NE insurgency down, Nagaland and Manipur still a worry

NE insurgency down, Nagaland and Manipur still a worry

Soldiers stand guard on a street in Kohima, capital of the northeastern Indian state of Nagaland (PTI Photo)

Nagaland and Manipur continued to be a worry for security agencies, even as insurgency-related incidents in the entire Northeast saw a 66% decline in 2018 compared to 2013.

The annual report of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) 2018-19 stated that Manipur, where several factions of militant groups are still active, remained the most violent state, accounting for about 50% of the total insurgency-related violence. The year saw a total of 252 militancy related incidents, of which 127 were in Manipur alone. Meitei insurgent groups were found involved in 57% incidents - which included killings of six security personnel and five civilians.

At least 10 militants were killed by security forces, 404 arrested and 99 weapons seized in the state.

Nagland was the only state in the region where insurgency-related incidents increased in 2018. The state has militant groups like NSCN-IM, factions of NSCN (K) and NSCN (NK).

Though steps have been taken by the government from time to time to control insurgency, the NSCN factions continue to indulge in factional violence and other violent/illegal activities, affecting normal life in the state. There was an increase in violent incidents and kidnapping cases in 2018,” said the recently released report.

Four militants were killed during counter-insurgency, while 181 others were arrested and 64 weapons were seized during the year.

Northeast, Jammu and Kashmir and states affected by Left-wing extremism are the three major areas of focus as far as the security map of the country is concerned.

The Northeast, however, saw an 18% dip in insurgency-related incidents during 2018 compared to the previous year, with most major militant groups were in a ceasefire with the government and were engaged in peace talks.

In 2018, insurgency-related violence declined by 48% in Meghalaya, 40% in Arunachal Pradesh, 16% in Assam and 24% in Manipur compared to 2017, said the report.

Arunachal Pradesh does not have any active indigenous insurgent group but is affected by spill-over militant activities of Nagaland and Assam-based groups, who frequent the state to reach their shelter camps in Myanmar.

The NSCN is often referred as the mother of all insurgent groups in the Northeast and the "positive development" in the negotiation reached on October 31 between the government and the Nagaland-based rebel group, however, has raised hope of lasting peace in the region.