Agnivesh appeals for parleys

Guwahati, Jan. 7: Social activist Swami Agnivesh today said he would soon move the Union home ministry for keeping the doors of dialogue open with militant groups in Assam for a permanent solution to long conflicts.
The statement comes days after Union home minister Rajnath Singh announced a zero-tolerance policy in dealing with militant groups like the NDFB (Songbijit), which is held responsible for the December 23 massacre of Adivasis.
“The Centre is talking of military solution but we want to unite civil society groups for a permanent solution to the long conflicts in Assam through dialogue. I am not against the operation by the security forces. I want to convey the message that only boli (dialogue) and not goli (bullets) can resolve the conflicts permanently,” the spiritual leader said here after visiting relief camps in Sonitpur and Udalguri districts. Thousands of people are taking shelter in these camps since the December 23 massacre. So far 81 people have died in the NDFB (S) attacks (66 Adivasis), backlash (12 Bodos) and police firing during protests (three Adivasis). Over 2.86 lakh people, both Adivasis and Bodos, have been displaced in Sonitpur, Kokrajhar, Chirang and Udalguri districts. Additional security forces have been rushed to the state and the Unified Command, led by the army, has launched an operation against the NDFB (S). Agnivesh said to find a solution through dialogue, the World Council of Arya Samaj will organise a round table here within a month. Representatives of civil society groups, intellectuals and former rebel leaders, among others, will be invited. “I have talked to Gandhian Hem Bhai, leaders of Adivasi National Convention Committee, NDFB (Progressive), human rights activist Zebra Ram Mushahary and others for the conference. We will chalk out a common minimum programme for resolving conflict through dialogue, proper rehabilitation of former rebels and strengthening the bond among ethnic tribes. There is a need for time-bound rehabilitation of former rebels to stop them from taking up arms again,” the Arya Samaj leader said. Agnivesh met chief minister Tarun Gogoi yesterday and sought the state government’s support in taking the peace initiative forward.
Dilip Nunisa, leader of Dima Halam Daogah, a disbanded militant group which used to operate in Dima Hasao district, accompanied Agnivesh. “Some former members of rebel groups in Dima Hasao are going astray because of the government’s failure to rehabilitate them properly,” Nunisa said. Agnivesh said they had also sought Gogoi’s support for setting up 10 gurukuls (residential schools for children) belonging to diverse groups and communities.”Already there are five such schools in Assam and Nagaland where children are provided education irrespective of caste and religion,” he said.

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Author: madhubaganiar

Madhubaganiar loves to write on social issues especially for downtrodden segment of Indian society.

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