NSCN-IM indulging in violence: Chidambaram

New Delhi: Sending a clear message that violence does not pay, Home Minister P Chidambaram has accused Naga insurgent group NSCN-IM of indulging in kidnapping and other unlawful activities despite holding peace talks with the government.

Chidambaram also said security forces continue to be deployed in Manipur to ensure safety and security of Electronic Voting Machines(EVMs), polling personnel and the candidates.

"NSCN-IM is in talks with the Government of India. There is an interlocutor. But it is also true that NSCN-IM cadres along with some other organisations continue to indulge in kidnapping and some time violence," he told reporters here on Tuesday evening.

Condemning the recent violence perpetrated allegedly by NSCN-IM cadres, the Home Minister said though NSCN-IM leadership denied that their cadres were involved in most of these incidents, the government has enough intelligence which suggested that the insurgent group`s cadres were behind many of these incidents. "I hope that the message will go to the NSCN-IM or any other group that violence does not pay," he said.

Referring to the violence during the recent Manipur assembly elections, Chidambaram said he was unhappy that on the day of polling (January 28), there was a "bad" incident in Chandel. "But please remember, except for that incident (in which seven people were killed) and at the very beginning, when I think two Assam Rifles people were killed, by and large this election in Manipur has been violence-free," he said.

A person, posing as a voter, entered a polling station in Chandel district and started firing indiscriminately, killing a CRPF man, three polling persons and two voters. The shooter was also gunned down by CRPF personnel posted there.

Chidambaram said, "I am not saying entirely violence- free. By and large it has been violence-free and post elections, fortunately, there has not been much violence. Last time, I think post elections, 15 people were killed".

The Home Minister said the central government has placed adequate forces at the disposal of the Manipur government for the safety of the EVMs, counting places, polling personnel and the candidates.

"We have also told candidates to remain safe. Despite violence, polling percentage was over 82 per cent. That is the strongest rebuff that the people of Manipur can give to militant organisations. I condemn the violence but I am satisfied that the security forces did a splendid job of helping elections take place by and large peacefully," he said.