Hurdles to Overcoming Insurgency in North East

Hurdles to Overcoming Insurgency in North East

Question: The killing on June 4 in Manipur’s Chandel district of 20 Army personnel of the 6 Dogra Regiment is only one of many attacks by militants in the NE region. Reactive measures are not the solution for lasting peace in the Northeast. Myanmar’s cooperation is needed to ensure body security. Elaborate

• Reactive means have not succeeded in bringing lasting peace to the Northeast

• Arrest of key leaders and defections and splits within militant outfits has ensured militancy is weakened; however it has not been wiped out

• Government of Myanmar has shown willingness to act and taken some action against Indian Insurgent Groups/IIGs

• However, IIGs continue to operate through Myanmar despite repeated assurances from the government against the same

• Without Myanmar’s cooperation, similar to Bhutan in 2003 and Bangladesh since 2009, militancy in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland cannot be stopped

• Since 1994 MoU for combating militancy in NE region, annual security negotiations between the two nations have been conducted at the following levels:
- Home Secretary
- Joint Secretary

• Myanmar has suffered from the following drawbacks that make peace across the border remote:

• It has not yet reached country wide ceasefire with armed ethnic groups within its domestic borders; this includes NSCN-K

• It has never exceeded short duration operations and small areas against militants despite being supplied with weapons and equipment by India

• Myanmar’s local military receives protection money from these groups which are insurgents

• India has also been inadequately staffed as far as the military is concerned Example: A paper submitted by the National Security Advisory Board in 2010 point to the fact that a 46 battalion strong Assam Rifles stations its forces 40 km away from the border because it is short in numbers; 31 battalions are deployed in activities to counter insurgency while 15 battalions are only available for guarding the risky border

• Ministry of Defence and MHA have also been at odds over the operational control of the paramilitary forces

• Proposal to replace Assam Rifles with Border Security Force has been negated by the present regime

• Militants need to be eliminated through cooperation with neighbouring states, otherwise militancy in the NE region will never be wiped out or example: 2014 massacre by National Democratic Front in Bodoland(Assam) and army operation that neutralised 150 of its cadres did not eliminate militancy from Manipur

Facts and Stats

• Incidence of insurgency has done down in recent times over the past 5 years except 2012

• At one point in time, Manipur had close to 30 militant outfits operating from it

• In the last 5 years, the state has reported lower than 100 insurgency related deaths each year

• Since 2008, annual fatalities in NE region amidst security forces was pegged lower than 20
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