Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday toughened New Delhi's stand on countering insurgency in Assam, saying security offensives would continue in full steam until rebel groups lay down arms and sit for peace talks.
"Security forces have been asked to take all measures against the insurgents. Insurgency has no place and, therefore, they must lay down arms and surrender. Or else security forces have been instructed to deal with them firmly," he told reporters on a visit here to review the security situation.
"I must say there has been a dramatic improvement in the security situation in Assam with many top leaders of major insurgent groups apprehended," the home minister said.
Chidambaram held separate meetings with Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi besides chairing a meeting of the Unified Command Headquarters with top army and paramilitary commanders, besides police and civil officials.
"The political process with the militant groups would be taken up by the chief minister and he would decide whom to talk to and what are the conditions to be accepted or not in consultation with his council of ministers," the home minister said.
"The centre will give all possible support in taking any peace process forward," he added.
Earlier in the day, the home minister visited Mizoram's capital Aizawl and reviewed the situation, mainly the issue relating to repatriation of 37,000 tribal Reang refugees sheltered in six Tripura refugee camps for the past 13 years.
"Already 209 Bru (Reangs are also known as Bru) families have moved to Mizoram and I was made to understand by Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla that over a period of time all the refugees will be taken back," Chidambaram said.