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Three states prone to violence: Report

Andrew w. Lyngdoh

Shillong, Apr 13
: Assam, Manipur and Meghalaya continue to account for the bulk of insurgency-related incidents in the Northeast although the incidents have steadily increased in Meghalaya in the last eight years compared to the other militancy-inflicted states if statistics provided by the Union ministry of home affairs are anything to go by.

"The security situation in some of the northeastern states, which has remained complex for quite some time because of diverse demands advocated by various militant outfits, has been gradually improving in terms of reduction in violent incidents/civilians killed/security forces killed etc. in 2013 and 2014. However, in Assam casualties have gone up because of terrorist attacks by anti-talks faction of National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB/Songbijit group) in December 2014," the ministry's annual report for 2014-15 stated.

While comparing the situation in the Northeast during the past eight years, the report pointed out that violent incidents have come down from 1,489 in 2007 to 824 in 2014 and the number of civilians killed has decreased from 498 to 212 during the same period.

In 2014, 212 civilians and 20 security personnel were killed in the 824 militant-related activities in the Northeast (See chart).

In 2013, 107 civilians and 18 security forces were killed in 732 incidents.

A comparative analysis of the violent incidents reveals that in 2007, Assam had recorded a figure of 474 while in 2014, the figure had dropped to 246. In 2007, Manipur had recorded a figure of 584 while the same in 2014 was 278.

Nagaland has also shown a marked improvement with 77 incidents in 2014 compared to 272 incidents in 2007.

While the figures in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland have significantly dropped, the narrative for Meghalaya was different. From 28 incidents in 2007, Meghalaya recorded 179 extremist-related incidents in 2014.

According to the home ministry, militant activities in Meghalaya are centred around the five districts of Garo hills while the adjoining West Khasi Hills, which has a substantial Garo population, is also affected by Garo militancy.

At the same time, it pointed out that various militant groups of the neighbouring states like Ulfa (I), National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB-S), National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) and others have been "using the Garo hills corridor for sneaking in and out of Bangladesh" taking advantage of the adverse geographical conditions and the remoteness of the area.

"The militant outfits of the neighbouring states have encouraged, trained and nurtured the Garo militant groups like the A'chik National Volunteers' Council (ANVC) and Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), Ulfa (I), NDFB(S), UALA and NSCN (I-M) also have their 'command structure' in Garo hills," the report stated. However, the ANVC was disbanded in December last year in Tura, West Garo hills, along with its breakaway faction, the ANVC (B), after a memorandum of settlement (MoS) was signed with the outfits in September 2014.

For Assam, the report pointed out that barring a few incidents of violence, the security situation has improved since early 2010 with minor variations from year to year. However, it stated that casualties had gone up because of terrorist attacks by NDFB (S) in December 2014.