Insurgencies of the Northeast

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    In Context

    • The recent ambush and killings have once again brought the continuing insurgencies in the Northeast to the fore.

    Reasons for armed insurgency/conflicts

    • Unique tribal & ethnic divisions: Ethno- communal conflicts, local vs migrants, dominant tribal groups (Nagas raising, NSCN (IM) & (K), ULFA etc). 
    • Historical reasons for the conflict: Historical connections among tribes are large of Tibeto-Burman/Mongloid (Ethnically, linguistically & culturally very distinct.)
    • Physiographic constraints: Mountain terrains make it difficult for security forces to track borders.
    • Governance issues: Lack of Politico-administrative arrangement, corruption, nexus b/w political & insurgent groups & Lack of Law & order
    • Porous borders & arms availability: Result in arms & drugs trafficking (Golden Triangle), illegal immigration.
    • Development Issues: Like poverty, unemployment, lack of connectivity, feeling of neglect etc, limited FDI inflow etc.

    Challenges in tackling insurgencies

    • Lack of coordination among agencies, Dual role of Assam Riffles, Poor connectivity, & lack of development.

    Importance of NE Region

    • National Security: Region shares an international border with the neighbouring countries.
      • NE is a landlocked region, the Siliguri Corridor connects the NE Region with mainland India. 
    • Economic Importance: Resource-rich region, tourism & export potential, called growth engine of the country.
    • Carbon Sink: Dense forest cover can play a huge role in such endeavour.
    • Act East Policy: Potential to act as the Indian ‘Gateway to SouthEast Asia’. 

    Government response to tackle insurgencies

    • Development Level: 
      • NE Road Sector Development Scheme, National Bamboo Mission, Mahabahu-Brahmaputra inland waterway project, Dhubri Phulbari bridge.
    • Cultural Level: 
      • North Eastern Cultural and Information Centre, Tribal Festivals.
    • Security Level: 
      • Declaration of Protected Area/Restricted Areas( no foreigner can visit prior permission), AFSPA,  
    • International Level:
      • Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Project, Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Corridor, Strengthening Act East Policy (Agartala-Akhaura Rail Link, 
    • Political & administrative.Level: 
      • Schedule 6 of Constitution, Establishment of Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Nagaland Peace Accord, Bodo Peace Accord, Bru Settlement & North Eastern Council & Digital North East Vision 2022.

    Way Forward

    • Protracted efforts by the Security Forces, involvement of interlocutors, participation of social groups and reconciliation by various insurgent groups.

    Source: FE