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Call For Strong Action Against North-East Ultras

Congress President, Sonia Gandhi...

NEW DELHI, Dec 19 ‘“ Advocating tough measures against militants in the North-East, Congress President, Sonia Gandhi has also underlined the need to keep the option of dialogue open.

Addressing the 83rd Plenary Session of the Congress Party, Gandhi said in parts of the North-East, militant groups disrupt peace and normalcy and have turned extortionist. ‘We would not be serving the national interest, if we ignored the true nature and character of those who use violence as an instrument. These elements have to be combated with all the means at our command,’ he added.

However, she also stressed the need for negotiated settlement. ‘Yet, in the troubled parts of our country, the door of dialogue has to be kept open, the prospect of political accommodation kept alive,’ Gandhi opined.

That is how over two and a half decades ago, Rajiv Gandhi brought peace back in Punjab, Assam, Mizoram, Tripura and Darjeeling. This is the only way to reconciliation and enduring peace, she said.

‘To make this approach truly meaningful we must be sensitive to understanding what causes this violence and keeps it going. In some areas, long-unresolved socio-economic issues provide a fertile ground for anti-national forces to operate and generate sympathy,’ she observed.

About the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Gandhi said the issue of alienation of a whole new generation of youth that has known nothing but conflict, must be addressed. ‘Our security forces are facing a difficult situation with courage and fortitude. At the same time, the political process must get new energy and focus. That is what our government has sought to do by appointing interlocutors,’ she said.

About Naxal violence, the Congress president called for resolution of issues of daily concern to tribal communities particularly the loss of land and livelihoods and the absence of even the minimum basic services. ‘This must go hand-in-hand with upgrading police capabilities and effectiveness,’ Gandhi said.

It was on the issue of communalism that Congress president sounded tough and strongly defended the party’s secular stand.

‘What is communalism? It is the abuse of religion for narrow political purposes. It is the abuse of religion to spread hatred and bigotry. It is the abuse of religion to polarize our society and to divide us,’ she said.

‘We cannot ignore the pernicious impact of individuals, institutions and ideologies that distort our history, that thrive on spreading religious prejudice and that incite people to violence using religion as a cover.’

‘The Congress Party makes no distinction between organizations of the majority and of the minority communities who indulge in communalism and related acts of terrorism. They are all dangerous,’ they must all be defeated’ Gandhi said without naming any party or organization.

Meanwhile, party general secretary, Rahul Gandhi, however, skipped any mention about the recent Wikileaks and saffron terror, focusing instead on organizational matters and UPA Government’s flagship programs.

‘Human resource is the fuel of the 21st century. Connectivity is the catalyst that links this fuel to the engine of progress,’ he said.

(Courtesy: The Assam Tribune)

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