No negotiation with gun — RN Ravi
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Sep. 5: In keeping with the tough stance he has adopted since assuming the dual role of the governor of Nagaland as well as the interlocutor of Indo-Naga talks, RN Ravi on Thursday asserted that ‘no negotiation with gun’ will take place.
He was addressing the 26th conference of DGsP/IGsP and Head of Central Police Organisations of NE states at the Rhododendron Hall, Police complex in Chumoukedima on Thursday.
According to Ravi, the rise of ‘militancy’ was a challenge for the country and the NE region in particular. He said that with the ‘rise of militancy’ in the NE region, an integrated approach to the security of the region was an urgent necessity.
It was in this backdrop that intelligence bureau took the initiative to create an institution of periodic interactions of the police chiefs of the region, he said. This has been helpful in strengthening inter-states and inter-agencies security cooperation, according to Ravi.
He also maintained that there was ignorance and unfamiliarity among some police chiefs in different states, which is ‘unacceptable’. Policing record in the NE states, he said, was not ‘very phenomenal.’
Ravi encouraged the police to improve their policing performance saying that prevention and detection of crimes, scientific investigation of cases and successful prosecution of criminals should be their priority.
Ravi asserted that the Northeast region has been dubious for its illicit arms racket, and that some of the recent seizures made in other parts of India have revealed their northeast linkages. He urged the police chiefs to launch sustained drives in all regions to make it difficult for illicit arms traders, and people owning illicit arms, to use it for ‘commercial as well as criminal purposes.’
Ravi recalled that in the 1990s, the intelligence bureau had tried to institutionalise connectivity between different police headquarters for quicker exchange of information. This was reduced to an experiment of trial and error owing to lack of digital connectivity in the region then, he shared.
According to him, things have improved a great deal during the last five years in the Northeast because the government and police forces have been working tirelessly to combat insurgents.
Ravi said that there was a time when around 2000 lives were lost every year to ‘insurgent encounters’. “It may sound like fiction today but the region has gone through such a bad phase,” he said.
‘Porous borders a challenge’
Deputy Chief Minister Yanthungo Patton said that in recent years there has been an unprecedented influx of ‘illegal immigrants’ to Northeast states; and if left unchecked, it will have grave consequences on the demography, economy and internal security of the region.
Patton was optimistic that the conference will discuss the issue as NE states are most affected by, and vulnerable to, ‘Illegal Bangladeshi Immigrants’ (IBIs) and suggested that an effective mechanism be evolved not only to stop their entry but also to detect and deport.
He raised concern over the region’s proximity with the ‘Golden Triangle’ sharing boundaries with five countries with porous border, which has left room for rampant drug trafficking activities. He said that the Northeast was a ‘transit route’ of drugs to mainland India as well as foreign destinations.
According to Patton, it was imperative that coordinated efforts are made with the neighbouring states to ensure the menace of drug trafficking is fully addressed.
The deputy chief minister said that security challenges in the NE due to insurgency have had an adverse impact on the political and socio-economic development of the region.
“In the current scenario there has been a significant decrease in insurgent activities through negotiations by the central government as well as military operations conducted by the security forces and police,” Patton maintained.
He said that securing international border along the region was pivotal for improving security in the Northeast. “A definite strategy with political, social and security measures are required to develop a comprehensive system to systematically secure this porous border”, he recommended.
Referring to the assassination of Arunachal Pradesh MLA Tirong Aboh, Patton remarked that the attack was an instance of interstate activities of Northeast ‘underground outfits and their operational capabilities.’
He said that most of the groups in NE are linked and their collusion extends to providing cooperation in logistic support such as ‘weapon procurement and destruction, information sharing, transit of cadres, to name a few.’
“The existing system of coordination among Northeast law enforcement agencies needs to be further strengthened and an institutional structure may be developed for further coordination to deal with interstate issues,” Patton asserted.
The deputy chief minister advocated an in-depth understanding of the working of cyberspace and called upon the law enforcing agencies to upgrade themselves in human resource as well as technology; and coordinate with the other agencies to address the emerging challenges of cyber criminals operating without borders.
According to him, it was crucial for the stakeholders to ensure that conferences such as this are held to deliberate on issues of security, and formulate strategies to effectively deal with the challenges.