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Sushanta Roy is a journalist in the north eastern states of Assam and Meghalaya, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora, and the things that affect them.

Diphu November 6: Bringing the insurgent groups of northeast India to India’s mainstream population is of great importance considering not only the impact of militancy on the society but it has immense significance from the point of strategic location of the region. This is more imperative particularly from a military point of view considering the proximity with China and its external policy of promoting militancy in the region, which has a legacy of more than seventy years.

Eight states of the region just connected through the 23 kilometer width Chicken neck corridor, requirement of setting up army bases or garrison including air defense system needs hostility free outside edge and advanced region for logistic and civil support for ensuring external and internal sovereignty of the nation.

Ending Militancy

Until today most insurgency and secessionist issues of northeast India have been addressed by the Government of India within a short duration. Peaceful settlements of militant issues have gained momentum after 2014 and certainly during the Premiership of Late Bihari Vajpayee. As of now the Naga issue has remained an issue of disagreement. However the independence-seeking states of northeast India settled with separate states and autonomous regions.

militancy free northeast - kuki revolutionary army
Kuki Revolutionary Army in 2016.

Realization of Government of India and the politically willed ruling clique, that an archetype recipe for solving the militancy of northeast region is ineffectual, relatively it needs a tailor-made way out or a garment specially made for a particular customer type solution is essential to resolve the problems.

This is probably the mantra behind the BJP government’s success in addressing the militant issues of northeast India. State governments, autonomous councils and security forces directly operating under the Central government are emphasizing on instituting law and order through acceptable security mechanisms through dialogue and close coordination at various levels of the society.

Realization of the futility of armed struggle and bright future of a developed society by the agitating militant groups over the past years may be a reason for the six rebel groups of Karbi Anglong for signing the peace accord with Government of India on September 4, 2021.

manipur arms 2.

Autonomy Important

There are grounds to believe that the armed struggle in the autonomous hill region of Assam was never a secessionist or separatist movement; however it may appear from the surface. Autonomy, sense of demographic, economic and social security guaranteed through the agreements have probably prompted the militant leaders to give-up arms struggle. Elevation of the stature of the local leadership within the ambit of autonomy and more power has convinced the tribal leadership to acknowledge peace.

Basically people of northeast India except few pockets never considered secessionist movements as their ultimate goal, culture, religion and belief system was against such separatist lobby, rather they took up arms to register a violent protest against the authority.

External Exploitation

Arguably the situation was exploited by Chinese weight, US influence and indulgence of external forces operating from Pakistan and Middle East nations in fact fueled the ethnic militancy in the region. It is basically due to opposition from the core of the society the misguided militants bolted out from the false impression of an armed solution.

Militant leaders observed the rise of unprecedented corruption in administration and interest groups who in reality banked on the state of affairs; common people, weaker sections of the society were at the receiving end during the struggle between government security forces and rebel outfits. Peace for prosperity after a bloody fruitless struggle certainly draws the rebel groups and their society for a fruitful solution

The approach of Assam government in reaching out to the last members of the indigenous people with economic solutions and honest endeavor for implementation of each sentence agreed in the accord; plus effort to keep the end beneficiary close to government built confidence among the previous militant leaders by now; and the cadence needs to continue with firm political will. Success of the accord lies on this prescription.