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Arunachal Pradesh Militancy

Being densely forested, Arunachal could be an ideal place for militants to hide and hence, the need to rope in other outfits as their allies. In India's frontier state of Arunachal Pradesh, militancy is largely due to Assam and Nagaland based outfits activities. Arunachal Pradesh is a safe heaven for Assam and Naga militants, which have training camps and protected hideouts in the state. Militant activities or militancy are on the downside in the North-east according to a February 2018 Union Home Ministry report.

But Arunachal Pradesh recorded the second highest number of insurgency related cases in 2017 with 61 reported incidents. However, most of the cases are related to insurgent groups from neighbouring Assam, like the United Liberation Front of Assam-Independent (ULFA-I) and the Songbijit faction of National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB).

Violence from Naga separatists has become a problem in the eastern districts. The National Socialist Council of Nagaland - Isak Muivah (NSCN-IM) operates extensively in the Naga-dominated eastern districts, extorting money, killing opposition, kidnapping and recruiting youth. NSCN-IM hopes to include the Naga AP districts into a greater independent Nagaland.

United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) workers are believed to be present in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Nagaland. The ULFA has linkages with other ethnic insurgent outfits active in neighboring states. The Naga insurgency is fraught with tribal factionalism. The National Socialist Council of Nagalim-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) is an insurgent group of Nagas, operating in Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh. The National Socialist Council of Nagalim-Khaplang (NSCN-K) is active in eastern Nagaland, parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Burma. It is the rival group of NSCN-IM.

The demand for Greater Nagaland (comprising parts of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh) cannot be met due to the vehement - and in the past violent - opposition of the neighboring states that really constrains the Center from agreeing to re-draw the state boundaries on strictly ethnic lines.

According to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), Arunachal Pradesh recorded a total of nine insurgency/militancy-related fatalities, including two SF personnel and seven militants in 2016, as against 10 fatalities, including two civilians, four SF personnel and four militants, through 2015.

In the eastern districts of Lohit, Changlang, and Tirap, bordering Nagaland, traditional use of opium has given way to expanded cultivation of poppy for production of illicit opium. The opium is produced extensively throughout those districts and is sold to Assamese middle-men, who then move the product to New Delhi and beyond. Oium addiction among young men in the Lohit district has increased to alarming levels.

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Page last modified: 21-02-2018 18:00:30 ZULU