Violence won’t be allowed to hamper northeast’s development: Centre

Imphal (IANS) Violence will not be allowed to hamper the government’s mission to develop the northeast region, union minister Jitendra Singh said here in Manipur on Thursday, days after 18 soldiers were killed in a militant ambush in the state.

The minister for the Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) said he was here to restore confidence among the people of the region.

Jitendra Singh, who is also the minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office, assured the people that “violence will not be allowed to hamper the Narendra Modi government’s mission for development of the northeast”.

The visit came in the wake of the June 4 attack on Indian Army personnel in Manipur’s Chandel area by militants that left 18 soldiers dead.

The army on Tuesday launched a surgical attack on militants along the India-Myanmar border, killing several terrorists.

Referring to the strike on terrorists, the minister said: “Sometimes such actions are resorted to in order to check the elements which tend to disturb peace.

“But overall, the government’s approach is that of reconciliation, peace and mutual existence as well as mutual cooperation with all groups of society.

“We have a stake in maintaining peace and depending on the situation, sometimes an initiative like this has to be undertaken to maintain peace,” he said.

Addressing a press conference later, he brushed aside the observations by a section of the media that India was going to be aggressive or hawkish in its approach in the northeast and said his visit was a kind of peace mission to ensure that the region will be brought up at par with the rest of the country.

“Regardless of the disruptions and disturbances created by the elements which are inimicable to the integration and progress of northeast as a part of mainstream India,” he said.

Jitendra Singh made a courtesy call on Manipur Governor Syed Ahmed, which was followed by a detailed meeting with senior officers and members of security forces in the presence of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh.

During the meeting, he said the Centre was fully committed to cooperate with the state government in carrying forward the development agenda.

He also held a joint meeting with different political and social groups and representatives of civil society.

Jitendra Singh said the message should go out loud and clear to everybody, including those who were not able to attend the meeting, that all of them were jointly committed to maintain atmosphere of peace and harmony in the region because any incident that disturbs peace has an adverse effect on development.

The minister asserted that the peace process which has been initiated in the northeast will not be allowed to suffer any setback at any cost.

He went on to add that the people in the region were fed up of violence and they yearned for an atmosphere of peace where their aspirations can be fulfilled.

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