NEW DELHI, April 19 - In a boost to the Sarbananda Sonowal Government, the Centre has claimed that Assam is witnessing its most peaceful years in the past two decades, with insurgency-related violence at its lowest.
In Assam, insurgency-related violence has continued to decline and the year 2016 witnessed the lowest number of insurgency incidents since 1997, said a report of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The major militant outfits presently active in Assam are the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Saoraigwra). The ULFA and NDFB have been declared as unlawful associations under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. Besides, the Karbi People�s Liberation Tigers (KPLT) is also active in Karbi Anglong district.
In Assam, there was a substantial decline in insurgency-related incidents in 2016. Elections to the State Legislative Assembly were by and large held peacefully in April, 2016. Security forces have been able to contain activities of militant groups in a major way and the year 2016 witnessed the lowest number of insurgency
incidents since 1997. There were 75 incidents in 2016 compared to 81 in 2015. At least 51 insurgents were neutralised by security forces, while 366 insurgents were arrested. Security forces lost four personnel in these operations, the report said.
In 2016, the number of civilian deaths went up to 29. In the incident on August 5 last at Kokrajhar, suspected NDFB (S) cadres killed 14 innocent people and injured a large number of shoppers in the local weekly market. In another major incident, ULFA-I and CorCom ambushed an Army convoy at Pengeree, Tinsukia, on November 19, 2016, killing three Army personnel and injuring four others.
After the wanton killing of Adivasis in Sonitpur, Kokrajhar and Chirang districts in December, 2014, sustained counter-insurgency operations have continued against the NDFB (S). During the period from 2014 to 2016, 873 cadres and linkmen of the NDFB (S) were arrested with the recovery of a huge quantity of arms and ammunition from them and 50 cadres were neutralized in counter-insurgency operations.
Meanwhile, the report said that the security situation in the North Eastern States, which has remained complex for quite some time due to diverse demands of ethnic groups and various militant outfits, improved substantially in 2016. The number of insurgency-related incidents in the region decreased by more than 15 per cent compared to 2015. In 2015, at least 574 incidents were reported as compared to 484 last year.