‘Ministry of Home affairs will constitute a committee to be headed by Special Secretary, Internal Security to examine the prevailing rules and regulations adopted by border states for effective implementation of free movement regime along Indo-Myanmar border.‘
Aizawl (zoramobserver.com): Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said the central government will not impose restriction on choice of food. Singh’s proclamation came within few hours after a group of people organized beef party at Aizawl to protest against Central government’s ban on sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets.
Speaking to reporters after chairing the meeting of Chief Minister of four Northeastern states- Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh on Indo-Myanmar border issues here on Monday, Singh said there is no restriction on food choice and the government will not interfere in anyone’s choice of food. He however, refused to comment on whether the central government really issued notification banning beef eating.
On India-Myanmar border issue, the Union Home Minister said it is unique in many ways as it has visa free movement regime for people living within 16 km on either side of the border.
He said that this free movement regime has been in placed keeping in view the traditional and social relation among the border people.
Singh said that the Ministry of Home affairs will constitute a committee to be headed by Special Secretary, Internal Security to examine the prevailing rules and regulations adopted by border states for effective implementation of free movement regime. According to him, the committee will submit report within three months after consulting border states and other stakeholders.
The Union Home Minister, however, said that free movement has been misused by many militants and criminals who smuggled weapons, narcotics, contraband goods and fake India currency notes. “Taking advantage of the free movement regime, occasionally militants and criminals entered India, commit crimes and thereafter escape to their relatively safer hideout,” he said.
Singh said that the central government is committed to fast-tracking development of the North-East region and steady progress in infrastructure development has been made in various sectors including inter and intra-regional road, rail and air connectivity.
He said that the states of Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh were released Rs. 567.39 crore in the last 3 years under Border Area Development Programme (BADP) to address specific development needs of border areas along the international boundaries. The central government also released Rs. 92.39 crore for integrated development of 41 model villages in the four NE states in the last financial year, he added.
Replying to media, he said that Ministry of Home Affairs will extend security-related expenditure to the state of Mizoram, which lies between Myanmar and Bangladesh.
The Union Home Minister on Monday chaired a meeting of Chief Minister of the four Northeastern states in Aizawl to discuss and review security situation along Indo-Myanmar border.
He urged the participating states to pay special attention towards urgent need of improving basic facilities and infrastructures like roads, power, telecommunication, health & education etc for people living in deep remote areas.
He ordered setting up of a committee under the chairmanship of secretary Border Management for identification of gaps in the facilities in these areas and to prioritize them for filling them up in short term (3 years), medium term (3-6 years) and long term (6-10 years). The committee has also been asked to find out and pool all the resources and dovetail all programmes of various ministries of government including those of North Eastern Council (NEC), NLCPR, BADP and also those of the respective state governments for achieving these objective.
He said that the committee will submit detailed report before 31 December this year.
Singh also told the meeting that the Ministry of External affairs will take measures for strengthening and upgradation of police infrastructure of the states bordering Myanmar and added that these police stations should be equipped with good infrastructures and qualified manpower.
The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Home Kiran Rijiju, Chief Minister of Mizoram, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland Home Minister, DGP of the four states and important officials of border states and central government including senior Assam Rifles officers.
Singh however, cancelled his visit to Myanmar border areas due to bad weather. He left for Delhi on Tuesday by a special flight.