Sonowal gets ‘not to worry’ assurance on deal

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Naga peace talk: Assam CM calls on Modi, Shah

HT Bureau

NEW DELHI/ GUWAHATI, Nov 7: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday assured Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal that the Centre will take into consideration Assam and its people while signing any accord with the Naga rebel groups to end insurgency in Nagaland.

Modi and Shah gave the assurance when Sonowal called on them here separately, two releases issued by the Assam government said.

During the meeting, Sonowal apprised the Prime Minister of the prevailing public mood in Assam in the wake of the proposed Naga peace accord.

Shah assured the chief minister that the Centre will take into consideration Assam and its people while signing any accord with the Naga rebel groups to end insurgency in Nagaland.

Shah had a lengthy discussion with Sonowal on the proposed Naga Accord. The talks on the decades old problem between the Centre’s interlocutor RN Ravi and insurgent groups like NSCN(I-M) are yet to end.

During the discussions, the chief minister urged the home minister to take into consideration the interests of the people of Assam while going for any accord, the release said.

Shah has assured Sonowal that nothing would be done that goes against the interests of the state and its people, an official release said.

The Centre on October 31 said it is yet to conclude talks with Naga insurgent groups and will consult all stakeholders, including the states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, before finalisation of any settlement.

The Union home ministry had said it has come to the government’s notice that lot of rumours and misinformation is being spread in the media and social media that the final Naga settlement has been arrived at and will be announced soon.

“This is creating anxiety and concern in some parts of the country. It is clarified that before any settlement is arrived at with Naga groups, all stakeholders including states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh will be duly consulted and their concerns will be taken into consideration. No credence needs to be given to such rumours and incorrect information,” it said.

The Central government has already rejected the NSCN(I-M)’s demand for unification of Naga inhabited areas — located in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. The three northeastern states have also vehemently opposed it.

During the meeting with Prime Minister, the chief minister also had an elaborate discussion on the revival plan on the Hindustan Paper Corporation’s two paper mills namely Nagaon Paper Mill at Jagiroad and Cachar Paper Mill at Panchgram.

Taking into consideration of the future of the employees, Sonowal requested Modi to take steps for their revival. The chief minister also sought Modi’s help for the on-going expansion of Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) and maintaining its present status as the public sector undertaking.

Sonowal also invited Prime Minister for the inauguration of Khelo India Youth Games to be held in Guwahati from January 10, 2020. At the same time Sonowal also requested the Prime Minister to Sankardeva Award presentation ceremony.

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