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Abductions, extortions in NE worry PM

By Kalyan Barooah

NEW DELHI, April 16 � Admitting that the situation in some of the North Eastern States continues to remain complex, Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh red flagging �pilferage of development funds� by the militants, observed that much remains to be done to eliminate extortions and kidnappings.

In what should come as a warning to the Chief Ministers of the North Eastern States for adopting a complacent attitude towards curbing illegal acts like extortions and kidnappings, the Prime Minister left none of the attending Chief Ministers of the region in doubt that he was unhappy with the state of affairs.

�The situation in some of our North Eastern States has, however, remained complex. There was some improvement in terms of incidents of violence, but there is no question that much remains to be done to restore calm and eliminate extortion, kidnapping and other crimes by militant or extremist groups on the pretext of ethnic identity,� Dr Singh said.

�The pilferage of development funds by militant groups is hurting our efforts to improve the lives of the people of the region. Inter-factional clashes, such as those in Tirap and Changlang, are another source of insecurity,� the Prime Minister cautioned.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the States of Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and even Arunachal Pradesh have gained notoriety for forcible collection of funds and abductions by militant and even ex-militant groups.

�The answers to these problems lie in strengthening the law and order capabilities of the States concerned and in reasserting and rebuilding normal democratic political and development processes. More proactive state police forces, reducing reliance on central armed police forces would be a useful step forward, the Prime Minister suggested.

�The Centre will continue to work with the States of the region to make this possible. I would hope that the implementation of infrastructure projects in the North-East would create conditions for the return of normalcy.

Meanwhile, in his opening remarks, Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram said Assam has emerged as the new theatre of Maoist activity. There are also inputs about the links of CPI (Maoist) with insurgent groups in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

The decline in the overall number of casualties among civilians and security forces in Left Wing Extremists (LWE)-affected districts may give a false sense of assurance, but that is not the true picture. Two States are very badly affected, four States are affected and three States are within the arc of influence of the CPI (Maoist).

Referring to the situation in Assam he said that political processes of negotiation and dialogue are underway with several insurgent and ethnic separatist groups in the North-East. These dialogues, which are being undertaken by the Ministry of Home Affairs in close consultation with the states concerned, are making steady headway.

�In the North Eastern States, nearly all major groups are in talks with the Government. I am, therefore, confident that 2012 will see further advancement in bringing peace and development to these States, Chidambaram said.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)

Abductions, extortions in NE worry PM

NEW DELHI, April 16 � Admitting that the situation in some of the North Eastern States continues to remain complex, Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh red flagging �pilferage of development funds� by the militants, observed that much remains to be done to eliminate extortions and kidnappings.

In what should come as a warning to the Chief Ministers of the North Eastern States for adopting a complacent attitude towards curbing illegal acts like extortions and kidnappings, the Prime Minister left none of the attending Chief Ministers of the region in doubt that he was unhappy with the state of affairs.

�The situation in some of our North Eastern States has, however, remained complex. There was some improvement in terms of incidents of violence, but there is no question that much remains to be done to restore calm and eliminate extortion, kidnapping and other crimes by militant or extremist groups on the pretext of ethnic identity,� Dr Singh said.

�The pilferage of development funds by militant groups is hurting our efforts to improve the lives of the people of the region. Inter-factional clashes, such as those in Tirap and Changlang, are another source of insecurity,� the Prime Minister cautioned.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the States of Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and even Arunachal Pradesh have gained notoriety for forcible collection of funds and abductions by militant and even ex-militant groups.

�The answers to these problems lie in strengthening the law and order capabilities of the States concerned and in reasserting and rebuilding normal democratic political and development processes. More proactive state police forces, reducing reliance on central armed police forces would be a useful step forward, the Prime Minister suggested.

�The Centre will continue to work with the States of the region to make this possible. I would hope that the implementation of infrastructure projects in the North-East would create conditions for the return of normalcy.

Meanwhile, in his opening remarks, Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram said Assam has emerged as the new theatre of Maoist activity. There are also inputs about the links of CPI (Maoist) with insurgent groups in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

The decline in the overall number of casualties among civilians and security forces in Left Wing Extremists (LWE)-affected districts may give a false sense of assurance, but that is not the true picture. Two States are very badly affected, four States are affected and three States are within the arc of influence of the CPI (Maoist).

Referring to the situation in Assam he said that political processes of negotiation and dialogue are underway with several insurgent and ethnic separatist groups in the North-East. These dialogues, which are being undertaken by the Ministry of Home Affairs in close consultation with the states concerned, are making steady headway.

�In the North Eastern States, nearly all major groups are in talks with the Government. I am, therefore, confident that 2012 will see further advancement in bringing peace and development to these States, Chidambaram said.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)