North East Insurgency

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    In News

    • The People’s Liberation Army and the Manipur Naga People’s Front have jointly claimed responsibility for the recent ambush of an Assam Rifles convoy in Manipur.

     

    Image Courtesy: FE  

    Reasons for recent ambush

    • Porous border: 
      • The international border with Myanmar is porous and there is a free movement of locals on either side. 
      • This gives easy access to unlawful activities by the insurgent groups which can range from gun-running, smuggling of drugs and timber which generate revenue streams for these insurgent groups to sustain their activities.
    • Revenge killing: 
      • To target the Commanding Officer of an Assam Rifles battalion must have been undertaken as a revenge killing, knowing fully well that a strong retaliation will follow.
    • ZRA’s security lapse: 
      • Bahiang, where the attack has taken place, borders Myanmar but falls under the territorial jurisdiction of the Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA), a powerful insurgent group in Churachandpur. 
      • How the PLA could have operated in this area without ZRA permission, and have pointed to ZRA’s security lapse.
    • Myanmar coup: 
      • Insurgent leaders have also pointed to the Myanmar coup as a reason for both the revival of insurgent activity as well as the choice of Churachandpur district. 
      • An active People’s Defence Force, the armed wing of the National Unity Government, which claims to be Myanmar’s legitimate government, is believed to have pushed Indian insurgent groups towards the Indian border.

    Background of insurgent Groups In Manipur

    • The United National Liberation Front (UNLF) was formed in the 1960s owing to resentment among a portion of Meitei society over Manipur’s merger into the Union of India. This led to the beginning of the insurgency in Manipur.
    • Later, various more insurgent organisations arose to demand the independence of Manipur.
    • The Meiteis were further radicalised by the creation of the People’s Liberation Army.
    • After separating from the UNLF in 1969, N Bisheshwar founded the People’s Liberation Army. 
    • The goal was to free the northeastern area via a meticulously organised revolutionary revolt. This was used as a basis for ‘liberating’ the rest of India.” 
    • Bisheswar claimed to have built his organisation on Marxism-Leninism and Mao’s ideas, as well as appealing to the Naga and Mizo groups to join the PLA. 
    • The Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF), the PLA’s political branch, was founded in 1979.
    • The Manipur Naga People’s Front (MNPF), which claimed responsibility for the attack, claims it arose from a combination of two Naga underground organisations operating in Manipur.
    • Valley groups in Manipur: There are six main valley groups in Manipur: 
    • UNLF, 
    • PLA, 
    • KCP, 
    • KYKL, 
    • PREPAK, 
    • MPLF 
    • – apart from numerous splinter groups from each. 
    • All the groups operate out of Myanmar and raise funds for operations and arms largely through extortion
    • They use guerrilla tactics in their operations and the attacks on Indian security forces in the northeast are largely carried out by these groups. 

     

    Solutions

    • The political leadership and the bureaucracy have to step up their efforts to interact with the tribal leaders and bring about a consensus amongst all to bring about peace.
    • The Assam Rifles and the Indian Army since independence have been working towards creating a peaceful environment for the civil government to function.
    • Rampant corruption, lack of infrastructure, basic amenities as well as forces inimical to peace and tranquillity in the region keep the flames burning to meet their ends. It needs to be taken care of. 

    Source: IE