GUWAHATI, June 14 � The Government of India has decided to adopt a tough stand against anyone involved in killing of Indian citizens. But, at the same time, the Centre has made it clear that the ongoing peace talks with militants would continue, and in fact, the process will be expedited.
Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune today that the Government would not remain a silent spectator if any Indian citizen is killed by terrorists. If any Indian is killed, the Government of India will hit back very strongly and a strong message is already given to the militants involved in the attack on an Army convoy in Manipur, sources said.
MHA sources rubbished the claim of Paresh Baruah, the Commander-in-Chief of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent), who claimed yesterday that they did not see any attack by the Indian Army in Myanmar.
The sources said that the militants got the message following the operation in Myanmar. It is suspected that the militants belonging to the NSCN(K) were the worst hit, as the camps ravaged during the operation belonged to the outfit. However, it is yet to be ascertained whether members of other outfits were present in the camps during the operation. Sources also claimed that India has documentary evidence of the damages suffered by the militants in the attack.
Replying to a question on whether the Myanmar Army has also launched any operation against the militants, sources said that the neighbouring country has its own compulsions. But, at the same time, sources said that the Government of India is extending necessary cooperation to Myanmar. The National Security Adviser, Ajit Doval, during his ensuing visit to Myanmar, will also discuss the issue of launching offensive against the militants with the Government of that country.
On the alert given to the North-East on possible militant attacks, sources said that the militants, according to reports, are planning more attacks and that is why all the states of the region have been asked to remain alert. However, they asserted that if the militants strike anywhere inside India, the Indian security forces would hit back strongly.
Meanwhile, the Minister in charge of Department for Development of North East region (DoNER), Jitendra Singh, and the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), RN Ravi, recently visited Manipur and Nagaland to assess the situation on the ground and to make the Government�s stand clear on the issue of dealing with militancy. Sources said that they were asked to visit the states by Prime Minister Narendra Modi following the operation in Myanmar. During the visit, they also met civil society members to make the Government�s stand clear, as there have been apprehensions that the Centre would go for the military option to deal with militancy.
Sources revealed that though the Government would be tough against those involved in killings, the peace talks would continue and escalation of violence would not be allowed. The Government is keen on expediting the ongoing peace talks to take it to the logical conclusion as soon as possible, sources said.