Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chidambaram asks Assam rebels to surrender or face offensive

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday toughened New Delhi's stand on countering insurgency in Assam, saying security offensives would continue in full steam until rebel groups lay down arms and sit for peace talks."Security forces have been asked to take all measures against the insurgents. Insurgency has no place and, therefore, they must lay down arms and surrender. Or else security forces have been instructed to deal with them firmly," he told reporters on a visit here to review the security situation."I must say there has been a dramatic improvement in the security situation in Assam with many top leaders of major insurgent groups apprehended," the home minister said.Chidambaram held separate meetings with Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi besides chairing a meeting of the Unified Command Headquarters with top army and paramilitary commanders, besides police and civil officials."The political process with the militant groups would be taken up by the chief minister and he would decide whom to talk to and what are the conditions to be accepted or not in consultation with his council of ministers," the home minister said."The centre will give all possible support in taking any peace process forward," he added.Earlier in the day, the home minister visited Mizoram's capital Aizawl and reviewed the situation, mainly the issue relating to repatriation of 37,000 tribal Reang refugees sheltered in six Tripura refugee camps for the past 13 years."Already 209 Bru (Reangs are also known as Bru) families have moved to Mizoram and I was made to understand by Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla that over a period of time all the refugees will be taken back," Chidambaram said.

Suspected Kuki militants threaten to kill government official, if not paid Rs 1 crore

Suspected Kuki militants kidnapped a Manipur government official for a huge ransom of Rupees one crore, official reports said in Imphal today.The armed militants abducted farm overseer (FO) Nameirakpam Nabakumar (56), while he was going from his house, situated in Luwangsangbam, about eight km north of Imphal, to his office at a sericulture project centre at Sangaipat in Imphal on May 20, the reports said.The abduction came to light when some callers who identified themselves as militants of the United Kuki LiberationArmy-Military Council (UKLA-MC) informed the family members on Thursday night that Nabakumar was in their custody and demanded an immediate payment of Rs 50 lakh by his department for his safe release, reports stated. Within a couple of days, the ultras called up again, raising the ransom demand to Rupees one crore "since the initial amount of Rs 50 lakh was not paid promptly as asked", and threatened to kill the official if the entire amount was not handed over.At the sericulture department, several employees launched a sit-in protest yesterday against the abduction and appealed to the ultras to release the official unharmed without any pre-condition.