Let’s turn to Left-Wing Extremism (LWE), which is a major security threat to our elected democracy. How do you assess the situation?
I am sure that you may be aware of the fact that security forces have gained unprecedented success in areas held under the Maoist sway. It would not be wrong to say that we have gained much more on the ground in the past two years, when compared with what we had gained in 20 years. Extremists are surrendering. Many of their top commanders have been killed in encounters with security forces. At the same time, we are taking up various initiatives to speed up development work and create employment for the youth. It is a multi-pronged approach that has been bearing fruit.
It is in this context that I asked you a question about the state turning to machismo. Is it not a fact that the state has developed a tendency to use excessive force on issues related to internal security?
This is mischievous propaganda that has nothing to do with reality. Our security forces resort to coercive powers quite sparingly in extraordinary situations only when it is necessary. As I told you earlier, our government’s cardinal principle is that we shall not tolerate violence. If there is any issue, dialogue and not violence is the method to resolve it.
How much are you convinced about the efficacy of the framework for Naga peace accord?
This framework will pave the way for restoring peace in the troubled regions of the North East. I am very optimistic about its efficacy.