Home minister Amit Shah says government will speak to militant outfits in Manipur

On Tuesday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah declared that the government will hold talks with all militant organisations in Manipur in order to resolve insurgency-related issues in the state by bringing all extremist groups' cadres into the mainstream.

The home minister, addressing at an election rally in Thoubal, stated that so far, 9,500 militants from Assam and other north-eastern states had surrendered and joined the mainstream. "No Manipuri youngster shall be harmed, and no Manipuri youth will be imprisoned. All extreme outfits' cadres would be brought into the mainstream and work for the development of Manipur and the country "Shah expressed his opinion. He went on to say that Manipur will be designated as a zero-tolerance zone for smuggling and illicit trading.

Shah urged people to vote for the BJP in the next assembly elections, saying: "In the previous five years, the BJP government in Manipur has achieved a great deal. Give us another five years. I come to inform you that we will have discussions with all militant factions in order to achieve long-term peace in the state."

He also stated that Manipur's territorial integrity will be preserved. The Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) has been demanding the integration of Naga-dominated territories in neighbouring states Manipur, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh, hence his vow to protect the state's territorial integrity is important. All three northeastern states have been vocal in their resistance to this demand.

Shah praised the work of the BJP-led Manipur government, saying that while there were no women-run police stations when his party first came to power in the state in 2017, there are now women police stations in all districts. "There was no railway line in Manipur earlier, but the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has spent Rs 12,000 crore to expand a 111-kilometer railway line in the state."

"Earlier there was no national highway but now there are several national highways in Manipur. Rs 16,000 crore is being spent to build major highways in the state," he added.The Home Minister said that the former Chief Minister of Manipur Okram Ibobi Singh (Congress), knocked at the doors of the Gandhi family several times, but the BJP government at the Centre introduced the Inner Line Permit for which the incumbent Manipur Chief Minister does not have to go to Delhi. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday also addressed election rallies in Manipur virtually from Delhi. He had visited the poll bound state on February 22 and addressed an election rally in Imphal while Shah visited Manipur several times to campaign for the party.The first phase of the Manipur assembly elections (in 38 of the 60 seats) was held on Monday while the second phase of polling will be held in the remaining 22 seats on March 5. The votes will be counted on March 10.

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