The many measures taken by the Modi Government has led to militancy in the North East dying a natural death. But how did he make inroads?
One of the biggest achievements of the Narendra Modi government has been the handling of North East. The peace accord with the NSCN (IM) was aimed at long lasting peace and was also a step forward in removing contentious problems on the Naga issue.
Now, in a major development, the Last Bodo militant group left Myanmar and surrendered to Indian authorities. The surrender by the National Democratic Front of Boroland (S), which is a close ally of the Paresh Baruah led ULFA is being hailed as a masterstroke by security agencies.
When the Indian army carried out an operation along the Indo-Myanmar border there were several revelations and one among them was the presence of underground units of militant groups. The NSCN-K which had carried out the Manipur ambush in which 18 army personnel were killed had built a strong capacity along the border. Read more:
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval will press for the extradition of S S Khaplang the leader of the NSCN-K, a militant outfit which is said to be behind the Manipur attack in which 18 soldiers of the Indian army were killed.
The extradition of S S Khaplang is of extreme importance and India can no longer trust this person ever since he broke a 14 year old cease fire violation with New Delhi. Khaplang although aged 75 still has a good amount of control within Myanmar.
There appears to be no respite what so ever at Assam. Various commissions have visited Assam and have come out with different versions of the conflict. While some believe it is communal others say that it is an ethnic conflict which has caused the problem.
However now the Intelligence Bureau has decided to raise the alert against some groups in Assam which they believe is being funded by other nations in order to keep the issue boiling as a result of which the goal of instability could be achieved.
According to the information available there are five militant groups that still active in Assam. Even the information with the Intelligence Bureau would suggest that the militant groups that are active in Assam are the Paresh Baruah faction of UlfA, Ranjan Daimary faction of National Democratic Front of Boroland, Karbi People’s Liberation Tiger (KPLT), Muslim United Liberation Tiger of Assam (MULTA) and Harkat-ul-Mujahedeen (HuM).
While these groups are fighting various issues, Indian agencies believe that groups such as the Muslim United Liberation Tiger of Assam and the Harkat-ul-Mujahedeen could be well taking advantage of the situation. While the HuM has not been too active in Assam, it is the MULTA and its subsidiary United Muslim Nationalist Army which could just be adding fire to the already volatile situation.
IB sources say that this violence was something that started off as a conflict for land. However as the days progressed there was no respite and the situation only worsened. Even today when people think that calm has returned the situation continues to remain volatile.
Although the Indian security forces are battling day and night to bring about some calm, there are a few elements within these terrorist organisations which continue to keep the fight alive. It is a fight between two communities at the end of it and this is the kind of situation that terrorist groups thrive on. Intelligence would suggest that there is already a process on to pick and chose those families and youths who have been aggrieved by this violence. The riot would be a good platform for ISI sponsored groups to recruit more forces and also propagate their agenda. While the issue on hand is land, for the sponsors of these terrorist group there is only one agenda and that is instability.
For quite some time the infiltration from Bangladesh into Assam had stopped. However this is a situation that would taken advantage of and in the name of protecting their folk there is likely to be a rise in the infiltration too, sources also pointed out.
The IB has been keeping a watch on local groups involved in the conflict. But they are aware that the bigger watch ought to be kept on some Islamic outfits who get their funding from outside the country. This is a bigger problem for us as we do not want any sort of international hand in this matter as it could only get worse in the long run.
The radar is very high on the MULTA, an outfit that was founded in the year 1995. The main reason behind the setting up of this outfit was to coordinate the activities of the Islamic terrorist elements in the North East. According to India this outfit got shape with the help of the ISI and even in the Assam legislative assembly it was said that this outfit was drawn out by the ISI in order to create problems by using the religious sentiments of the minority in Assam.
The MULTA has always been mobilising its forces in the form of Muslim youth in Assam. The worry now is that they have got a good plank to step up their operations and aggrieved youth have always been a good bet for them. The links of the MULTA do not just remain in Assam. They have their links in Nagaland and also in Jammu and Kashmir. In the past it has been seen that forces have been exchanged with their counterparts in those states in a bid to wage Jihad against India.
The IB also has its focus on this new found outfit called the United Muslim Nationalist Army. A relatively new outfit, the Bodos believe that this is the outfit which has been responsible for the violence as they were the ones who triggered it in the first place. According to the IB, the UMNA is just an off shoot of the MULTA which is operating under a different name.
Looking at the modus operandi this time around it becomes clear that there was a foreign hand. The ammunition that were found and also the funding does indicate that there was outside funding for this violence, the Intelligence Bureau points out. The issue between the immigrants and the local tribes was always there. But these militant outfits did make good use of the conflict and worsened the situation at a time when many other groups had decided to sit across the table and speak.
Security experts say that there is a dire need to keep these outfits in check. They can cause a problem at any given time and the fact that these are outfits which have been born out of an ISI blessing makes the situation even more dangerous especially when the situation is this volatile the minorities this vulnerable.