Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday held a meeting of the Eastern Zone Council (EZC) in West Bengal.
The Union Home Ministry with Amit Shah chaired the 25th Eastern Zonal Council meeting on Saturday. The meeting was attended by the Chief Ministers of West Bengal and Jharkhand, the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Ministers from Odisha, and other senior officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the States under the Council.
During the meeting, he urged Chief Ministers of states to share the responsibility along with the Border Security Force (BSF) for security in India’s border areas.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said in the past eight years under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, more than 1,000 issues were discussed in the meetings of the Zonal Councils and 93 percent of them were resolved, which is a tremendous achievement.
Shah, who is the chairman of the council, was accompanied by five home ministry officials at the meeting that began around 11 am and lasted for a little over two hours. According to a senior official, several issues including illegal infiltration, trans-border smuggling, and the vulnerable India-Bangladesh boundary were discussed at the 25th EZC meeting.
“Chaired the 25th Eastern Zonal Council meeting today in Kolkata. In the last 8 years, under PM @narendramodi Ji’s leadership, more than 1,000 issues were discussed in the Zonal Councils meeting and 93% of them were resolved with mutual consent in a positive atmosphere (sic),” Shah wrote on Twitter.
The official said that talks on transportation facilities and water-sharing among the states were also held. Apart from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, Bihar deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav and Odisha minister Pradeep Amat were in attendance at the meeting.
The role of BSF was discussed, in light of the increase in the operational area of the border force earlier this year. In response, according to sources, the home minister is believed to have indicated that the state governments too have a role to play in border security, according to sources.
The meeting also discussed the resurgence of Maoist activities in Jharkhand-Odisha and Bengal. It was decided that states and centres will pool real-time information on Maoist activities in the red zone in order to coordinate steps to neutralize the movement, officials said.
West Bengal Chief Minister also emphasized that arms are being smuggled into Bengal from neighboring states and coordinated steps are needed to check this menace.
The Union Home Minister said that the Union government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done a lot of work in the past years in the direction of developing infrastructure in the States of the Eastern region.
He said that States of the Eastern region has a major share in the vision of the Prime Minister’s Gati Shakti Scheme, as Modi has always given thrust on the development of this region. Shah said that in the next 25 years, during the Azadi ka Amrit Kaal, the Eastern region of the country will play an important role in the development of India.
He said, the 25th Eastern Zonal Council meeting was held in a good and positive atmosphere, and a consensus was achieved on many issues while pending issues will also be resolved through consultations.
The Union Home Minister said that Left Wing Extremism has almost been eliminated from the Eastern region of the country and efforts should be made to sustain this decisive dominance over Left Wing Extremism. He stressed that efforts should be sustained as extremism should not re-emerge in LWE-free States and that these States should develop at par with other parts of the country.
The Union Home Minister urged the Chief Minister to ensure the creation of a district-level structure of the NCORD mechanism and its regular meetings for the prevention of narcotics. He said the fight against drugs in the country is now at a crucial stage and there is a need to accelerate the campaign against drugs with the help of Artificial Intelligence.
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and Odisha’s Naveen Patnaik skipped Saturday’s session. Shah later met the Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at her chamber on the 14th floor of the secretariat, the official said.