Guwahati, Feb. 3: Dispur has drawn up a two-pronged strategy to tackle militancy in the state. Having intensified operations against Ulfa, it has now decided to embark on a “massive development” drive in insurgency-infested areas.
Chief minister Tarun Gogoi today said, “We will take up development schemes in the insurgency-infested and backward areas of the state, particularly those along the state’s border, from this year’s plan allocation to dissuade youths from joining insurgent groups.” Assam’s plan outlay for 2007-2008 has been fixed at Rs 3,800 crore.
He said military operations would continue, but it was not the final solution to the problem of insurgency, which could be stemmed only through development. Identifying the high school dropout rate in the state as a factor that “leads to social unrest”, he promised to initiate “steps to curb this trend.” He also stressed the need for vocational training institutions. “It is only through development and reducing the school dropout level by emphasising vocational training that insurgency can be tackled.”
Gogoi said agriculture and power would be priority areas in the 11th plan. Bangladeshi Nobel laureate Mohammad Yunus had promised to visit the state to help set up a micro-finance institution for providing easy credit to the poor, he added.
Even as Gogoi announced his development strategy, an Ulfa militant, Senebor Moran, was killed in an encounter with the army at Talpathar under Pengeri police station in Tinsukia district this afternoon.
Reiterating his appeal to Ulfa to withdraw its boycott of the National Games, Gogoi said every possible step had been taken to make the event a success. Union secretary of sports Madhukar Gupta today reviewed the arrangements for the Games and expressed satisfaction.
Expressing concern at the killing of Congress workers, Gogoi said precautionary measures were being taken.