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INTERNAL CHALLENGES

Maoists In Gadhchiroli Seem To Be Maintaining Strategic Restraint

The declining trend in violence does not necessarily imply that Maoist capacities are at a terminal stage.

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On May 17, 2020, two Police personnel, Sub-Inspector Dhannaji Honmane and constable Kishore Atram, were killed and another three were injured in an exchange of fire with Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres in the Poyerkothi-Koparshi forested area under Bhamragarh Tehsil (revenue unit) in Gadchiroli District.

The Superintendent of Police (SP) Shailesh Balkawade disclosed that the gun-battle took place when Maoists opened fire at a Quick Response Team (QRT) from Bhamragarh and C-60 commandos of Gadchiroli Police, who were out on a joint anti-Naxal [Left Wing Extremism, LWE] operation.

On May 2, 2020, a senior CPI-Maoist woman ‘commander’ was killed in an encounter with Security Forces (SFs) in the forests of Sinbhatti under the Pendhra Division near Jaravandi village under Jarawandi Police Station limits in Gadchiroli District.


The slain ‘commander’, identified as Sujanakka aka Chinakka aka Jaini (48), was on the wanted list of the Police in Maharashtra, Telangana, and Chhattisgarh. She carried a reward of INR 1.6 million on her head. SP Balkawade stated, “Sujanakka had joined the Naxal movement in 1988 and was the wife of CPI-Maoist Central Committee member Devji. She was involved in 144 crimes, including ambushes on Police and civilian murders.” Sujanakka was the ‘divisional commander’ of Kasansur Dalam (armed squad) in Gadchiroli at the time of her death.

On April 8, 2020, Maoists shot dead a former Special Police Officer (SPO), identified as Jivte Ramteke (45), after branding him a ‘police informer’ at Kohoka-Mokasa village under Kotgul Police Station limits in Gadchiroli District. The Maoists reached his village and dragged Ramteke out of his house and shot him dead. Reports indicate that the Maoists had earlier, erected a banner mentioning Jivte’s name and warning him of dire consequences for ‘making money’ by becoming a ‘police informer’.

According to partial data collated by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), Gadchiroli has recorded six fatalities (two civilians, two SF personnel, and two Maoists) in Maoist-linked violence this year, so far (data till June 7, 2020).


During the corresponding period of 2019, 39 fatalities (13 civilians, 15 SF personnel and 11 Maoists) were recorded in the District. Total fatalities through 2019 stood at 50 (18 civilians, 15 SF personnel and 17 Maoists) lower than the 58 fatalities (five civilians, two SF personnel and 51 Maoists) recorded in 2018.

Overall fatalities had increased for three consecutive years between 2016 and 2018 – 22 in 2016, 24 in 2017, and 58 in 2018. Notably, fatalities in 2015 were the lowest recorded in the District since 2008 when the District had recorded 13 fatalities.

Since March 6, 2000, when SATP started compiling data on LWE-linked violence across India, Gadchiroli has recorded 613 fatalities (176 civilians, 165 SF personnel, 260 Maoists and 12 Not Specified). After reaching a peak of 99 fatalities (10 civilians, 52 SFs and 37 Maoists) in 2009 the District saw a decline in the level of violence, though a cyclical trend has been observed thereafter.

The decline in overall fatalities in the District in the current year demonstrate that the tremendous success achieved by the SFs against the Maoists in the District in 2018 has now started to show real impact on the ground.

Significantly, 40 Maoists were killed at one go in the Kasnasur-Boriya area of Etapalli Tehsil in twin encounters on April 22 and 23, 2018. During the year a total of 51 Maoists were killed, the maximum in a single year.


Moreover, combing operations and raids have resulted in the arrest of seven Maoists in the District in the current year (data till June 7, 2020), in addition to 10 in 2019 and 11 in 2018. Mounting SF pressure has led to surrender of 50 Maoists since 2018 (16 in 2018, 33 in 2019 and one in 2020).

Vilas Kolha (44), a former ‘divisional commander’ of the CPI-Maoist Chatgaon Dalam, who surrendered before Gadchiroli Police on February 28, 2020, sees an uncertain future for the armed rebel movement in the District. Kolha, who was wanted in over 147 cases in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, including 22 murders and several cases of firing on the Police, revealed:

“The party seniors goad us to regroup the Dalams, revive the village base by getting close to people and execute some reverses on the police but now it’s a tough ask. Youngsters are no longer coming to us. Unlike in the past, there is no support from villagers as police are winning them over some or the other way (sic).”

Clearly, there is waning support from villagers, resulting in declining recruitment of cadres.

Nevertheless, worries remain. 2019 accounted for the maximum civilian fatalities, 18, since 2011, when there were 36 fatalities in this category. Similarly, in 2019, 15 SF personnel were killed, the highest since 2009, when there were 52 fatalities in this category.

Further, a February 3, 2020, report, revealed that, even though the number of Maoist attacks in the District was on the decline, there had been a massive rise in the destruction of private property by Maoists over the preceding three years. SP Gadchiroli, Balkawade thus noted:

“Recently, Naxals have prioritized disrupting road construction work, especially in villages bordering Chhattisgarh and Telangana. They do not want roads to be built in interior areas. In our assessment, we have found that their first target is road construction activity, followed by forest goods and government vehicles and machinery.”

More recently, protesting against the killing of Sujanakka – the ‘divisional committee member’ and ‘commander’ of Kasnasur Dalam – on May 2, 2020, the Maoists set ablaze four vehicles near Kulbhatti and Gajamendhi villages in Dhanora Tehsil in the District on May 20, 2020.

Located in the north-eastern part of Maharashtra, Gadchiroli has been the epicentre of Maoist violence in Maharashtra. The District has a total area of 14,412 square kilometres, of which 11,694 square kilometres fall under forest cover (78.40 per cent). This serves as ideal terrain for the Maoists and makes the task of locating and sanitizing Maoist hideouts difficult.


Further, Gadchiroli shares borders with four Districts – Bijapur, Kanker, Narayanpur, and Rajnandgaon of Chhattisgarh, the worst Naxal-affected Indian State and two Districts – Adilabad and Karimnagar of Telangana, and is used as a transit area between the two States.

Significantly, all these Districts (barring Karimnagar)  are among the 90 Districts in 11 States listed as LWE affected, according to a Government release of February 5, 2019. Further, all the Districts (barring Adilabad and Karimnagar), along with Gadchiroli, fall among the ‘30 worst Maoist-affected’ Districts, across seven states in the country, according to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA).

Moreover, Gadchiroli covers parts of the Abujhmadh forest (along the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border), which has been developed as a Maoist fortress, from where its leaders manage the rebel movement.

According to a March 7, 2020, report, a document seized by Gadchiroli Police during an operation (date unspecified) in the District, suggested that the Maoists have no plans to shift their base from the forested and hilly Abujhmadh region. The seized document clearly stated, ‘last blood would be shed at Abujhmadh’ implying that the Maoists plan to make their last stand in the region.

Gadchiroli SP Balkawade thus asserts, “Abujhmadh occupies a place of pride among Maoists, which is unlikely to get replaced, going by the documents we have seized.”

The Maoist document puts to rest any speculation regarding developing forested terrains of Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh as an ‘alternative base’, despite repeated strikes on Abujhmadh by SFs of Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.

The declining trend in violence in the District does not necessarily imply that Maoist capacities are at a terminal stage.

The Maoists in the District currently appear to be maintaining strategic restraint. It would be premature to conclude that the Maoist insurgency in Gadchiroli is ending, despite sustained SF successes. The gains would need to be continuously consolidated through aggressive operations, if they are not to be eroded.

Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed in this article are strictly the personal opinions of the author. League of India does not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article.

Published with permission from South Asia Intelligence Review of the South Asia Terrorism Portal.

Dr Indrajit Sharma

Indrajit Sharma is associated with the South Asia Terrorism Portal at the Institute for Conflict Management, a New Delhi based think tank focusing on Conflict and Terrorism in South Asia. He holds an M.Phil. and a PhD in Security Studies from Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar, India.

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INTERNAL CHALLENGES

BJP Sarpanch Sajjad Ahmad Shot Dead By Terrorists In Kashmir

This is the 2nd attack of its kind in less than 48 hours as a BJP Panch Arif Ahmad was critically wounded.

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KULGAM (Jammu-Kashmir UT): A BJP Sarpanch was shot dead by Pakistani-sponsored terrorists in Vessu Qazigund area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district this morning.

Senior Superintending of Police, Kulgam  Gurvinder Pal Singh said that the terrorists fired upon the Sarpanch Sajad Ahmad Khanday near his residence Vessu at 9:15 AM this morning.

Meanwhile, the security forces have soon after the incident, launched a massive manhunt to nab the assailants. A case has been registered in Police Station Qazigund and further investigation in the matter has been initiated.


This is the second attack of its kind in less than 48 hours as a BJP Panch Arif Ahmad was critically wounded after terrorists had fired upon him at Akhran Qazigund on the evening of August 4.

Last month, former BJP district president Waseem Bari, his father and brother were killed inside their shop after militants fired on them from close range. Bari had 10-member police security and all of them were suspended and arrested because they were not with him when he was attacked.

In June, Congress sarpanch Ajay Kumar Pandita was killed outside his house at Lokbhawan in Anantnag district.


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INTERNAL CHALLENGES

Is Meghalaya Witnessing Attempts At Insurgency Revival?

Meghalaya govt and civil society groups need to broaden the political discourse to limit violent identity-based politics,

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On June 11, 2020, unidentified miscreants hurled a petrol bomb at the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation

On June 11, 2020, unidentified miscreants set ablaze a vehicle belonging to the District Social Welfare Officer, L. Lyngdoh, at Mawkyrwat in South West Khasi Hills District.

On June 7, 2020, unidentified persons assaulted a NHIDCL engineer, Sujit Kumar Singh, and his driver at Nonglang village in South West Khasi Hills District.


Though all these incidents are under investigation, there is a discernible pattern indicating the likely involvement of Khasi militant group Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC).

On June 3, 2020, HNLC militants shot at and injured a businessman, Dharambir Bansal, at Kyllong Mathei village in the West Khasi Hills District. A day later, Sainkupar Nongtraw, HNLC’s ‘general secretary’ and ‘publicity secretary’ admitted:

“Our organization (HNLC) hereby claims responsibility for yesterday morning shootout at Kyllong Mathei village [in] Shallang. Yesterday’s operation was a warning shot (against one Dharambir Bansal Dharmu)…”


Sainkupar Nongtraw further stated that at this time of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), thousands of youths have been rendered jobless and added:

“If the so-called businessmen do not provide jobs to our locals then they do not have the right to operate their businesses as they are earning profit and revenue from our Hynniewtrep land.”

HNLC on June 4, 2020, warned all businessmen to pay ‘income tax’ to the outfit or ‘face the consequences’.

Earlier, on February 20, 2020, HNLC had detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) inside a coke factory owned by Dharambir Bansal at Kyllon Mathei village in West Khasi Hills District. Sainkupar Nongtraw had stated:

“We claim responsibility for the IED explosion at Kyllon Mathei Pyndeng Jalong because all these coke factories are benami businesses. These factories are flourishing with the help of local politicians and businessmen. It is an irony that even the employees are all non-locals and our own people are deprived of jobs.”


HNLC had on February 19, 2020, demanded INR 130 million from Dharambir Bansal.

On January 16, 2020, HNLC militants had planted an IED in an under-construction coke plant of M/S Meghalaya Coke at Bther village in East Jaintia Hills District.

Claiming responsibility, Sainkupar Nongtraw had stated:

“On January 16, 2020, HNLC militants had planted an IED in an under-construction coke plant of M/S Meghalaya Coke at Bther village in East Jaintia Hills District.”

Claiming responsibility, Sainkupar Nongtraw had stated:

“After we read in the media about the opposition from three villages and pressure groups to the setting up of the coke plant, we tried to verify the fact. We found out that local traditional heads like the Doloi (traditional chief) of Sutnga Elaka (traditional local administrative unit) and the headmen had used their power to issue a no-objection certificate [NOC] to set up the plant. The HNLC had no option but to plant the IED but its members restrained themselves from exploding the IED as there were people around.”

HNLC was formed in 1992 with the main aim to ‘liberate’ Hynniewtrep (Khasi and Jaintia) from the ‘authoritarian rule’ of the Government of India, protect Khasi and other tribes from exploitation, preserve indigenous culture and fight against any attempt to divide Khasi society.

According to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal here have been a total of 56 HNLC-linked fatalities (16 civilians, nine Security Force, SF, personnel, 30 militants, one unspecified) since March 1, 2000 (data till June 19, 2020).

The peak in terms of fatalities was recorded in the year 2001 when HNLC was found involved in 16 fatalities (nine civilians, five SF personnel, one militant and one unspecified).


Over the past decade and a half, the militant formation lost it prowess almost to the point of oblivion after the group lost a substantial number of cadres, mostly to surrenders or arrests.

According to SATP, since March 1, 2000, SFs have arrested 209 militants (all data till June 19, 2020). Another 176 HNLC militants surrendered during this period, due to sustained SF pressure.

In the latest incident of surrender, on February 12, 2020, the ‘finance secretary’ of HNLC, Wankupar Marwein aka Bahhep Traisiej, surrendered before the State Police in Shillong.

The recent spurt in activities can be linked to the reconstitution of HNLC’s ‘Central Executive Council (CEC)’ on January 2, 2019. The CEC is headed by ‘chairman’ and ‘commander-in-chief’, Bobby Reagan Marwein; ‘general secretary’ and ‘publicity secretary’, Sainkupar Nongtraw; ‘vice-chairman’, Khrawbok Jyrwa; ‘foreign secretary’, Alex Diengdoh; ‘finance secretary’, Wanshan Marwein; ‘organising secretary’, Riewpyrkhat Sun; and ‘socio-cultural secretary’, M. Rynjah.

The HNLC is trying to regain its foothold in the state. For this purpose, it is using extortion to enrich its coffers and is exploring all opportunities to secure public support by exploiting popular sentiments.

Indeed, following the killing of a Khasi Students Union (KSU) activist, identified as Lurshai Hynniewta, on February 28, 2020, HNLC on March 1, 2020, had issued an ultimatum to all the Hindu-Bengalis to leave the Ichamati and Majai areas of Shella in East Khasi Hills within one-month. Sainkupar Nongtraw in a statement had warned,

If they fail to do so by not complying to our ultimatum then we shall not be made responsible in case of any eventuality. This time it shall be mass bloodshed.

Sharing the details of the incident, Meghalaya Police wrote on its Facebook page:

“There was a KSU meeting in Ichamati today [February 28] afternoon. At around 3 pm, after the meeting, clashes broke out between KSU members and local non-tribals of the area. Thereafter, the KSU members burnt a haystack at the edge of the market and attempted to burn a house. The non-tribals retaliated and stoned one bus carrying KSU members. One local taxi which had gone to collect the KSU members from the Ichamati market after the clashes were damaged; one vehicle of the EAC [Extra Assistant Commissioner] J. Umdor, MCS [Meghalaya Civil Service] also got damaged. Four members of KSU were injured, two were sent to Ichamati CHC [Community Health Centre] and released, and two were referred to Sohra CHC. The person driving the local taxi viz Shri Lurshai Hynniewta, 35 years, S/o Late Serkin Nongkyndrih R/o Khliehshnong Sohra, succumbed to his injuries.”

Meanwhile, there are reports of Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) cadres trying to regroup in the Garo Hills region of the State. South Garo Hills Superintendent of Police Abraham T Sangma told The Shillong Times that Police had received credible information from their sources that GNLA militants, with support from United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) cadres and criminal gangs from the neighbouring country, Myanmar, were planning to revive GNLA.

GNLA had been all but decimated on February 24, 2018, when its ‘commander in chief’ Sohan D. Shira was killed in an encounter with commandos of the Meghalaya Special Force-10 at Dobu A’chakpek in East Garo Hills District. Since the formation of GNLA in November 2009, Meghalaya recorded at least 173 militant fatalities, among which 160 were linked to specific militant groups. Of these 160, at least 83 were drawn from GNLA. GNLA linked fatalities were highest in 2012, at 39 (22 civilians, one trooper and 16 militants).

There was a consistent decline in total fatalities after that. Since February 24, 2018, no GNLA linked fatalities were recorded.

There is a need to remain extremely vigilant with regard to the degraded insurgent movements in Meghalaya. The potential for revival, based on a local emotive issue like jobs for locals and preservation of identity, persists.

Apart from dealing with these groups coercively, the State Government and civil society groups need to broaden the political discourse to limit the ascendency of violent identity-based politics, in order to secure an enduring solution to the recurrent cycles of violence.

Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed in this article are strictly the personal opinions of the author. League of India does not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article.

Published with permission from South Asia Intelligence Review of the South Asia Terrorism Portal.

Giriraj Bhattacharjee

Giriraj Bhattacharjee is a Research Assistant at the Institute for Conflict Management, New Delhi.

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INTERNAL CHALLENGES

Confluence Of Terror Groups Challenges Manipur’s Peace

It is imperative to heighten vigilance within Manipur and strengthen security along the Indo-Myanmar border.

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On July 29, 2020, a joint team of three militant groups – the Manipur-based People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Manipur Naga People’s Front (MNPF), and the Assam-based United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) – killed three Assam Rifles personnel in an ambush at Khongtal village under Chakpikarong Police Station in the Chandel district of Manipur. Another five Security Force (SF) personnel were injured in the attack.

The responsibility for the attack was claimed in a joint statement issued by Ruichumhao, ‘defence secretary’, MNPF; MM Ngouba, ‘chief of army staff’, PLA; and Paresh Asom aka Paresh Baruah, ‘chief of army staff’, ULFA-I. The joint statement mailed by the militants to the media after the attack stated,

Internationally, the era of expansionism is over but not the Indian expansionism. As the entire world has made up its mind against expansionism, the people of WeSEA (Western South East Asia) are also countering against the expansionism of India. Therefore, the peoples of WeSEA are still fighting against the colonial ruler India for our independence.


As a course of the independence struggle against Indian colonisation and expansionism, a combined force of Manipur Naga People’s Front (MNPF), Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF) [political wing of PLA] and United Liberation Front of Asom Independent (ULFA-I) had conducted a joint military offensive at Sajik Tampak area of Manipur.

On July 31, during the wreath-laying ceremony organised by Assam Rifles at Bir Tikendrajit International Airport, Imphal, Manipur, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh warned, “Government will definitely hunt down the perpetrators and book them, as per the law. These terrorist groups will not be compromised with anymore.”

He, nevertheless, appealed to the militant groups operating in and around the region to shun violence and give up their weapons and come out for a political solution.


This is the maiden attack on SFs in Manipur in which ULFA-I has been found to be involved. The group appears to have joined hands with the PLA-MNPF in order to register its presence in the State.

PLA and MNPF, however, have jointly attacked SFs on at least nine occasions in the past, near the Indo-Myanmar boundary. These attacks have resulted in the death of nine persons, including three militants and six SF personnel; six SF personnel were also injured in these attacks. Some of the attacks include:

January 7, 2020: PLA and MNPF militants attacked Assam Rifles personnel at Khongtal village in Chandel District. There was no casualty in this incident.

September 7, 2018: An Assam Rifles trooper and a PLA militant were killed in an encounter at Zouopi area of Chandel District. PLA and MNPF claimed that their cadres conducted the attack

November 15, 2017: PLA and MNPF in a joint ambush attacked two troopers of the Assam Rifles who were part of a road opening party and injured them on the Chamol-Sajir Tampak Road in Chandel District. Later one of them succumbed to his injuries. Two militants were also killed in the incident.


June 30, 2017: MNPF and PLA exploded an Improvised Explosive Device at an Assam Rifles check post, killing a trooper and injuring two others at Ramva in Lambui village of Ukhrul District.

March 11, 2014: PLA militants killed two Assam Rifles personnel at Kambang Khullen in Chandel District.

February 8, 2014: PLA militants killed an Assam Rifles trooper and injured three others near Nambasi village under Chassad Police Station in Ukhrul District.

The PLA and MNPF alliance forged in 2013 has thus been successfully attacking SFs at regular intervals in the bordering areas. The exact date on which this understanding was reached is not known. It is, however, a fact that the MNPF gains both battle experience and funding from the arrangement.

MNPF was formed on June 28, 2013, with the merger of the Manipur Naga Revolutionary Front (MNRF) and United Naga People’s Council (UNPC).

The top leadership of MNPF includes ‘chairman’ John Francis Kashung, ‘defence secretary’ Ahao Jajo, ‘home secretary’ SP Athing and ‘publicity secretary’ Thomas Numai. Since its formation, apart from the combined attacks mentioned above, MNRF has been involved in the killing of one civilian (data till August 2, 2020). During this period, 10 MNRF militants have been arrested by SFs. One incident of arms recovery linked to the outfit has also been reported.

The PLA, one of the oldest and well-connected Valley-based militant groups active in Manipur, appears to have chosen to collaborate with a minor hill-based group to gain the local advantage in the bordering areas of the Hill Districts based on the division of labour.

According to the partial data collected by South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), between March 6, 2000, when SATP started compiling data on conflicts in the Northeast, to July 30, 2020, PLA has been found involved in 224 fatalities (27 civilians, 50 SF personnel and 147 militants). The SF fatalities include the combined attacks with MNPF.

PLA and MNPF have successfully been exploiting the weaknesses of Indo-Myanmar border management to carry out their attacks. Even though the State of Manipur has achieved relative peace in recent years, as reflected in declining fatalities’ data, there remains areas of substantial concern, especially the presence of militants across the Myanmar border.


According to SATP, there were a total of five fatalities in 2020 (data till August 2), nine in 2019 and 23 in 2018.

Lately, Myanmar has woken up to address India’s security concerns. On May 15, 2020, Myanmar handed over 22 militants to India arrested during 2019 operations against Indian Insurgent Groups (IIGs) in Myanmar.

12 of these militants belonged to the Valley-based militant groups – United National Liberation Front (UNLF), seven militants; two militants each of PLA and People’s Revolutionary Army of Kangleipak-Progressive (PREPAK-PRO); and one Kanglei Yowel Kanna Lup (KYKL) militant.

Such cooperation needs to be further deepened as the number of militants present in Myanmar is substantial. Se Gin, the Chairman of the Kuki Youth Network (KYN), a civil society group, confirms the presence of large Valley-based groups in Leshi, Homalin and the border town of Tamu in Sagiang, as well as the Mandalay Division of Myanmar.

Reports also indicate the presence of these militants in the Chin State. The reported breakup of the strength of these militant groups are – UNLF, between 1,300 and 3,000; PLA, between 1,000 and 2,000; KYKL, less than a thousand; and PREPAK, around 40.

Both PLA and MNPF are fighting for the ‘restoration’ of a ‘sovereign’ Manipur and stress on maintaining cordial relations between Hill and Valley residents, thus negating ‘divisive politics’.

Naturally, MNPF and the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak Muivah (NSCN-IM) are on opposite sides, as the latter views itself as the sole group representing Nagas.

On September 12, 2017, suspected NSCN-IM militants attacked and killed five militants belonging to the PLA-MNPF combine at Makan village in Ukhrul District along the Indo-Myanmar border.

PLA and MNPF have tried to capitalise on the fear of ‘demographic change’ in Manipur due to migration from other parts of the country. On November 21, 2019, in a joint PLA-MNPF statement warned,

“…Government of India has been working relentlessly to accommodate their surplus population in Manipur with an intention to reduce the indigenous people to the status of a minority in their own homeland… The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) is aimed at enabling illegal immigrants to settle in WeSEA lawfully. CAB is driven by a policy to enable illegal immigrants of India origin to settle in WeSEA in the manner Jewish people settled in Gaza Strip and West Bank…”

Pre-empting any such apprehensions, however, the Union Government has extended the Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime to Manipur, thus excluding the State from the purview of CAB/CAA 2019.

Meanwhile, it is to be noted that Manipur is expected to face the negative fallout of any breakdown of the Government of India (GoI)- NSCN-IM talks. As both ranks and leadership of NSCN-IM are substantially drawn from Manipur, the state could witness an outbreak of significant violence in case the GoI–NSCN-IM talks collapse.

PLA and MNPF, along with ULFA-I, may take advantage of any such situation. It is imperative, therefore, to heighten vigilance within the State and strengthen the security apparatus in areas along the Indo-Myanmar border, as well as to broaden security cooperation and border management with Myanmar to tackle a large number of militants present across the border.

Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed in this article are strictly the personal opinions of the author. League of India does not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article.

Published with permission from South Asia Intelligence Review of the South Asia Terrorism Portal.

Giriraj Bhattacharjee

Giriraj Bhattacharjee is a Research Assistant at the Institute for Conflict Management, New Delhi.

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