- This marks Amit Shah's first visit to the region since Assam elections
- Amit Shah expected to discuss COVID-19 situation in the region
- Law and order in the northeast is also likely to be a topic of discussion
Union Home Minister Amit Shah is in Meghalaya's Shillong today to begin a two-day visit to the northeastern part of the country. This is Mr Shah's first visit to the region since the April-May election in Assam, in which the BJP swept to victory. Both Mr Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were active on the campaign trail for that win.
Among his more important engagements will be a closed-door meeting of the chief ministers, chief secretaries and police chiefs of the eight northeast states, at which interstate border issues might be discussed, officials have told news agency PTI.
The eight northeastern states are Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. Border rows between these states are not uncommon; earlier this month tension between Assam and Mizoram spiked over alleged encroachment into forest land.
The meeting is also expected to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the region, which has seen a worrying spike in new cases and dozens of districts reporting positivity rates over 10 per cent.
Law and order in the northeast is also likely to be a topic of discussion.
Mr Shah and the chief ministers will meet at NESAC, or the North Eastern Space Applications Centre, where he will also review work done by the space science and tech organisation.
G Kishan Reddy, the minister for development of the northeast, Jitendra Singh, MoS Science & Tech and Space, and ISRO Chairman K Sivan will be part of the NESAC review.
Other engagements for Mr Shah include the inauguration of an inter-state bus terminus at Mawiong on the outskirts of Shillong, and a cryogenic plant at the New Shillong Township.
He is also scheduled to visit Sohra (erstwhile Cherrapunji) on Sunday to inaugurate an afforestation project and the Greater Sohra Water Supply Scheme, and is also scheduled to visit the Ramakrishna Mission's ashram.
Security has been increased in the northeast ahead of Mr Shah's visit.
Police and paramilitary forces have been directed to keep a strict vigil and intensify patrolling in Shillong, and all markets and business establishments have been ordered to shut today and tomorrow, despite relaxations in the Covid lockdown, a senior home department official told PTI.
With input from PTI