NEW DELHI, July 24 – Even as the ULFA peace process is getting under way in fits and starts, Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi sounded an alarm over the possibility of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) rearing its ugly head in Assam seeking extension of the special schemes to the vulnerable districts .
“LWE is yet to surface in the State but its possibility cannot be ruled out and it may make in roads into the vulnerable communities,” he said.
It is also a fact that Assam has been affected by the violent activities perpetrated by militant outfits over the last three decades. As Left Wing Extremists and militant outfits exploit the perception of neglect and feeling of alienation among the sections of population, it is necessary that special programmes for development of the backward and remote areas including border areas are undertaken, Gogoi suggested.
The Chief Minister then urged the Prime Minister, who is also the chairman of the NDC to extend the critical infrastructure development scheme meant for the LWE affected areas to the affected districts of Assam also, so that funds are provided exclusively for these districts to meet the infrastructure gaps.
Earlier, inaugurating the Conference, the Prime Minister also referring to the problem called out for special attention to LWE affected areas. “Our development schemes have not worked well in these backward and impoverished parts of our country, particularly the areas inhabited by the adivasi population.”
There should be no doubt that the security challenge posed by Left Wing Extremism has to be met and it will be met, with the Centre and the States cooperating fully with one another, he said.
Significantly, Gogoi wasn’t the only chief minister of the North-east to raise alarm over spread of insurgency in the region, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Dorjee Khandu also said that his State is under the active grip insurgency.
At least 62 cadres of various underground organisation surrendered in Tirap district in the last one year. The Government is actively considering the adoption of a surrender policy for the State, he added.
However, security scenario in the two eastern districts of Tirap and Changlang is quite delicate due to presence insurgents from outside the State – mainly Manipur, Nagaland and Myanmar.
In addition, cadres of banned organisations of Assam are making their presence felt in the foothills of West Kameng, Papumpare, Lohit, East Siang and lower Dibang Valley through sporadic incidents.
In his address, Nagaland, Chief Minister, N Rio said that there could be many lessons to learn from the Naga insurgency.
Today, the uniqueness of Naga political issue is known and acknowledged. The State has been born out of a political agreement and from its inception, it was recognised that the State was not economically viable. Nagaland for the last several decades was be-seized with violence and political unrest, hindering growth and development, which has subjected the State to the vicious cycle of indebtedness and dependence, he said.