Security Situation in the North Eastern States of India

  • The Standing Committee on Home Affairs (Chair: Mr. P. Chidambaram) submitted its report on the ‘Security Situation in the North Eastern States of India’ on July 19, 2018. The Committee observed that insurgency-related incidents have declined in the north east and the overall security situation has improved.  Key observations and recommendations of the Committee include:
     
  • Arunachal Pradesh: The Committee observed that, unlike other states, Arunachal Pradesh has seen a rise in the number of insurgency-related incidents and civilian casualties.  The number of such incidents has risen from 5% in 2012 to almost 20% in 2017.  The Committee recommended that the government intensify its efforts to contain spillover insurgency activities from other states in Arunachal Pradesh.  It further recommended that the Ministry of Home Affairs (Ministry) should strengthen the cooperation and interaction between the police forces of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to reduce incidents in the border areas of Arunachal Pradesh.
     
  • Assam: The Committee noted that Assam has the highest rate of violent crimes among all states of India.  This could be attributed to poor rehabilitation and settlement of surrendered insurgents.  It recommended that the central government closely monitor their activities in coordination with the state government.  
     
  • Application of Armed Forces (Special powers) Act (AFSPA): The Committee noted that on one hand, the Ministry has stated that there has been an improvement in the security situation in Assam.  However, on the other hand, the area declared as disturbed under the AFSPA has increased.  The Committee also noted that the state government of Assam has notified the whole state as a disturbed area.  The Committee recommended that the central and state government hold discussions on the issue and come to a conclusion about the necessity of AFSPA in Assam.
     
  • The Committee also noted that a large number of victims kidnapped in Assam in 2016 are still missing. It noted that more than 81% of these victims are female and that there may be a connection between these abductions and human trafficking.  The Committee recommended that an interstate investigation be carried to find out reasons for the high rate of kidnapping of women.  
     
  • The Committee also noted that the interlocutor appointed to hold talks with Assam-based insurgent groups had been reassigned to Kashmir. The Committee expressed its apprehension that this may result in insurgent groups becoming restive and resorting to illegal activities.  It recommended the appointment of an interlocutor for Assam.
     
  • Manipur: The Committee observed that Manipur accounted for 54% of the total number of violent incidents in the entire north eastern region during 2017.  Moreover, the number of civilian casualties more than doubled during 2017 as compared to the previous year.  The Committee recommended that the government intensify the pace of engagement with insurgent groups to arrive at a settlement.
     
  • Nagaland: The Committee noted that there was a delay in concluding the Naga Peace Talks, which had resulted in growing unrest among the Naga Tribal Hohos.  The Committee recommended that the government conclude peace talks at the earliest.  It further recommended that the Ministry prepare a generous rehabilitation-cum-settlement scheme for the insurgent outfits, who will surrender as a part of the agreement.  This will avoid emergence of any rebel groups.
     
  • Mizoram: The Committee recommended re-starting repatriation of the Brus community (an ethnic tribe) to Mizoram and offering financial assistance and rehabilitation packages to ensure their peaceful rehabilitation.  The Committee also recommended the Ministry to institute security measures in relief camps and in the areas where Brus are to be rehabilitated in order to block any potential protests.  
     
  • Modernisation of Police Forces: The Committee noted that the funds provided to the north eastern states under the Modernisation of Police Forces Scheme reduced from Rs 180 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 46 crores in 2016-17.  It recommended that the Ministry increase the allocation of funds to the north eastern states during the current financial year to adequately modernise their police forces.

 

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