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Committed to unleash the true potential of the North East, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said there has been significant improvement in the security situation of North East over the past years.
Addressing a meeting, Singh said there is a remarkable improvement in the security situation of the North East, adding that most of the areas in the North East are now free from militancy.
He also said that the Centre has taken several initiatives to expedite the peace and development process in the North Eastern region.
Singh said North East India is quite rich in terms of human and natural resources and to properly exploit this potential of this, it is necessary to create a safe and peaceful environment in this area.
"There has been significant improvement in the security situation of North East over the past years. Much of this area has been exempted from militancy and in some of the remaining pockets, militancy is losing its support rapidly. Effective counter insurgency, responsive development and better relations with the neighbouring countries have improved significantly in the situation. However, in some areas the Armed Gangs under the guise of militancy engages in activities like extortion, kidnapping and abduction," Singh said.
He said initiatives by the government are taken for the development for fast-track development of road, rail, air, power and digital infrastructure and the promotion of local human resources is expected to provide better results in other areas along with better security conditions.
"From our Act East Policy, the doors of this region will open for South-East Asian markets," he added.
Advising the Director General of Polices (DGP) of all the states that the traders and their holders of illegal arms run against organized campaign, Singh said the long-standing militancy in this area vitiate the security eco-system.
"With the improvement in the safety scenario, the police should approach their normal police function, such as prevention and detection of crimes, which has been suffering much from the last decade. Unfortunately, in certain states of North-East, criminal prosecution of criminal cases and conviction ratio is quite poor. In one state, the ratio of prosecution is only five percent compared to all India average 86 percent," he added.
The Union Home Minister said although a large area of northeast has been liberated from militancy, the number of crimes due to the presence of illegal arms in such a large amount is also high.
"North East region is located along the international border, except for the Siliguri corridor located in West. These borders are smuggling through illegal weapons, drugs, narcotics, and fake Indian currency. Our border areas are practically un-policed. With priority in policing in these border areas, we need to set up adequate police stations. This will reduce cross border crimes and also create a sense of security in the minds of people living in far-flung areas," he added.
He said radicalisation is a trans-national phenomenon.
"If it is not stopped it can be converted into terrorism, adding that there is a need to closely monitor their activities and take pre-emptive action wherever necessary," he added.
"If one talks about future security threats then the problem of radicalisation has emerged as a major challenge. Radicalisation is a trans-national phenomenon. If it is not stopped it can be converted into terrorism. The sensitivity of North East and its adjoining areas makes this area more vulnerable to such cases. Therefore it is necessary to identify agents of radicalisation. Some of their agents are operating under the guise of religion. While some people are operating on the basis of NGOs and individual, socio cultural and educational development, hence it is also necessary that the flow and utilization of their foreign funds will be closely monitored," he added.
He further noted that another emerging security threat is cyber crime.
"The events of cyber crime are increasing in the world. Cyber space, along with financial crimes, is being used to create unrest and instability. As we all know, how our enemies misused Cyber Space in 2012 to create instability after some ethnic clashes in Assam. Therefore, we need to make substantial improvements in the ability to investigate and prevent the abuse of digital media by cyber crime. In North East we need to establish well-equipped cyber forensic laboratories, as well as the sizeable pool of IT trained police officers," he said.
Singh said that the people in the North East region, especially the youth, are quite aspiring and it is the government's responsibility to make a better environment for them.
"They are looking at their better and prosperous future and want to move step by step with the progress of other parts of the country. It is our responsibility to make a better environment for them. Let us all work for a better, beautiful and prosperous future for our North East," he added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)