'NE's economic development contributes to nation's overall development'

New Delhi, May 6 (IANS): Economic development of the northeast region contributes to overall development of the nation, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said on Friday.

In his address at the seminar organised by the Assam Rifle on "Economic growth is prerequisite to address deeply rooted insurgencies in the North East", he said that the vast potential of this sector will be unleashed by creating modern infrastructure and improving connectivity and development is now considered synonymous with the unity and integrity of the country.

Rai further said that the decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to remove the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFPSA) from some areas of the region also highlights the possibilities of huge development in this area.

He also said that the talks with various extremist groups have brought about a vast improvement in the security situation in the northeast and the youth are rapidly joining the mainstream of development.

"An amount of Rs 2,65,513 crore has been spent from the year 2014 to March 2021 for the development of various infrastructure projects in the northeast region, the result of which is visible in the form of development," he said.

The Minister also said that over the decades, the ideology of rebellion has shifted from social issues to political aspirations, hunger for unquestionable power and monetary gains. "The innocent youths of the region got caught in the vicious cycle of pseudo-nationalism and weapons. The economic deprivation and lack of job opportunities coupled with drug menace pulled this generation further into the web of extremism," he noted.

He also said that with a strong political resolve and commitment today for the development of transport, highways, communication, power and waterways in the northEast, now the security situation is under control and people have started receiving the benefits of development and infrastructure projects

He said that the Assam Rifles, since its inception in 1835, has been instrumental in development and has contributed immensely in restoring normalcy in the northeast. This force is doing good work shoulder to shoulder with the Indian Army and has done a commendable job of resolving very sensitive situations with great ease.

"The government has given the Assam Rifles the powers under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act)... it was a well thought out decision, as a result the Assam Rifles has confiscated narcotics substances and drugs worth of about Rs 1,500 crore in the last one year," Rai added.



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