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NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday warned that the Central government would not entertain any ceasefire offer from militants and impressed upon the insurgent groups in the North Cachar Hills areas of Assam to lay down arms and join talks.
“We made it very clear that we will not entertain any ceasefire offer from militant groups. Militant groups are most welcome to give up the path of violence, lay down arms and come for talks,” Mr. Chidambaram told the Rajya Sabha in response to a calling attention motion on the ethnic violence in the hills district of Assam.
Referring to one of the militant outfits, Dima Halam Daogah (Jewel Garlossa), making an offer of ceasefire, he said militant groups cannot offer ceasefire to a sovereign country. “First they have to give up the path of violence and then we will talk.”
He said the Centre had alerted Assam, Manipur and Nagaland governments that Naga militants were likely to take advantage of the ethnic tensions in North Cachar Hills. “While the situation is being closely monitored, the Centre has asked the Assam government to take steps for containing violence,” he said.Ethnic tension
The North Cachar Hill district has witnessed ethnic tension between Zemi Naga tribes and Dimasas since March this year. Mr. Chidambaram said the two tribes were living together for many years, but later on intensification of inter-tribal rivalry resulted in many killings. “It is sad that instead of focusing on development, a significant number of these tribals took to violence leading to killings,” he said.
Observing that the government had set up the North Cachar Hill Council for the development of the areas, he said the CEO of the Council has been suspended as he was alleged to have been routing the money to the militants and the case has been transferred to the National Investigation Agency.
Making it clear that the Centre would not entertain any ceasefire offer from militant groups, Mr. Chidambaram said they could form a political party and contest elections.
A message has gone to DHD-J that it should abjure violence and hold talks with the Assam government, which the Centre would facilitate. The Home Minister said the government was willing to talk to DHD-J on any issue. “There is enormous pressure on DHD-J and I think they will get the message soon.”
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