Kiren Rijiju bats for special focus on safety of people from Northeast

Last Updated: Fri, Jun 06, 2014 09:15 hrs

: The newly appointed Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, who hails from Arunachal Pradesh, said he will work for the peace, development and security for people

from the Northeastern region.

In a recent interview to ANI, he said, "Since our ministry is looking after the entire country with regards to security, the security of our nation is the mandate of our ministry. So, together with the national problems, I

will also give special focus on the safety for people from the Northeastern region, particularly those who are staying outside the region," he said.

Kiren Rujiju is arguably the most iconic political leader from Arunachal Pradesh and is often referred to as the "voice of North East India".

The minister believes that it is significant to generate confidence among the people of northeast region, who have remained victim to prolonged insurgency.

"Within the Northeast the situation is very complex because of the unique situation we are facing there - the ethnic problems, various insurgent groups, and various factions which are very old, and there has never been any sincere efforts acted upon by the Government of India side, it seems. These are the issues being raised by various people, various forums, NGOs within the Northeastern region and outside, that sincere effort have

never been taken by the Government side. So, I would like to generate a confidence in the mind of the people that at least as long as I am here in the ministry of home affairs, whatever we do will be done with full sincerity, full honesty and effectively", added Rujiju.

Rijiju firmly believes that the government is ready to hold talks with insurgent outfits in the Northeast, if they are ready to join the mainstream.

He said, "We are very open to negotiation. Those factions, with whom the peace talks are ongoing, and as well as some form of channel has been opened up with them it will be continued".

"There is no reason for immediately reviewing those talks but what we have to see is that is the talk progressing positively or its just for the sake of talk, the talks are going on. If the previous government's decisions are going on track, then we will not destabilize, we will not deviate from the course. We will like to maintain the same course. But if we feel that wherever it is required to open of new channels, we will definitely do that, we are open to talks," said the minister.

While giving strong message to insurgent outfits he added, "At the same time, we should not seem to be very relaxed or soft, because the security of India is the top most priority. Any faction, any groups who are there to destabilize the democratic structure of the country, then it is not acceptable. And any kind of talk should be within the framework of the constitution of India".

Furthermore, he also revealed that the government intends to provide employment to the surrendered militants.

"There are established policies to engage the surrendered militants in the mainstream. And Rajnath Singh (Union Home Minister) has already spelt out that we should open our arms and those who are surrendering

should be engaged, through providing them employment or engaging them in some constructive work or put them in the mainstream, whatever is suitable for them. But we don't want to keep them unemployed thereby

generating more dissatisfaction in the society. So, it's basically getting everybody on board together and then get maximum people involved in the process so that we reduce the problem we are facing", Rijiju told ANI.

Rijiju said that the Centre is very concerned about maintaining security along the international boundary, especially in Arunachal Pradesh bordering China.

"We have decided to strengthen our forces especially in Indo-China border area. That is one area where it is lacking, both in regards to man power and infrastructure development. We will definitely enhance in large scale the development of areas particularly along Indo-China border as well as Indo-Myanmar, Indo-Bangladesh and Indo-Pakistan border also. But the maximum weakness is in the Indo-China border.

And we are looking forward to improve our relation with China, we must as a neighbor and we are positive about it. But at the same time we must secure our boundary. A secure boundary will provide a strong nation", said the minister.

Rijiju also stressed on the importance of the Northeast region in India's Look East policy.

"I come from northeast and it is always better to understand northeast while we implement any policy for the development of Northeastern region. One point which I always say is that while India adopts the policy of

Look East that is closer co-ordination with the countries in the eastern part of the Asian continent, we must not forget Northeast India. India's Look East policy must be through the Northeastern part", he said. (ANI)

By Ravi Khandelwal

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