SHRI BIJOY HANDIQUE (JORHAT): Sir, the proverbial lack of development is being projected as the cause for all the turmoil that assails the North-Eastern region. But is that all? No. This may be one of the major causes but not the only one. I agree that there is massive resentment among the people of North-East becuase this region has been denied its due and justice. And the fact that the three development packages announced by three successive Prime Ministers in a span of two years have yet to be given concrete shape adds to that sesentment. What worries me is the sense of alienation that afflicts the people of that region. I am afraid that accumulated alienation very often gives rise to insurgency and terrorism. We have to see as to how we can remove the causes of alienation. The climate of alienation must go if we want to prevent further spread of terrorism and insurgency. I do understand that if the State's law and order enforcing machinery fails, it can of course summon the Army and Para-Military forces, but they must be kept in check. If they commit any excesses and commit atrocities, it is the Govt. which they should be held accountable and responsible. Government must bear in mind that it is committed to the protection of human rights. It is not enough to say that militants also violate human rights. The Government should be the model protector of human rights. Besides, without the support of the common people no operation against the terrorists can be successful. What has been happening in the North-East is that, in the process of curbing terrorism, common people are put to torture and atrocities . This has created a sense of alienation.

Sir, when the Human Rights Commission was constituted in 1993, the nation was given to understand that the Army, the Para-Military forces, and the Police would be motivated, trained and educated on human rights. Since Para-Military forces are called quite often to help the civil administration in controlling the insurgency related situations, it is all the more reason that they should be trained, motivated and educated on human rights. So, there must be basic changes in the administration of the law and order in respect of the insurgency-related situations. I suggest, if necessary, a suitable amendment in the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 as amended in 1972 in conformity with human rights should be considered. Dialogue is the only answer to this situation. There cannot be any military solution. Let us talk with the terrorists. Let us talk with the terrorists. The Mizo Accord was signed by the last Prime Minister, Shri Rajiv Gandhi with Shri Laldenga. This was one of the most successful and effective accords. Mizoram is now one of the most peaceful States in the country.

Assam terrorists also gave a proposal, three years ago, of having a dialogue in a third country. Today the whole world is reduced to a global village. This was not the first time that a talk like this, though informal, was to be held in a third country. In 1980, Shri Laldenga came to India, when Shrimati Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister. He was persuaded by the Government emissaries and by representatives of the Government to come here. Though the talks failed, on his return, the emissaries of the Government and the Government representatives persuaded him and he came to India after five years, after a long persuasion, and ultimately signed an Accord with late Shri Rajiv Gandhi.

Since there is not much time, I will restrict myself. Let us keep our mind open, door open for a meaningful dialogue, be it in our country or outside, but without any pre-condition. I recall that it was once demanded to have a dialogue in the presence of an international observer. We do not accept that pre-condition. I personally feel that when our hon. Prime Minister or Ministers go abroad, in chance meetings or even scheduled meetings they discuss this problem though in a hurry. I think that a formal talk will be more purposeful, more effective than those which are held when our Prime Minister or Ministers go there. Hon. Home Minister is here and I do believe that he will consider this proposal.

In the Twelfth Lok Sabha also, we discussed this problem. I do believe that the hon. Home Minister will change his views, particularly, keeping in mind that there is no end to insurgency and terrorism that has assailed the North-east. I do believe that the hon. Minister will rise to the occasion. Thank you, Sir.

MR. SPEAKER: We have exhausted the list of the speakers. The Home Minister will reply to the debate tomorrow.

The House stands adjourned to meet at 1100 a.m. tomorrow.

20.24 hours

The Lok Sabha then adjourned till Eleven of the Clock on

Wednesday, December 15, 1999/Agrahayana 24, 1921 (Saka).