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TNT News | Shillong, July 09, 2018:
The Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh on Monday said that during four years of NDA government, the security situation in the North Eastern region has drastically improved as compared to the 90s further adding that the insurgency related incidents have declined by 85 percent.
"Today, Tripura and Mizoram are completely free from insurgency and there is tremendous improvement in other NE States as well. Due to this improvement in security situation the AFSPA has been completely lifted from Meghalaya & its coverage has been reduced in Arunachal Pradesh," Singh tweeted.
Singh, who is also the Chairman of the newly re-constituted North Eastern Council (NEC), is currently in Shillong chairing the 67th Plenary Session of the NEC at State Convention Centre, Pinewood Hotel, Shillong today.
The Centre had removed the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from Meghalaya, from April 1 this year. Earlier, the Act was effective in the State in the 20 km area along its border with Assam. In Arunachal Pradesh, the AFSPA has been restricted to eight police stations, instead of 16 earlier.
In a series of tweets, the Union Home Minister wrote "Private investment and the economic activity would not flourish in the absence of peace and normalcy."
In his speech earlier today, Singh underlined on the need to have a forum to address interstate internal security related issues including border disputes, narcotics and arms trafficking, common approaches for tackling terrorism, militancy, etc.
He informed that after the creation of the North Eastern Council under NEC Act, 1971, there is no Zonal Council for NE States. The states of Assam, Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya which were part of the Eastern Zonal Council were deleted from the purview of Eastern Zonal Council.
As such, there is no forum to discuss issues such as boundary disputes, drug trafficking, smuggling of arms and ammunition, etc. which are the items discussed in the other Zonal Councils.
The NEC, having the Governors and Chief Ministers of the North Eastern States as its members, can provide a common forum for discussing the two aspects in a comprehensive manner in the absence of top functionaries of two union ministries.
"While the Ministry of DoNER is focusing on its coordination role in development matters, the Ministry of Home Affairs is primarily focused on security related issues," he said.
Furthermore, the Union Home Minister directed the Forum to deliberate on pressing security related issues in the NE states.