The security situation in the North-Eastern states has improved substantially since 2014 with the year 2020 recording the lowest insurgency incidents and casualties among civilians and security forces in the last two decades, according to the Home Ministry (MHA), 2020-21 report.
The MHA report shows that compared to 2014, there has been an 80 per cent reduction in insurgency incidents in 2020.
The year 2020 saw a decline of about 27 per cent in insurgency incidents (2019 - 223, 2020 - 162) and 72 per cent in casualties of civilian and SFs personnel (2019 - 25, 2020 - 07) compared to 2019.
Counter Insurgency Operations led to neutralization of 21 insurgents, arrest of 646 insurgents and recovery of 305 weapons in 2020 in the region.
A total of 2,644 cadres of insurgent outfits of NE States surrendered their arms in 2020 and joined the mainstream society, the MHA report stated.
In 2020, insurgency-related violence declined by 42 per cent in Arunachal Pradesh, 12 per cent in Assam, 23 per cent in Manipur and 45 per cent in Nagaland compared to 2019.
As for the state of Manipur, the MHA report stated that it is affected by activities of Meitei, Naga, Kuki, Zomi, and Hmar insurgent groups.
A total of 23 rebel outfits under two conglomerates (United Peoples’ Front [UPF] - eight and Kuki National Organization [KNO] - 15) are currently under SoO with GoI since August 2008. In 2020, there has been a decrease in insurgency-related incidents by 23 per cent compared to 2019 (2019 - 126, 2020 - 97) and there has been no civilian death in the state in 2020, the report said.
It further stated that Counter Insurgency Operations by SFs resulted in killing of seven cadres/insurgents, arrest of 259 insurgents and recovery of 92 weapons in the state in 2020. Meitei insurgency accounted for about 44 per cent of insurgency incidents in Manipur, it added.
Regarding Indo-Myanmar border, the MHA report stated that India shares a 1,643 km long border with Myanmar which passes through the States of Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Nagaland (215 km), Manipur (398 km) and Mizoram (510 km). Out of 1,643 km, a demarcation of 1,472 km has been completed.
There are two undermarketed portions along Indo-Myanmar border that are Lohit sub-sector of Arunachal Pradesh – 136 km and Kabaw valley in Manipur – 35 km. Of this 1,800km-long border shared by Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram, over 390 km is still unfenced.
From the report it may be noted that the fragile security situation has “resulted in violence, extortion and diverse demands by various Indian insurgent groups, which maintain safe havens/camps in neighbouring countries”, according to the MHA report.
It also says that the Indo-Bangladesh border is marked by a high degree of porosity and the checking of illegal cross-border activities and illegal migration from Bangladesh to India have been major challenges.
The Centre has deployed over 400 companies of Central armed police forces for border guarding duties along the international borders, while another 400 companies are deployed for internal security and counter insurgency operations in the region.
As a result, the Ministry pointed out that there has been significant improvement in the security situation, leading to withdrawal of AFSPA from 23 districts and partially from one other district of Assam, 15 police station areas in six districts of Manipur and 15 police station areas in seven districts of Nagaland with effect from April 1, 2022.