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MPs united on ‘save N-E’ cry

New Delhi, Dec. 15 (UNI): Cutting across party lines, several Lok Sabha MPs today called upon the Centre to take concrete measures to stop terrorist activities in the Northeast and warned that the situation in the region was far worse than that in Jammu and Kashmir.

Rooting for a “Northeast security council,” the BJP legislator from Arunachal Pradesh, Kiren Rijiju, said it would be handy to tackle terrorism in a coordinated manner.

The council with its own specialised officers and commandos, could spring into action whenever there were terror incidents, he suggested, while participating in a discussion on the situation arising out of bomb blasts in various northeastern states.

Rijiju said while the government was going all out to corner Pakistan through bilateral and diplomatic efforts, it was not doing enough to expose Bangladesh’s role.

Quoting from a former brigadier’s book, he said Pakistan’s ISI had now shifted base from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to Bangladesh and urged the government to look into Bangladesh’s territory being used for anti-India activities.

Questioning why no action had been taken against those hoisting Pakistani flags in Assam’s villages, Rijiju said it was a serious lapse and the government must instil confidence in the people.

Asking the government not to treat the situation in the Northeast casually, he said the Centre must take “perceptible” action.

“If proper steps are not taken, the Northeast will be a bigger problem than Jammu and Kashmir. Save the Northeast to save India,” Rijiju cautioned.

He wanted to know why fencing along the Indo-Bangladesh border was taking so long to complete.

Adhir Ranjan Chaudhury of the Congress said though the Centre was pursuing a carrot-and-stick policy to combat terrorism in the Northeast by way of various accords, all these states, barring Mizoram, were under constant threat of terrorism.

He said 98 per cent of land in the Northeast shared borders with Bangladesh, Myanmar and Bhutan.

Independent Assam MP S.K. Bwismuthiary demanded a CBI inquiry into the serial bomb blasts that rocked Assam on October 30. He said organisations involved in the attacks should be punished.

He demanded that the families of the victims be given compensation of Rs 10 lakh instead of the Rs 5 lakh announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Calling for strengthening of the police force in Assam, he said the t present strength of 65,000 should be raised to at least one lakh.

K.M. Kadermohideen of the DMK said Muslims living in the Northeast should not be treated as foreigners.

Braja Kishore Tripathy of the BJD asked the Centre and the Assam government to issue identity cards as preventive measures to deal with terrorist activities.

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