NEW DELHI, April 23 - While Assam has witnessed a decrease in violent incidents by the Paresh Baruah faction of the ULFA, the outfit along with the NDFB(S) and Naga militant groups has unleashed a reign of terror in neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh that has now emerged as the lone northeastern state where violence level has increased.
According to the latest report of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), violence level in Assam has been lowest since 1997 and it decreased by 56 per cent compared to 2016. Nagaland (67 per cent), Manipur (28 per cent) and Meghalaya (59 per cent) also recorded a decrease in violence level. However, there was an increase in violent incidents (by 22 per cent) in Arunachal Pradesh in 2017. This was reported to the Parliament by the MHA.
The report said though Arunachal Pradesh does not have any active indigenous insurgent group the state is affected by spillover militant activities of Naga insurgents from Nagaland-based underground factions of the NSCN(IM), NSCN(K), NSCN-Reformation and NSCN(Neopao Konyak-Kitovi) in Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts, as also activities of Assam-based ULFA(I) and NDFB(S).
ULFA(I) and NDFB(S) cadres frequent the state in the areas bordering Assam and Myanmar for shelter and transit. In 2017, there were 61 insurgency incidents in which nine insurgents were killed and 44 others were arrested. There were 27 cases of extortion and kidnapping in the state during the year. There was, however, no casualty in security forces in the state in 2017.
According to the report, major militant outfits presently active in Assam are ULFA and NDFB, besides the Karbi People�s Liberation Tigers (KPLT). The report said there was a substantial improvement in security situation in Assam with insurgency-related incidents declining from 75 in 2016 to 33 in 2017. In 2015, there were 81 incidents of violence in Assam. Security forces have been able to contain activities of militant groups in a major way, the report added.
In 2017, 16 insurgents were killed in operations carried out by security forces, while 204 insurgents have been arrested. Security forces lost three personnel in these operations. During the period from December 2014 to December 2017, altogether 1,015 members and linkmen of the NDFB(S) were arrested with recovery of a huge quantity of arms and ammunition, while 60 militants were neutralised in counter-insurgency operations.
Meanwhile, the security situation in the northeastern states, which remained complex for quite some time because of diverse demands of ethnic groups and various militant outfits, improved substantially in 2017. The number of insurgency-related incidents in the region decreased by more than 36 per cent compared to 2016. The year 2017 witnessed the lowest number of insurgency-related incidents since 1997.