MHA Review of North East 2018- Low Violence | Security Risks Asia Made with Humane Club

MHA Review of North East 2018- Low Violence

Published Dec 15, 2018
Updated Jun 06, 2020

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Government of India underlined a peaceful North-East: lifting of AFPSA from Meghalaya & parts of Arunachal rollout of Draft NRC; pacts with more insurgent groups as significant success in the North East.

The Review states, that the security scenario in the North East is constantly improving. Last year recorded the lowest insurgency incidents and casualties among the civilians and security forces in two decades since 1997. While there is almost no insurgency left in Tripura and Mizoram, there has been a marked improvement in security situation in other States of the region. In the last four years since 2014, there has been 63% reduction in insurgency incidents in the region. Similarly, there is huge reduction of 83% in civilian deaths and 40% in SF casualties in 2017, compared to 2014.

 Further, the lifting of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from all areas of Meghalaya on 31st March is illustration of the vast improving security scenario in the NER. In Arunachal Pradesh also, areas under AFSPA have been reduced from 16 PS/Outposts areas bordering Assam to 8 Police Stations, besides Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts.

The Centre extended ceasefire for one more year with NSCN/NK and NSCN/R wef 28th April.

Continuing with the North-East, in a major breakthrough on repatriation of displaced Bru persons from Mizoram since 1997, an agreement was signed on 3rd July by Government of India, Governments of Mizoram and Tripura and Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF) in presence of Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh, Chief Minister of Mizoram, Shri Lalthanhawla and Chief Minister of Tripura, Shri Biplab Kumar Deb.

The incident-free rollout of Draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a significant achievement. On 25th July, MHA issued guidelines to Assam State Government and neighbouring States to ensure maintenance of law & order in the run-up to and post-publication of Draft NRC on July 30, 2018. In the run-up to Draft NRC publication in Assam, Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh issued separate statements on 22nd & 30th July assuring that every individual will get justice and will be treated in a humane manner.

Union Home Minister chaired the 67th Plenary Session of the North Eastern Council (NEC) in Shillong on July 9-10, 2018. HM urged the eight member states for effective implementation of the recently approved financial package of Rs 4,500 crore by the Centre and directed them to focus on specific areas and better convergence of the govt. sponsored schemes.

 Comments – Challenges for 2019. The North East continues to remain under the influence of multiple slow burning insurgencies which are in the sim fire mode and while violence is at a low till the embers are not completely burnt out there is likely to remain a threat of a comeback by the multitude of militant groups which have a large footprint in many parts of the State.

For instance the ULFA (I) a group that was dormant for long has been successful in carrying out at least three major attacks and the outfit is threatening to expand influence by additional recruitments, using the dissatisfaction generated over the NRC as well as the Citizenship Amendment Bill. While NRC has been rolled out there are portends of unrest as over 4 million citizens have been declared as void in the Register.

What will the fate of these remains to be seen? Breakthrough in talks with the NSCN IM has remained elusive as these have entered the fourth year now. While NSCN Khaplang faction has seen a geographic split between the Indian and Myanmar groups, the latter continues to remain a force in being and may cause concerns in the future.