Shillong: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said that in the past 8 years, there has been a 74 per cent reduction in insurgency incidents in the northeast region, 60 per cent decrease in incidents of attacks on security forces, and 89 per cent decline in civilian deaths, while about 8,000 militants of various outfits have surrendered and joined the mainstream.
Addressing the North East Council (NEC) meeting, he said that earlier there used to be a demand to remove the AFSPA (Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act) from the northeast, but now the demand does not arise, and rather the Centre is taking steps to remove it.
He said that now 60 per cent area of Assam, seven districts of Nagaland, 15 police stations in six districts of Manipur and Tripura and Meghalaya have become completely AFSPA-free, while in only one district of Arunachal Pradesh the AFSPA is yet to be lifted.
"These are great achievements made possible due to the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi because without peace, it is impossible to develop institutions of development, education and health. During the tenure of Modi, the agreement with the National Liberation Front of Tripura in 2019, the Reang (Bru) and Bodo Agreement in 2020, and Karbi Agreement in 2021 were agreed upon," the Home Minister said.
He claimed that Assam-Meghalaya and Assam-Arunachal inter-state border disputes have also almost ended, and due to the restoration of peace, the northeast region has moved on the path of development.
Shah said that earlier funds allocated to the northeast did not reach the bottom most level, but after Modi became the Prime Minister, funds are reaching villages and being utilised for development, and this is a great achievement.
Noting that the Prime Minister has always given priority to the northeast, he said that Modi has visited the region more than 50 times in the last 8 years, while Central ministers have also visited the area more than 400 times.
Due to improved infrastructure, the possibilities of tourism have increased in the northeast, as also many small industries, educational institutions and sports-related institutions have also opened.
Shah also said the Prime Minister has also taken up the project of connecting every capital of the northeastern states by road, train and through air connectivity.
Till eight years ago, the entire northeast was only known for bandhs, strikes, bomb blasts and firing, and the people of the region could not live peacefully due to the activities of different militant groups. Prime Minister Modi, Governors and Chief Ministers, senior officials of several northeastern states participated in the NEC meeting.