NEW DELHI, Nov 18 - Stopping short of stating that China was supplying weapons to the rebels of the North-east, including ULFA and NSCN, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, however, said that arms were flowing in from the Chinese territory.
Taking part in the North-east Rising Conclave, organised by �Mail Today� here on Wednesday, Rijiju said that the weapons were coming from South West, the Kunming area of China. The weapons are coming from Chinese territory. �But whether China is involved cannot be said,� he added.
Rijiju�s comment comes on a day when Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh left on a five-day tour of China. Rijiju declined to comment whether the Union Home Minister would take up the issue with Beijing.
The Minister also admitted about involvement of ISI in the North-east and its links with some of the insurgent outfits of the region.
Asked about the policy of the NDA government towards militancy in the North-east, Rijiju said that the Centre is soft in terms of its approach, but the militant groups have to disarm. �We will not talk so long there is arms in your hands,� he said.
Meanwhile, in the face of a volatile situation over the issue of Inner Line Permit, the Centre has opted to tread cautiously, with Rijiju advocating streamlining of the procedure.
Likening the issue with the Restricted Area Permit, Rijiju said that it was relaxed by the government. He said the Centre has decided to empower the States to issue such permits. �It was one of the first decision I took after assuming office,� he said.
The ILP system, which was introduced by the British, is such a sensitive issue that a movement has been launched for preserving identity of the local people. Rijiju was referring to the agitation in Manipur over passage of three Bills that are now awaiting Presidential Assent.