Peace pre-requisite for NE development: PM

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Itanagar, Feb 1: Expressing concern over increasing insurgency activities in North East, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today called for a concerted effort to curb the menace and said peace is the pre-requisite for development of the region.

The Prime Minister accompanied by Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, Governor Gen (Retd) Joginder Jaswant Singh and DGP Ajay Chadda, was addressing Army and ITBP jawans at Lohitpur bordering Myanmar in Arunachal's Lohit district, official sources here said.

Dr Singh, who arrived here yesterday on a two-day maiden visit, flew to Lohitpur this morning to interact with the Army and ITBP personnel and was supposed to visit Kibitho in Anjaw district bordering China, which was later cancelled. ''It is the need of the hour that permanent peace be established in the region,'' he added.

Lauding the jawans who despite all odds guard the frontier, the Prime Minister said apart from being sentinels of the border, the Army and ITBP were fighting insurgency. ''This is a challenging task which deserves appreciation,'' he said.

Pointing out the transit problems faced by jawans, Dr Singh announced a grant of Rs 60 lakh to upgrade the transit facilities at Deban, Sange, Likabali and Missamari, while announcing another grant of Rs 30 lakh for setting up satellite telephone at Subansiri, Siang, Lohit, Dibang valley and Lower Dibang Valley districts to improve telecommunication with the rest of the country.

''As the sentinels of the nation, you should get all facilities as a matter of right and I will see that the requirements are met,'' he stated.

The PM flew back to New Delhi in the afternoon, sources added.


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