This culture of militancy is fast spreading to the Southern parts of the country also, particularly to the State of Tamil Nadu. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a human bomb. This incident took everyone by surprise. A national leader was assassinated in the soil of Tamils. After that there is an unprecedented rise in the communal clashes in the southern districts of the State of Tamil Nadu. Several hundreds of people have lost their lives and properties worth crores of rupees have been lost in the communal clashes. The public properties, like buses and trains were smashed and burnt. There was an unprecedented bomb blast, particularly in the Coimbatore district. Even the Home Minister, Shri L.K. Advani was the target of militants attack in Coimbatore.
He was fortunate enough to have survived. ... (Interruptions) I am concluding, Sir. It is an important issue. I am speaking about Tamil Nadu. Several hundred persons lost their lives. The hon. Home Minister visited the hospital. He saw the dead bodies and injured people. Our leader demanded a CBI investigation. It is very unfortunate that knowing the proximity, the nexus between the militants and the Government, it was not ordered. The hidden relationship which they had at that point of time failed to institute a high level inquiry. After that there was the recent Central Prison, Chennai, shoot out. Almost 20 people died in prison. Police is there to maintain law and order. Here is a case where the policemen are involved. Who will save the policemen in Tamil Nadu? A jailor was burnt alive and 20 people were shot at inside the jail. The jail was taken to ransom. Such is the situation now in Tamil Nadu.
All these occurrences are unique to the DMK Government. Only after Shri Karunanidhi, the present Chief Minister took over the reigns of Tamil Nadu, the communal clashes and the Islamic fundamentalism took its ugly head. All these issues, right from the assassination of Shri Rajiv Gandhi to the Central Prison Chennai shoot out, happened during the reign of the present Chief Minister, Shri Karunanidhi. The State of Tamil Nadu and the people of Tamil Nadu are not going to be safe in the hands of the present regime.
I know the predicaments of the hon. Home Minister. Unfortunately, he needs the support of the anti-people forces but I may remind him that the history will never forget and forgive. Another important issue which happened only recently, during the last month, was `Tamizhar Peruvizha', a big festival of Tamils. A meeting was organised in Madurai. Anti-national slogans were uttered there. In this meeting one could find the supporters of LTTE. The assassin of Shri Rajiv Gandhi was glorified and was declared as the martyr. They declared that Shri Rajiv Gandhi was not killed or assassinated but--it is a shame that they said--that Shri Rajiv Gandhi was punished. Such were the utterances in the meeting. I would like to know from the hon. Home Minister, has the State Government recorded such speeches and forwarded to either the Home Minister of the Government of India. What is the Government of Tamil Nadu doing over there? In such meetings even a coalition partner of the Government, MDMK Supremo, the learned Member of this House took part. He was present in the inauguration of the meeting. After he left, one of the official orators of the Party said that Shri Rajiv Gandhi was not killed but he was punished.
Your another coalition leader proclaimed that LTTE supremo, Pirbhakaran is a respectable leader as far as he is concerned. Will the hon. Minister explain us as to whether this Government associate itself -- because they being the coalition partners -- with such type of views? Please explain this to the House.
SHRIMATI KRISHNA BOSE (JADAVPUR): Mr. Deputy-Speaker, Sir, we are discussing a very important subject today. Instead of accusing each other of different things, I think, we should concentrate on the matter that is before us. This discussion is in two parts. One is about the North East and the other is about Jammu and Kashmir. It is impossible to do justice to these two subjects in a short period of time.
I think my fellow MPs from North Eastern region tackled the issue of North Eastern region very well. So, I will not go into that. Only in passing, I would remind the hon. Home Minister about my State of West Bengal where ISI activities and ISI infiltration have increased dangerously. I am told that our State Home Minister had a meeting with the Union Home Minister some time ago. I only hope something tangible will come out of that.
I would like to concentrate a little more on the problem of Jammu and Kashmir. It is because every day we are told that things are improving there. But reality seems to be just the opposite. A statement was laid on the Table of the House only yesterday wherein it was stated that things were improving. But we go back from Parliament and find that in the heart of Srinagar, the militants have struck again. So, this is something which we have to tackle now. In that very statement which was laid on the Table of the House, the Minister had also mentioned the steps that the Government was taking to curb militancy. Unfortunately, almost all the steps like strengthening the Border Security Force, strengthening the Police Force, etc. were all suppressive in nature. But we want to have a last and durable peace. For that, only suppression or oppression would not do. We should have an alternative.
Now analogy between the two conflicting situations in two different countries may not be proper. But I would like to remind the House of what is happening in Northern Ireland today. Northern Ireland also has a bitter and historically deep rooted problem like us that we have in Kashmir. Their problem also started from the partition of their country. But what we have today. We find that Northern Ireland peace process has started. They are trying to untangle that conflict. We can take heart from what is happening there. I am sure, by now, the people of Kashmir are totally weary of violence and strife. If we can offer them a political approach of peace building, I am sure that they will cooperate with us. Let us try that. As Shri Rajesh Pilot was saying, cooperation and dialogue should be our key words and not conflict. We should see to that.
Now, to create an atmosphere of peace, I should, first of all, request our Home Minister to ask the Army for gentler handling of civil problems. Sometimes, they are alleged of very hard handling. There should be gentler handling of civil problems. We know that some of the militant outfits, namely, Hizbul Muzahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba, are fanatic groups and they are backed by Pakistan.
But there are other groups which are not fanatic like that. They are dissidents. They are not particularly friendly to us at this point of time. But if we try, we can bring them back to the negotiating table. Instead of provoking them, why not try to talk to them? Just now my fellow MP from Kashmir said that they are amenable to dialogue with anybody. In that case, instead of putting the Hurriat people in Jodhpur jail, as an example I should say, if we can coax them to come to the negotiating table, we may achieve something. It is a suggestion which may be considered.
In any dialogue, the Government of India should be there, the Government of Kashmir should be there and other militant outfits which are not blatantly pro-Pakistan can be roped in. This is a suggestion I seriously ask you to consider. Why am I saying this? I have already told you that I am inspired by what is happening in northern Ireland. Let us take the northern Ireland model. They are talking about multi-dimensional process. They are going in three strands. They are taking in the moderates like social democrats, they have also taken in the extremists like the Sinfin, which, as you all know, is the political wing of Irish Republican Army and which is very very militant. But they have roped in all of them and are trying to find a lasting peace.
What I am appealing to the Home Minister through you Mr. Deputy-Speaker is that we should think of broadening the spectrum of negotiation and we should try to bring in as many strata of people as we can. It will be helpful in having a durable and lasting peace in Kashmir, I am sure.
SHRI K.A. SANGTAM (NAGALAND): Mr. Deputy-Speaker Sir, I am very glad that many of our colleagues who had no connection with insurgency in their States have been given the opportunity and they have expressed their concern. I come from Nagaland where the insurgency is at its height. If you look at the insurgency problem in the North-East, you will find that the genesis of this insurgency problem is from Nagaland. If you look at the history of this insurgency, in Nagaland way back in 1953, Mr. A.Z. Phizo started a political movement. In the year 1951 a plebiscite was carried out to find out whether the people would like to stay within India or not. That plebiscite proved that 99 per cent of people wanted to be outside India. Anyway, the Government of India sent troops to restore law and order.
During this time it was a small district in Assam. But later on this was formed into the State of Nagaland. A section of people thought that their fundamental rights would be protected by remaining within the Constitution of India. So, a sixteen point agreement between the Naga people and the Government of India was reached. However, a section of people continued to struggle for independence and today the State of Nagaland is enshrined in article 371 (A) of the Constitution.
In 1965-66 the then Prime Minister Shrimati Indira Gandhi had called an insurgent group led by the federal Government of NNC and they had six rounds of talks. But, unfortunately, due to some communication gap and misunderstanding, the talk was called off and the peace process was abandoned. However, in the mean time two factions emerged after a decade or so.
These two factions consist of NSCN (IM) and the NSCN (K). Recently, the Government of India had started a dialogue with the NSCN (IM). It was started from the days of Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao, Shri Devegowda and even Shri I.K. Gujral. Recently, I believe, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee also had talks with these insurgent leaders in Paris.
Well, look at the history of this insurgency. Had we taken proper measures in this regard, the insurgency would not have spread to the present scale. It has now spread not only to Nagaland but also to Assam, Tripura, Manipur, even Arunachal Pradesh and many other States. But, I think, we have to view this from a very important angle because many of the insurgents who are operating there now are actually educated groups. They have been well-educated and they are highly placed. They are getting Degrees and Post-Graduate Degrees. Some of them are even engineers and doctors who have not got jobs. Now, they have been forced into this kind of a situation.
I am told that some of these insurgent groups are now sending arms and ammunition to other States Like Meghalaya even to rob the banks. When these arms are sent, the other group which does the operation gets 30 per cent of the loot and the 70 per cent of it is sent back to the parent body of the insurgent groups in Nagaland.
Now, recruitment is taking place. The youth, who are jobless, who are educated and who are frustrated are given about Rs.30,000/- They are given the A.K.47 rifles and arms and ammunition. I think, if we look at this scenario, we have a very bleak future. It is not for Nagaland only but for the North-East and for the whole country.
We have been taking this very lightly right from the beginning. I think we should take it very seriously. Wherever possible, we should see that economic development and rehabilitation of these youth is done. Wherever the State Government needs any help from the Centre, it should be given in full measure. Otherwise, a day will come when the entire North-East will be cut off. I think they may also go into revolt so that it will be a part of another country. But there is still time. If the Central Government takes serious measures in this regard, we can still contain this insurgency problem. I think we can also look into the matter in the development aspect also.
I would like to point out that recently there was a news item in one of the leading newspapers. It was reported by the UNI on 30th November. It says:
"The Banned United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has specially trained guerillas to operate in the urban areas and sent them in groups to different towns in the State and neighbouring West Bengal, officials sources said.
The Guerillas were trained by LTTE cadres at a camp set up in Deothang inside the jungles of Bhutan, sources said.
The trained guerillas in groups, led by senior cadres, had already entered Nalbari, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar and Dhubri in Assam and set up a base close to the tea gardens in Siliguri of West Bengal. The sources said and added that their main objective was extortion of money and ensure free movement for their cadres from the camps in Bhutan to Bangladesh.
The sources also suspect that the trained guerillas might target VVIPs and important personnel of the State Government and plant bombs at public places."
This is a very serious report. I think VVIPs mean those people who are siting here also. We should also think of the people who are in the rural areas. But the militants are now targeting the VVIPs. So, this is a very very serious thing. In the past, we had seen that Shrimati Indira Gandhi was killed by the militants. Then, again, Shri Rajiv Gandhi was also killed by the militants. What measures have we taken after that?
Have we taken these things very seriously? Now, this report has come and I do not know how insurgency and militancy can be stopped. I think, our intelligence network should be strengthened and there should be a review of the internal security aspect. Then, we should also strengthen our armed forces.
Sir, I come from Nagaland and I had fought the last two Lok Sabha elections from there. At the time of elections to the 12th Lok Sabha, there was a boycott call given by NSCN (IM), but I had taken the stand to be part of the mainstream. So, I had filed my nomination on the first day and then had gone for election campaign. During the election campaign, they targeted me, they wanted to kidnap me and finish me off. During the elections to the 13th Lok Sabha also, they wanted to do the same thing. But by the grace of God - I will not say because of the Army or anybody - I managed to escape from all these attempts. So, this is very serious. Today, I am left in this city without any escort and without any SPG security. There are students studying here coming from the North East who are part of the militants. It is very much clear in the intelligence reports. But nobody has ever asked me about my security and not even a single officer from the Home Ministry rang me up and asked me about my security arrangement. Nothing of the sort has ever happened. We may be from Bihar or Uttar Pradesh or Jammu and Kashmir or Nagaland, but we are all Indian citizens and we should be protected.
Recently, the Chief Minister of Nagaland, Shri S.C. Jamir, was attacked by militants. He travels in a very unusual manner. But even his travel programme had been detected by the underground people. From this, it becomes clear now that they are well equipped. They have got the most sophisticated arms and ammunition with them. They have got AK-47, AK-56, M-16 and rocket launchers with them. They have got all sorts of weapons with them. Today, in the forenoon, I had put a question to the hon. Home Minister as to who were behind the attack on the Chief Minister of Nagaland and what measures have been taken by the Government to prevent such incidents. But the Home Ministry people have tried to evade my question, which is very shocking. They are not even prepared to give factual information to the elected Members like us who are representing the State. This is very serious.
So, I would request the hon. Home Minister to take very strong measures possible in Nagaland and do whatever is possible to strictly observe all the terms and conditions of during the ceasefire. I am told that 300 people lost their life during ceasefire from August, 1987 to November, 1999. If ceasefire is there to give licence for the militants to kill the people, this is very serious. I do not say that there should be no ceasefire; ceasefire should definitely be there. But the officers of the Home Ministry who are monitoring the situation should take it very seriously. They should not treat it as a holiday trip to Nagaland. They should go to Nagaland and take stock of the situation each and everyday. They should also tell the other people that they should also not violate the ceasefire and they should try to have a dialogue with them. Just as late Shrimati Indira Gandhi had taken six rounds of talks, let the present Prime Minister also start talking not only with one faction of the militants, but with all those other factions who are now waiting to be called for a dialogue. I think, the Government should take it very seriously and try to have a very peaceful solution to the Naga political problem.
SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : Mr. Deputy-Speaker, Sir, we were told that the Prime Minister will make his statement at 6.30 p.m. What had happened to that?
MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: I am told that he would make it after this debate.