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ADF Arunachal Dragon Force
EILF East India Liberation Front

The Arunachal Dragon Force (ADF), also known as the East India Liberation Front (EILF), has declared goals of the protection of the ethnic identity of the indigenous people in Arunachal Pradesh from the increasing number of outside settlers entering the State, as well as an independent homeland for the Khamti tribe. The ADF maintains links with NSCN-K, NSCN-IM and ULFA, the later which has allegedly provided arms and ammunition to the group. In addition, some of ADFs cadres have reportedly undergone training at ULFA camps in Bhutan.

In 2001 a new rebel outfit, the East India Liberation Front, had begun gaining ground in the eastern district of Lohit, about 500 km from Itanagar. The EILF, formerly known as the Arunachal Dragon Force and led by self-styled commander-in-chief Chow Nomi, was said to be fighting for an independent homeland for the Khamti tribe. Intelligence sources said the outfit had drawn its cadres from among the 40,000 Khamti tribals and it could have some 500 members. The EILF militants were issuing extortion notices to businessmen and government officials in a bid to raise funds.

Government sources allege that the Arunachal Dragon Force, which emerged about three years earlier, has spread its network and is trying to forge a link between the Northeast insurgent groups and foreign agencies. This organisation has been seeking for a long time to establish a link between the various insurgent groups in the region and China. We have definite information on this and have also brought the matter to the notice of the Centre, said government spokesman and education minister Takam Sanjay on 13 June 2003.

The Dragon Force had recruits drawn mainly from the Khamti, Tsingpho and Tangsa tribes of Lohit. One of its objectives was to resist the domination of the Adis who have by and large been the greatest beneficiaries of development in the state. By 2003 the strength of the outfit is estimated to be only about 60.

Indian army carried a major counter-insurgency operation near the Indo-bhutan border, with the support of Royal Bhutan Army in 2003. On December 20, the Indian Army ambushed and killed three terrorists, two from ULFA and one from the relatively unknown Arunachal Dragon Force (ADF), near Namsai in Arunachal Pradesh. The chief of the ADF, Chownomee Namchumoo, was captured along with AK-47 rifles, pistols, grenades and a large amount of explosives and cash.

Arunachal Pradesh Home Minister L Wanglat informed the assembly 29 June 2004 that second in command of Arunachal Dragon Force (ADF) Chow Monglang along with all cadres of his underground outfit would lay down arms in a ceremony here within a day or two.

The cadres trained by NSCN(K) at its Myanmar camp would surrender a cache of arms, including AK-47, AK-56, M 20 pistols and magazines, assorted ammunition, two wireless sets and SBBL guns, which they had brought from the neighbouring country to create a reign of terror in Lohit and parts of lower Dibang valley and Siang districts. Making a Suo Moto statement in the house, Wanglat said ADF was the armed wing of United Peoples' Volunteers of Arunachal (UPVA) which had been creating fear psychosis in these areas.

However, after 35 underground youths of UPVA surrendered, ADF was formed, he said adding ADF Commander-In-Chief chow Meinne Namchoom was arrested in 2003 and a case registered.

All the surrendered youths were granted amnesty and rehabilitated in tune with UDF government's policy to pave the way for all misguided youths to join the national mainstream, the Home Minister informed.

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