Talks with northeast insurgent groups in final stages, says Kiren Rijiju
Peace talks with militant groups, including ULFA (Progressive), are heading in the right direction, Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju said at a press meet in Guwahati on Saturday. “The progress is being reviewed on a case to case basis, and the talks are in final stages,” he added.
On the ongoing talks with the Arbind Rajkhowa-led ULFA (P), he said the Centre has agreed to the genuine demands of the group in principle and instructions have been given to give the settlement a final shape.
Asked about the Naga peace talks, where the framework agreement came in for criticism from various quarters because the content is still not known, Rijiju said, “Many people do not understand the framework agreement.” The Centre had signed a framework agreement for the settlement of the Naga issue with Issak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) in 2015.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said in the framework agreement, the issue of sovereignty and some other serious issues that were a part of the Naga agenda were dropped. “Talks are going on according to the Indian constitution,” he added.
Rijiju said the Centre “is committed to a clear, tangible solution”, and pointed out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his visit to Nagaland in the run-up to the elections, had spoken about a solution in a few months.
He said the talks with Naga groups are on for a political solution and “not one inch” of territorial integrity of other states will be compromised in the process.
Rijiju spoke about the government’s special development packages for border areas, but steered clear of a question on increased Chinese aggression, saying, “It is too sensitive an issue to comment on.”