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Sonia’s tough stand on militant activities
Correspondent Shillong , Dec 20 (Agencies):
Published on 21 Dec. 2010 12:15 AM IST
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Congress president Sonia Gandhi has advocated tough measures against militants in the north east while underlining the need to keep doors for negotiations open.
In her speech at the 83rd Congress Plenary session, the Congress president militant groups disrupted peace an normalcy in parts of the region and have turned extortionist. She cautioned that governments would not be serving national interests if the true character of those who indulged in use of threats and violence as an instrument, were ignored. She said such elements need to be combated with all resources under the government.
At the same time, Sonia also stressed on the need to keep alive the options for negotiated settlement in various parts of the country where the situation was disturbed.
She reminded that peaceful negotiations during the tenure of late Rajiv Gandhi brought peace back in Punjab, Assam, Mizoram, Tripura and Darjeeling. Negotiation was the only way to reconciliation and enduring peace, she said. “To make this approach truly meaningful we must be sensitive to understanding what causes this violence and keeps it going. In some areas, long-unresolved socio-economic issues provide a fertile ground for anti-national forces to operate and generate sympathy,” she observed.
While addressing the problems in Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalism, Sonia also said the issue of communalism was the abuse of religion for narrow political purposes. She said abuse of religion was to spread hatred and bigotry and polarise society and create divisions.
She cautioned that the government cannot ignore the pernicious impact of individuals, institutions and ideologies that distort the nation’s history and which thrive on spreading religious prejudice and that incite people to violence using religion as a cover.
The Congress president said her party made no distinction between organisations of the majority and of the minority communities who indulge in

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