Insurgency on decline in NE: Army officer

KOLKATA, Feb 14: Eastern Army Commander, Lt Gen Anil Chauhan, said on Friday that insurgency is on a decline in the Northeast, and expressed hope that the situation will further improve in the future.
Overall, militancy-related incidents have declined by about 12 percent and the arc of violence in the entire Northeast has shrunk primarily to an area which is the trijunction between Assam, Arunachal and north Nagaland, the officer said.
“In the hinterland, the situation is under control and we are confident that things will only improve in the future,” General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C), Eastern Command, Lt Gen Chauhan said.
Speaking to reporters after the ‘Defence Investiture Ceremony-2020’ at Fort Willaim here, he said that 40 percent of last year’s violence occurred in this area at the trijunction.
“In Nagaland, the government is engaging with the Naga National Political Groups (NNPG) and the NSCN (IM) and hopefully, there will be a positive outcome of these talks,” Lt Gen Chauhan said.
He said that the agreement between factions of the NDFB, the ABSU, the Assam government and the Centre is a welcome step and may be seen as a precursor to a lasting solution in the state.
The officer said that with the insurgency level having gone down in the Northeast, the focus of the eastern command has shifted towards non-combat operations.
A large number of civil-military projects have been taken up by the Army, which includes infrastructure development, setting up of medical camps and national integration.
He said that with the betterment in the situation, troops are being sent to barracks in Karbi Anglong and the Army is also contemplating withdrawing some of its forces from the Bodoland Territorial Area districts in Assam.
The GOC-in-C said that, along the northern borders, activities of both the Indian and Chinese forces are relatively less with the winters having set in, and peace is being maintained along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Chauhan said that about 133 individuals in the Indian Army were conferred gallantry awards this year.
Of the individual gallantry awards given this year, approximately 96 percent are for operations in Jammu & Kashmir and about 4 percent for operations in the Northeast. (PTI)