New Delhi: The Central government and NDPP-BJP dispensation in Nagaland have decided to “tread carefully” on the 21-year-old Naga peace talks and therefore while they want early solution, at the same time security forces will continue to remain “proactively prepared for any kind of scenario”.
It is on this backdrop, sources said, the Army Corps Command at Dimapur (or Rangapahar) will continue to function as usual notwithstanding a recent decision at the military commanders level “to do away with around 20 divisional headquarters”.
In total there are seven commands for Indian army and Eastern Command in Kolkata has key corps commands including one each at Dimapur (Rangapahar) in Nagaland and Tezpur in Assam.
There are 40 divisional units headed by a Major General.
Sources in the state government said there is an internal move in the Defence ministry in coordination with the Union Home Ministry for ‘restructuring’ the corps commands and divisional work structure to make the force “leaner”.
The change is expected to ‘free’ top army officers from deployment in operational areas and the government feels this will save on infrastructure costs as well.
The move will also allow quicker decision for army movement at divisional or brigade
Notwithstanding comparative peace in Assam and other adjoining northeastern states, the Modi Govt
will retain Corps Commands in Tezpur in its present format only, sources said.
Meanwhile, according to BJP sources, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home headed by Congress leader P Chidambaram has asked the government to expedite peace process with Nagaland’s most potent insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN – Isak Muivah) faction but has also advised that government and security forces should remain all prepared “for any kinds of scenario”.
It also suggested that the security forces and intelligence agencies should be kept on alert.
The panel also comprising among others Mallikarjun Kharge and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (both Congress), Ramen Deka, Bishnu Pada Ray (both BJP) and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar (Trinamool) expressed surprise as to why there is “delay” in concluding peace talks with NSCN (IM) when “all stakeholders” and the government are keen to conclude it.
The Standing Committee has also urged the government to prepare a “generous rehabilitation cum scheme” for the Naga militant cadres – “who will surrender as part of the agreement”.
The Ministry of Home Affairs, according to sources, is well seized of the matters involved in dealing with the complex problems like aspiration and demands of Kukis of Manipur – who are often seen in ‘competition’ with the Nagas.
To deal with the armed insurgency, there is provisions of Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) enforced in Nagaland, Manipur and Assam but it stood withdrawn in Tripura – where the overall security scenario has shown marked improvement, especially since 2013.