Centre reaffirms support for peace in Northeast

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Agartala, Nov 16 (UNI) The Centre has assured insurgency-infested states of Northeast to supplement support by providing security for vulnerable institutions and installations, strong surveillance on Bangladesh, Myanmar, China and Bhutan borders, including fencing of borders and intelligence sharing.

The latest report of Union Home Ministry revealed that 40 Indian Reserve Battalions (IRB), including eight each for Tripura and Assam and seven for Manipur, were sanctioned for the region in 2007-08 fiscal to deal with militancy while vigilance on international borders had also been augmented following recent incidents in Tripura and Assam.

The report expressed concern over security issues in Assam and Manipur and stated that the operation against ULFA in Assam was suspended in 2006 followed by peace negotiation initiative but suddenly they increased the attacks on civilians with the help of international terrorists.

The violence attributable to some other insurgent outfits had also been observed in North Cachar Hill and Karbi Anglong districts, which affected the surface transport movement towards Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and South Assam to a large extent, the report underlined.

As part of security management in Northeast, the Centre had already released Rs 1,038.95 crore to Northeastern states, excluding Sikkim, so far in since 2001 under police modernisation scheme and highest amount of Rs 558.82 crore was given to Assam followed by Rs 192.73 crore to Tripura, the report stated.

The fund was provided for procurement of sophisticated equipment to strengthen surveillance and communication network, forensic science laboratories, weapons, vehicles, computerisation, training and development of other security related infrastructure.

''Despite substantial support from the Centre altogether 79 security personnel and 498 civilians were killed in militant attacks in Northeastern states during last year,'' the report pointed out, adding the Centre had deployed paramilitary forces and Army in Northeastern states without charging any levy except Assam.

Referring to the conflict situation in Northeast, the Ministry pointed out that an intricate cultural and ethnic mosaic with more than 200 ethnic groups with distinct language coupled with factors related to geographical isolation and connectivity were the reasons of unrest in the region.

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