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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

Centre to act tough on North East insurgents

Sanjib Baruah, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 23, 2013
First Published: 22:29 IST(23/2/2013) | Last Updated: 00:59 IST(24/2/2013)

The government has decided to act tough with insurgent groups in the Northeast. Changing its ceasefire policy, government has decided that it will not sign agreements with insurgents as it was proving a futile exercise.

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“We realised signing agreements with militant groups just for the sake of peace is not working out. The moment we sign a peace agreement with a group, another faction crops up within the same group and which starts opposing the talks,” said a senior government official.

“In the name of operational ceasefire agreements, these outfits besides breaking up into factions with diverse stands, also keep the weapons in their own possession, they keep on procuring weapons and ammunition from domestic sources or even from abroad, and continue with their training activities. This has prompted the new thinking in government circles,” the source said.

Interestingly, a top functionary belonging to the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) Anthony Shimray was arrested by the police in October 2010 after he had reportedly ordered for a massive supply of rocket launchers, grenades, assault rifles and ammunition from Chinese sources even as the NSCN leaders were pursuing talks with the government in New Delhi. NSCN (IM) started negotiations with the government in 1997.

India’s northeast region has a history of insurgent movements in many states. There are more than 100 small and big insurgent groups in the Northeast. From just two groups in the late fifties, Manipur now has more than 30 groups. Assam has about 15 major groups; Meghalaya has about five while Nagaland has at least four major ones.

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