Violence on decline in NE: Report

Shillong, April 15: Violent incidents in the Northeast have gone down drastically in recent years, according to a report released by the Union ministry of home affairs.

In its annual report for 2015-16, the ministry stated that violent incidents in the Northeast have reduced from 1,489 in 2007 to 574 in 2015 (see chart).

However, the states of Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Meghalaya continue to account for the bulk of the insurgency-related incidents of violence in the region, the ministry noted.

"Tripura, Mizoram and Sikkim remained peaceful. In Arunachal Pradesh, barring a few incidents, there was a general atmosphere of peace," the report said.

The figures given in the report indicate that while 79 security personnel lost their lives in 2007, 49 died in 2015. Similarly, while 498 civilians were killed in violent incidents in 2007, the corresponding figure for 2015 was 46.

While giving a statewise picture of the security scenario, the report said the situation has improved in Assam since early 2010, with minor variations from year to year.

It noted the security forces have been able to contain activities of various insurgent groups operating in Assam and the law and order situation remarkably improved in 2015.

Assam recorded 81 incidents in 2015, and in these, 645 militants were arrested while 49 were killed. While no security personnel were killed, nine civilians lost their lives and 27 people were kidnapped.

For Meghalaya, the report said militant activities mainly by the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), which emerged in 2009, are centred on the five districts of Garo Hills and parts of West Khasi Hills.

"GNLA is indulging in extortion from shopkeepers, businessmen and coal merchants. Ulfa (I) and NSCN (I-M) are also active in Garo hills of Meghalaya," the report said.

The report noted the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), a Khasi militant group, which was "set up with encouragement and support from NSCN (I-M)", had suffered major reverses owing to sustained counter-insurgency operations.

"The outfit tried to revive its activities in Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills districts without any tangible success," it added.

At the same time, the report specifically said the Centre has decided "not to engage" in peace talks with the GNLA. Instead, it would go "all out" against the outfit.

Meghalaya reported 123 incidents last year where 121 extremists were arrested and 25 killed. In these incidents, seven security personnel and 12 civilians lost their lives. During the same period, 87 persons were kidnapped.

On Manipur, the report noted the state continues to account for a large number of incidents of violence in the Northeast. The state recorded 229 incidents where 805 extremists were arrested while 41 were killed. Twenty-four security personnel and 15 civilians were killed last year.

As far as Nagaland is concerned, the report said the violence has been mainly in the form of "inter-factional clashes" between different groups.

Nagaland reported 102 incidents where 268 militants were arrested while 29 were killed. Nine securitymen and an equal number of civilians were killed. At the same time, 78 people were kidnapped.

~The telegraph
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