North East on path of development, our govt ensured peace: Shah
The Union minister was addressing a public meeting on the occasion of the golden jubilee of the North Eastern Council (NEC) in presence of the Prime Minister in Meghalaya’s capital city.
The Union government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has established peace in the North East which was once a militancy-affected region, Union home minister Amit Shah said on Sunday.
Addressing a public meeting on the occasion of the golden jubilee of the North Eastern Council (NEC) in presence of the Prime Minister in Meghalaya’s capital city, Shah said Modi visited the region over 50 times during the past eight years while his cabinet colleagues toured the North-East over 400 times.
“North East was known for violence and separatism but during the last eight years, rebellious incidents have come down by 70%,” Shah said. “Attacks on security personnel have also been reduced by 60% while civil casualties have come down to 89%.”
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The Union minister said PM Modi laid out the roadmap for the region’s all-round development. “Earlier funds allocated to the North-East did not reach to the bottom-most level, but after Modi became Prime Minister, funds are reaching villages and being utilised for development,” Shah said, hailing it as a “great achievement”.
The home minister, who is also the chairman of NEC — the nodal agency for the economic and social development of the North Eastern Region which consists of the eight States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura — further said: “The Assam-Meghalaya and Assam-Arunachal border disputes have almost ended, and due to the restoration of peace, the North-East region has moved on the path of development.”
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He said about 8,000 youth have surrendered militancy and joined the mainstream.
Referring to the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Shah said earlier a lot of demands were made to repeal the law. “Now, nobody needs to make demands. Staying two steps ahead, the government is taking initiatives to repeal AFSPA,” he said.
“Now 60% area of Assam, seven districts of Nagaland, 15 police stations in six districts of Manipur and Tripura and Meghalaya have become completely free of AFSPA, while it is yet to be lifted from only one district in Arunachal Pradesh,” he added.
Shah urged the NEC and all chief ministers of the Northeastern states to work with complete determination to fulfil the goals set for the council by Prime Minister Modi to propel the region and help create a developed, peaceful, employment-rich North East like other regions of the country.
Besides Shah and PM Modi, chief ministers of all eight northeastern states, Union law minister Kiren Rijiju, Union minister for ports Sarbananda Sonowal, Union tourism and DoNER minister G Kishan Reddy and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.
Established by an act of Parliament in 1971, the NEC is under the administrative purview of the ministry of development of the North-Eastern region (MDoNER). The council was formally inaugurated on November 7, 1972, at Shillong, marking the beginning of a new chapter of concerted and planned endeavour on the part of the Centre for the North-East.