Talks can happen only after shedding violence, Chidambaram tells militant groups

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New Delhi, July10 (ANI): Union Home Minister P.Chidambaram today asked the insurgent groups in the North Cachar Hill District of Assam to lay down the arms and come forward for talks.

Responding to a calling attention notice on ethnic violence in the hills district of Assam in the Rajya Sabha, Chidambaram said militant groups are welcome to lay down arms and come for talks.

Rejecting the cease-fire offer made by the militant Dima Halam Daogah (Joel group), Chidambaram said militant groups couldn't offer ceasefire to a sovereign country. They should adopt the path of non-violence, and then only talks can happen.

He also told that they could form their own political party, contest elections, and raise issues.

The Centre has alerted the Assam, Manipur and Nagaland Governments that Naga militants are likely to take advantage of the ethnic tensions Zemi Naga tribes and Dimasas since March in North Cachar hills, Chidambaram said.

He also informed the members that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the North Cachar Hill Council has been suspended as he was alleged to have been routing the money to the militant organisations, and the case has been transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA.

The Governor of Assam has been asked to look after the administration of the Council.

Chidambaram said the Union Government is ready to facilitate talks on any issue between Assam Government and DHD-J.

Rail traffic to the North East has been fully restored and trains were running under security cover. The security situation in NC Hills was periodically reviewed at various levels, and Assam government has been asked to intensify counter insurgency operations, Chidambaram informed the house.

Meanwhile two militants belonging to ULFA were shot dead in Barpeta district of Assam.

According to sources the encounter took place when security forces acting on a tip off launched an operation in Sarthebari area of the district. The two youths opened fire in a bid to escape and security forces retaliated killing them. (ANI)

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