Islamabad Paper on “Current Status of Insurgencies in Northeast India”

Abstract

Northeast India has long been an under-researched region, but its importance due to its strategic geography and multiple insurgencies needs to be highlighted. In this descriptive and exploratory paper, the current situation of insurgencies in four of the seven “sister states” of northeast India is examined. In addition, a brief historical background and the political circumstances facing northeastern states under the BJP are also discussed in order to both better understand the historical and political contexts. The four states under scrutiny are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, and Manipur. This is not a random selection; rather they are being examined since incidents of insurgencies and casualties, due to active insurgent groups, have been highlighted in 2017, whereas there were no killings in the three remaining states, namely Tripura, Meghalya, and Mizoram. This paper argues that a holistic approach to the insurgencies needs to be taken, accounting for political and development challenges, as well as the fluid nature of boundaries between states, leading to insurgent groups in finding cover in another state, even if there are no shared motives. The purpose of the paper then is to have an introduction to the insurgencies as they stand in northeast India in early 2018.

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