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“Arunachal Pradesh is, was and shall always be an integral part of Bharat”: PM Modi rubbishes China’s claims over the northeast state

Regarding China claiming parts of Arunachal Pradesh, PM Modi categorically emphasised, “Arunachal Pradesh is, was, and shall always be an integral part of Bharat”.

On Monday (8th April), Prime Minister Narendra Modi rubbished China’s territorial claims on the parts of Arunachal Pradesh asserting that there should be no doubt that the Northeastern state is an integral and inalienable part of India. Notably, at his official residence in Delhi, PM Modi gave an exclusive interview to The Assam Tribune on the transformative story of the Northeast region. 

Regarding China claiming parts of Arunachal Pradesh, PM Modi categorically emphasised, “Arunachal Pradesh is, was, and shall always be an integral part of Bharat”.

The development comes amidst a massive outrage against China for “renaming several areas in Arunachal Pradesh” to stake its claim over these territories. During the interview, PM Modi was asked about China making claims on parts of Arunachal Pradesh and steps that the Indian government has taken to safeguard the territorial sovereignty of the state. 

Slamming the doubts that “Is Arunachal Pradesh safe?”, PM Modi dismissed it noting that there should not be any doubt about this (Arunachal’s territorial sovereignty and safety).

Apart from asserting that Arunachal is an integral part of Bharat, the Prime Minister added, “Today, the development works are reaching Arunachal and the Northeast like the first rays of the sun, faster than ever before.” 

Timely intervention by the Indian government and efforts by the state government have brought improvement in Manipur: PM Modi

Regarding the status of conflict-torn Manipur, the opposition’s criticism, and steps to ensure ethnic harmony in the state, PM Modi noted, “We believe that it is our collective responsibility to deal with the situation sensitively.” 

Pointing that the government’s efforts have brought improvement in the state, PM Modi stated, “We’ve dedicated our best resources and administrative machinery to resolving the conflict. Because of the timely intervention of the Government of India and efforts made by the Government of Manipur, there has been a marked improvement in the situation of the State.”

Listing out government efforts to resolve the conflict, PM Modi further stated, “Home Minister Amit Shah stayed in Manipur while the conflict was at its peak, holding 15-plus meetings with various stakeholders to help resolve the conflict. The Central Government has been consistently extending its support, as required by the State Government. The process of relief and rehabilitation is ongoing. Remedial measures undertaken include a financial package for the relief and rehabilitation of people living in shelter camps in the State.” 

Foiling influx of illegal migrants from Myanmar

PM Modi was asked about the infiltration of illegal migrants from Myanmar in Mizoram. In reply, he stated that the influx is due to internal developments in that country. 

Speaking with Assam Tribune, PM Modi said, “We have been raising this issue with the Myanmar authorities as this directly impacts India, particularly our northeastern states. To prevent infiltration and secure our borders, several steps have been taken by the government.”  

He added that the steps include the decision to scrap the free movement regime between India and Myanmar, increased and effective deployment of border guarding forces on the Indo-Myanmar border, and close coordination of security agencies among others. He further pointed out the intensified fencing construction along the Myanmar border.

Aaj Northeast Na Delhi se Door Hai Aur Na Dil se Door Hai: PM Modi

PM Modi highlighted the development works, major infrastructure projects, and how the government has been alleviating the sense of marginalisation that crept in the Northeastern states during the previous administrations. He stressed, “Aaj Northeast Na Delhi se Door Hai Aur Na Dil se Door Hai!

According to PM Modi, after years of neglect since the Independence, the North East region has now become an abundant region from an abandoned region. 

Contrasting UPA and NDA government’s outlook towards North East, PM Modi pointed out, “Successive Congress governments gave step-motherly treatment to the people of the Northeast because for them the potential electoral gains in the region were too little. For them, the Northeast was too distant, and working for its development was also difficult. When we formed the government, it was my firm commitment to change the status quo in the Northeast. We replaced the policy of isolation and ignorance with a policy of integration.” 

He said, “Last month, I visited Itanagar for Viksit Bharat, Viksit North East programme. I had the privilege to unveil Rs 55,000 crore worth of development projects that are providing guarantees for Viksit North East…I inaugurated the Sela Tunnel which is a real strategic game-changer providing all-weather connectivity to Tawang.” 

“In 2022, we inaugurated the Donyi Polo Airport for enhanced air linkages to the rest of the nation. On the energy front, the Dibang Multipurpose Project will contribute to employment, energy, and water resource management. We have commenced new road projects for about 125 villages and tourism and other infrastructure-related projects in 150 villages. The government has also launched a Rs 10,000 crore UNNATI scheme that will bring new possibilities for investment and jobs in the North Eastern Region,” the Prime Minister added. 

11 peace agreements in 10 years: Decisive battle against Insurgency in the region

Regarding peace agreements and bringing down insurgency, PM Modi stressed, “Yes, we decided to deal with insurgency firmly but at the same time, we ensured that common people are embraced with great care and compassion. As a result, while we have significantly controlled insurgency, we have also been able to win the trust of our people and ensure peace.” 

He noted, “A total of 11 peace agreements have been signed in the last 10 years. This is unprecedented progress unseen under any previous government. More than 9,500 insurgents have surrendered since 2014 and joined the mainstream of the society. Compared to 2014, there has been a 71 per cent reduction in insurgency incidents in 2023. Similarly, in this period, security force casualties have come down by 60 per cent and civilian deaths by 82 per cent. Due to the improved security situation, the AFSPA has been withdrawn from most parts of the Northeast.” 

Highlighting some of the historic peace agreements, the Prime Minister noted, “We have successfully negotiated Border Dispute Settlement Agreements between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh which has put an end to the longstanding dispute concerning 123 villages along the border. We have resolved the 50-year-old dispute between Assam and Meghalaya. Peace agreements like the Bodo Accord and the Bru-Reang Agreement have led to several insurgents and militants surrendering their arms and joining the mainstream.” 

All the efforts we have made have ushered in an era of peace in the region, PM Modi added.

During the interview on the transformation in the Northeast, PM Modi stressed that the Northeast is India’s greatest success story. He added that in the last 10 years, it is visible how the Modi government has ended the Northeast’s isolation and developed it as Bharat’s gateway to the East. 

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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