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Army chief’s comment on Assam’s party AIUDF sparks of controversy

Last Modified Thursday, 22 February 2018 (12:27 IST)
New Delhi: Pointing to the need to identify the factors responsible for the demographic changes in the North Eastern India, General on Wednesday cited two reasons for from – lack of space mainly in monsoon in Bangladesh and encouragement from India’s Western neighbor to fuel the illegal influx of settlers. 

In his concluding remarks while addressing a seminar on `North East Region of India: Bridging gaps and Securing Borders’’, the Army Chief said: “Migration from Bangladesh is due to two reasons. One is they are running out of space. Large areas get flooded during monsoon and they have constricted area for its population to stay. The other issue is planned immigration is taking place because of our Western neighbour. They will always try and ensure that this area is taken over. It is playing the proxy dimension of warfare.”

In his opinion, the solution would need to identify the problems and then holistically looking at the perspective would be the main issue. On Siliguri Corridor, Gen Rawat said: ``It is a vulnerability, but it can be well taken care of. The first issue is identifying the problems and then adopting a step by step approach to solve them.’’ He said the government is looking at the North East in correct perspective and the time is not far when the speedy development would take place in all areas. 

Referring to party, the Army Chief said it has grown in a faster time frame than the over the past few years. `` When we talk of Jan Sangh with two Members of Parliament … where the AIUDF is moving at a faster pace in Assam. Finally, what will be the state of Assam? We will have to take a call. We have to appreciate to live with all the people who live in the region irrespective of caste, creed, religion and sex.’’ 

Earlier, former NSA Shiv Shankar Menon spoke about the stand-off in Doklam with China and lauded the tough stand taken by the government. In his opinion China acted the way it did in Doklam was to show Bhutan that India could not be relied to defend the Himalayan Kingdom. 

``One reason behind Doklam last year was not because they had a clear military option or superiority, but they had the political goal of splitting us from Bhutanese. To show the Bhutanese that India could not defend their security and also to arouse Bhutanese opinion. I am glad we chose to react the way we did,’’ Mr Menon said. Doklam lies strategically at the tri-junction of India, Bhutan and China. 
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