Brainstorming on killing field
– Assam wants more outposts on border (Telegrpah/1 Aug 2009)
Guwahati/Silchar, July 31: Dispur today asked the Centre for help to set up more outposts along North Cachar Hills district’s boundary with Nagaland and Manipur.
A senior official said militants from Nagaland and Manipur continued to sneak across the border in large numbers into North Cachar Hills to foment trouble.
Senior officials of the police and security forces raised the demand for more border outposts in today’s meeting to review the situation in the insurgency-ravaged district with Union home secretary G.K. Pillai.
Pillai took stock of the situation in the trouble-torn district by interacting with officials and organisations from the district.
Members of the Unified Command, which plans and executes counter-insurgency operations in the state, also briefed the home secretary.
The official described the meeting as very positive as Pillai evinced much interest in the exchange of ideas and ground level information and indicated that he would do all the needful at the time of presentation of his assessment to his ministry.
The parleys between the home secretary and officials in North Cachar Hills had stretched for nearly two hours and some officials from Assam police and state government had also joined them.
Pillai during his interaction with officials from the district and Unified Command members sought to know as much as possible about the ground situation there, including their views on the proposals of a ceasefire now mooted by the militant outfit, Dima Halam Daogah (Jewel).
The DHD (J) had set the hill district on the boil since last March by their hit-and-run attacks and wave of killings.
The sources said that the ceasefire offer had failed to cut ice with Pillai conveying in no uncertain terms the Centre’s position that the DHD (J) would have to eschew violence and deposit all arms in its possession before taking a call on the truce offer.
The Union home secretary made it clear that the Centre wanted the rebels in North Cachar to eschew violence and deposit arms held by them to the security forces as a pre-condition for the ceasefire and peace talks with Delhi and Dispur. There, however, will be no let-up in operations against the outfit.
“The onus now is on the DHD (J) to prove its sincerity. Earlier too, it had announced a truce only to renege,” a source said.
“The home secretary also enquired about the whereabouts of DHD (J) commander-in-chief Niranjan Hojai and his position. He is also of the view that the Centre would prefer surrender of militants instead of a ceasefire. The discussions in the meeting were free and frank,” the source added.