Centre has zero tolerance for terrorism: Union Minister Anurag Thakur

Minister of Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur says the central government’s initiatives against terrorism in North East are showing results

NEW DELHI | Updated: 19 December, 2022 9:49 pm IST
Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur

On Monday, Union minister Anurag Thakur said the government has a zero-tolerance policy toward terrorism.

In a statement, Thakur said, “The government’s resolve against terror has been displayed time and again, from the Surgical Strike to the Balakot Strike. The action by our armed forces has caused a significant 168 per cent drop in terrorist incidents in Jammu and Kashmir. Similarly, we have achieved a 94 per cent conviction rate in terror financing cases.”

According to the minister, since 2014 violence caused by insurgency has declined by 80 per cent and civilian deaths have declined by 89 per cent in the northeast, thanks to the government’s efforts in creating an atmosphere of peace. Added to this is the achievement of the surrender of 6,000 militants since 2014, he said.

“An era of peace has started in the northeastern region under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi,” Thakur said, adding that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has been completely withdrawn from Tripura and Meghalaya.

“It remains in force in only 3 districts of Arunachal Pradesh, 60 per cent of Assam is free of AFSPA, 15 police stations in 6 districts have been taken out of the category of Disturbed Area, Disturbed Area notification has been removed from 15 police stations in 7 districts,” he said.

The Modi government signed several peace agreements and accords in the region, the minister said, including the Bodo accord and the Bru-Reang agreement signed in January 2020, the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) agreement signed in August 2019 and the Karbi Anglong agreement in September 2021 and the Assam-Meghalaya interstate boundary agreement in March 2022.”

“The efforts of the government to diminish capabilities of Left-wing extremists have caused a 265 per cent drop in violent incidents,” he added.

“India’s policy was always one of zero tolerance against terrorism. Whether it’s a bill to strengthen the UAPA law or a bill to amend the NIA Act. The Indian government left no stone unturned under PM Modi’s leadership,” the minister said.

“Modi government did not hesitate to ban an outfit (PFI) that promoted radicalisation on the pretext of social welfare, we conducted a thorough probe against the outfit and arrested its members. Action against radical organisations will continue,” Thakur added.

The Minister also highlighted rescue operations conducted by the government to help citizens abroad. Enlisting the details, he said, “22,500 citizens were rescued under Operation Ganga in February-March 2022, 670 Indian citizens were rescued from Afghanistan in Operation Devi Shakti, 1.83 crore citizens were brought back home during the COVID-19 crisis, and 654 Indians were rescued from Wuhan in China”.

The minister said that the government also offered a helping hand to foreign citizens in distress. He said, “155 people, including 2 Nepalese citizens, were brought back from South Sudan in 2016 under Operation Sankat Mochan. 5000 Indians along with 170 foreign nationals were rescued from Nepal during Operation Maitree. 6,710 people were rescued from Yemen under Operation Rahat including 1,962 foreigners.”

Adding to this, he said that India’s image as a benign nation has drawn attention as the government has stepped up to offer assistance to other countries in their times of crisis. The minister also stressed that India is seen as a country standing firm against terrorism, while a neighbouring country is known to shelter terrorism and encourage violence.

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