Abjure violence, sit for talks: Chidambaram urges insurgents (Lead)December 23rd, 2009 - 1:13 am ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Dec 22 (IANS) Home Minister P. Chidambaram Tuesday appealed to insurgent outfits active in the northeastern region to abjure violence and give up their demand for a sovereign state. He urged them to sit for talks so that the government could address their problems.
“There are few insurgent groups like United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and United National Liberation Front (UNLF) in the northeast which are carrying out violence. We say, abjure violence and come to sit for talks.
“Our constitution is not that stubborn and inflexible. We can accommodate the desire and demand of common people by making necessary changes in the government structure,” Chidambaram said at a leadership summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here.
“As far as the demand for a sovereign state is concerned, it will never be acceptable. We will not support this demand,” the home minister added.
Chidambaram said that the insurgency in the northeast, the Maoist menace and terrorism are the three major problems the nation faces.
He said the government had taken a “zero tolerance” stance to tackle terrorism and it will also fight against the armed struggle by Maoists across the country.
“We don’t accept the theory of armed struggle. But yes, we are not in a war with the Maoists. After all they are Indians. Our own people just like you and I,” the minister said.
He stressed that if anyone wanted to make a political point, it had to be done through the ballot box.
“More than 58 percent of people in Jharkhand cast their votes in the recently concluded elections braving threats by Maoists. Here democracy has been a victor. We have also asked the Maoists to give up violence. We have told them that the government is ready talk on any issue.
“The Jharkhand elections have given us great comfort. We have seen that especially the tribals came out to vote, braving the Maoist threats,” Chidambaram said.
Chidambaram also elaborated the country’s security situation, saying it is now more secure than what it was a year ago.
“We can say that 2009 has almost been a terror-free year. But we still have nine days to go,” the home minister said.
He added that the central government had recruited and trained more policemen, bought advanced weapons, and raised more battalions and central paramilitary forces in 2009.
“We have the resilience to face challenges. But passivity and complacence should not creep in.
“It is important that society demand answers from the government, that would help us to be alert,” he said.
Tags: ballot box, common people, confederation of indian industry, government structure, home minister, insurgency, insurgent groups, insurgent outfits, leadership summit, maoist, maoists, national liberation, northeastern region, sovereign state, tribals, ulfa, united liberation front, united liberation front of asom, united national, zero tolerance