Capacity building key to conflict management: Moily panel

March 18th, 2008 - 12:53 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) In order to tackle Maoist and extremist violence, the government should hold talks with extremist outfits as well as boost economic development in backward regions, a government panel has said. The latest report of the government’s Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC), titled “Capacity Building For Conflict Resolution: Friction To Fusion”, a copy of which was handed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, deals with measures to strengthen the administrative machinery to tackle extremism and for development.

“Whether Naxalism (Maoism) or violence in north-eastern states, the government must evolve a strategy to ensure capacity building on all fronts along with rapid socio-economic advancement of the masses for managing conflicts effectively,” former Karnataka chief minister and chairman of the ARC M. Veerappa Moily told reporters Monday evening.

For managing “Left extremism”, the ARC has recommended “negotiations with the extremist outfits” and “implementation of constitutional and statutory safeguards, development schemes and land reforms initiatives for containing discontent among the vulnerable sections”.

Moily has suggested that “prime agricultural land” not be used for setting up special economic zones (SEZs) with focused attention on the “projects affected people”.

It has also recommended abolition of the Ministry for Development of North-Eastern Region (DONER), which was set up in 2001 to accelerate economic development of the region.

“The ministry for Doner may be abolished and the responsibility for the development of the region should be restored to the ministry of home affairs,” the ARC report said.

Mani Shankar Aiyar currently holds the ministry for Doner.

“The responsibility of sanctioning funds from the non-lapsable central pool resources should be entrusted to the North Eastern Council,” the report said.

As the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, accounting for over 23 percent of the country’s total population, are more vulnerable to violence, the commission has suggested that the “corporate sector and the non-government organisations need to be involved in complementing the state efforts for their development.”

How to deal with religious conflicts?

“In conflict prone areas, the police should formulate programmes in which the members of the target population get an opportunity to interact with the police as a confidence building mechanism,” Moily said, underlining the need of “special courts for expeditious trial of communal cases.”

Moily, also a general secretary of the Congress party, has suggested a solution to deal with the problem of what he called “identity politics” through “a code of conduct on the forms of dissent permissible”, and the “enforcement of the code should be the responsibility of the Election Commission.”

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