swipe at Mr. Modi, Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said, "We're glad that the Prime Minister has found time amidst his various travels to spend today morning in Kaziranga, an iconic national park which owes much to the great interest shown both by Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi."

However, beyond Kaziranga, there are four questions for him on the "increasingly disturbed" situation in different parts of the Northeast of India, he said.

"On June 19th, 2020, at the all-party meet on China, the Prime Minister declared that not a single Chinese soldier had crossed over into Indian territory. By giving a public clean chit to China, the Prime Minister has tied his own hands, and failed to take action to restore the status quo after Chinese aggression," Mr. Ramesh alleged.

"Chinese troops continue to deny Indian citizens access to grazing lands and Indian patrols access to strategic spots along the LAC — where they previously had unimpeded access," he said.

Mr. Ramesh claimed that there have been multiple instances of PLA troops kidnapping Indian citizens on Indian soil.

In 2022, a BJP MP from Arunachal Pradesh himself alleged that the PLA had abducted and tortured 19-year-old Miram Taron for ten days, he said.

"During the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Itanagar, Rahul Gandhi also met the family of Tapor Pullom, who has been missing since he was allegedly abducted by the PLA in 2015. Modiji, bhul gaye kya? Were you lying to the people back then?" the Congress leader said.

He also said that Manipur has been in a "state of virtual civil war" for nearly a year now.

"Hundreds of people have died in widespread violence, lakhs have been displaced, communities are at war with each other, and the administration has collapsed," he said.

Mr. Ramesh claimed that the violence still continues with two youths in Moreh beaten up on March 7, and Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) Konsam Kheda Singh of the Indian Army "kidnapped" from his own house in Thoubal district by militants on March 8.

"Why has the Prime Minister, ordinarily misusing taxpayer's money to campaign around the country, not found the time to visit Manipur yet, or even take a call with the Chief Minister and the political parties of the State?" Mr. Ramesh said.

Is he waiting for the people of India to buy him a ticket to Imphal, the Congress leader asked.

Mr. Ramesh said the Eastern Nagaland Peoples' Organization (ENPO) has declared a "public emergency" in Eastern Nagaland threatening to disallow any political party from campaigning or contesting elections in the region to protest the delay in the creation of a 'Frontier Nagaland Territory.'

"The Konyak Union (KU) and Tikhir Tribal Council (TTC) have echoed the ENPO's declaration of a public emergency. On the 8th of March, there was a large-scale bandh in most of Eastern Nagaland," he said.

Even as the situation becomes increasingly more tense and threatens to disrupt the rule of law and democracy in Nagaland, the Union government appears to be missing in action, Mr. Ramesh alleged.

"This is not a new development: we have seen the Modi Sarkar previously obscure the political situation of Nagaland with the 2015 Naga Accord, which has not even been released to the public, much less implemented. What steps is the Modi Sarkar taking to defuse the situation brewing in eastern Nagaland today?" he said.

Mr. Ramesh also raised the issue of three labourers, who worked in a stone quarry in Cachar, Assam and were abducted by the Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF) in December 2023.

In mid-February 2024, 10 labourers working at Finboro Coalmine in Changlang district on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border were abducted by the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) and the United Liberation Front of Assam Independent (ULFA-I), he said.

"There has been a disturbing re-emergence of separatist groups emboldened to disrupt the lives of common people and enact their reign of terror. When faced with this renewed violence, why is the Modi Sarkar sitting on its hands?" Ramesh said.

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