Imphal: Manipur governor Najma Heptulla on Wednesday lauded Assam Rifles for their significant role in maintaining internal security with uncompromising dedication and sincerity, and contributing to the promotion of peace and development in the entire Northeast region.

“They have been variously hailed, and veritably so, as ‘Friends of the Northeast People’ and ‘Sentinels of the Northeast’ and have contributed to the overall peace and prosperity in the region, she said.

Heptulla was speaking at the Annual Northeast Webinar organised by the Directorate General of Assam Rifles (DGAR) at Raj Bhavan in Imphal through video conferencing.

The theme of the webinar was ‘Northeast Beyond Insurgency and Ethnic Divide — Aspirations and Opportunities with Focus on Manipur’.

The governor further said that Northeast India comprising eight states of India (Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura) shares its boundary with Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

“These regions have witnessed insurgency for more than six decades. Even though some states in the region have remained peaceful after ending insurgencies, the overall situation in the region is not conducive to peaceful living and corresponding prosperity,” she said.

Even though Manipur has seen an overall declining insurgency activity, the discontent in a stable settlement amongst the people still continues. During the past few months, the overall law and order situation has considerably improved and the subversive activities of various UG outfits were at low ebb, she added.

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Continuing her speech, the governor said that there was an upsurge in the violence against the security forces, paramilitary forces and the Indian Army by various insurgent groups, operating in both hills and valley districts, but the same has not shown any sign of increase and seems to have been contained. The counter-insurgency (CI) operation conducted by the Assam Rifles is noteworthy, commendable and praiseworthy, she stated.

Appreciating the role played by Assam Rifles, Heptulla said that the aspirations of the Assam Rifles to bring a peaceful NE Region without insurgencies is an invaluable contribution to the country in general and NE region in particular.

The governor also thanked the DGAR for its efforts to organise such an important webinar at this critical juncture. The key role of undertaking CI operations by Assam Rifles at the border areas to prevent the insurgent groups from escalating violence is widely welcomed by all.

“The AR has performed in an exemplary manner till date and must therefore continue to do so whenever and wherever mandated for the welfare of the people of the North Eastern Region. Resolving the ongoing insurgencies in NER and the role played by the Assam Rifles will be the harbinger of peace and consequent economic prosperity for the millions of people in the Northeastern region,” she added.

Heptulla also expressed her confidence that it will be a good step in the right direction for the success of India’s ‘Look East Policy’. Only then, India will emerge as one of the global powers in a multipolar world of the 21st century, she added.

Various resource persons also delivered speeches on different important topics at the virtual function.

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