The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Militancy worries PM

New Delhi, Oct. 4: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today expressed concern over the continuing violence in the northeastern states, especially Assam, Manipur and Nagaland.

Speaking on the closing day of a conference of directors-general and inspectors-general of police, the Prime Minister indicated the security apparatus dealing with insurgencies had been successful in some states of the Northeast, but had apparently failed in others.

Sources said the killing of Hindi-speaking labourers by Ulfa across Assam pointed to ethnic differences that were being fomented by forces inimical to India. These forces, operating from Bangladesh, were using the Ulfa platform, they added.

“Non-indigenous forces are stoking fires in the Northeast,” a senior intelligence official said.

The Prime Minister said the security problems of the Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir were unique and the government was working through dialogue, development activities and improved communication links to tackle this.

Singh’s observations were mentioned yesterday by home minister Shivraj Patil at the inauguration of the two-day conference of the Intelligence Bureau.

Patil said the security situation was comfortable in Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh in the region. However, continued violence in Assam and Manipur and persisting factional clashes in Nagaland were causes for concern.

Even as he said this, four civilians were killed in a clash of NSCN factions in Kohima. “There were clashes in Phek also. The government is trying to act in different ways,” director-general of police, J. Changkija said.

Patil said a proactive strategy and concerted action were also necessary to stop extortion in the region.

The home minister said greater co-ordination among the states in the region and among the security forces would help counter-insurgency operations.

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