EDITORIAL | Militancy on the wane in Northeast India: But can we maintain it?



People once knew Northeast India as the most volatile and insurgency ravaged place in the country after Kashmir.

But militancy in Northeast India is finally phasing out as violence in the region has almost ended, or so it seems!

You’re probably wondering why I say this. But look at states like Meghalaya and Tripura. These two states are almost completely free from militancy now.

Militant groups in Arunachal Pradesh are nowhere to be found, and Assam is on its way to becoming militant-free, especially with the recent surrender of 1,040 militants of five militant groups of Karbi Anglong.

But of course, the recent abduction of two Quippo employees by ULFA (I) in Arunachal Pradesh is troubling news.

But overall, violence in the entire Northeast can be pinpointed to a tri-junction between Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and north Nagaland.

Though the NSCN continues its violence in Nagaland and nearby Manipur, the entire Northeast region is in the clear.

According to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the Northeast will be free from militancy by 2022. So, let us all hope that these words come to fruition.

In Meghalaya, militancy suffered a crushing blow just before the elections in 2018 when the dreaded militant Sohan Shira was killed by Special Force-10 commandos of the Meghalaya Police.

Peace talks with militant outfits have brought some order to the northeastern region.

For example, peace talks and dialogue ended militancy in Mizoram.

Experiences such as the Mizo Peace Accord, however, have not been replicated.

The ugly head of insurgency rises if there is no proper state planning in terms of employment opportunities, lack of education, and basic amenities like roads. The rehabilitation process is one of the crucial phases to bring them (accidental guerrilla) to the table and mainstream society.

Northeast India has seen a sizeable portion of trouble in the land and the people and, to prevent another fiasco with the pandemic, which has changed the very landscape. David Petraeus, Former Director of Central Intelligence Agency, in his counterinsurgency guidance in 2010, rightly mentioned that the people are the centre of gravity.

With militancy almost out of the picture, people are now free to go about their lives without the fear of heading down for cover at any unexpected moment.

Although most militant groups believed themselves to be a shield to safeguard the indigenous people, customs and culture, they did more harm than good.

We are living in a sophisticated age where there are alternate ways to resolve conflicts.

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