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Insurgency on the wane in Assam
June 11, 2008 16:11 IST
The latest statistics from the Union Home Ministry has shown that insurgency has slowed down significantly over the last one and half decades in Assam, official sources said.
Substantiating the long-standing claim of Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi that insurgency was on the wane, the latest figures reinforced the general perception that insurgency was slowing down.
The statistics made available by the Home Ministry suggested that the 1998-2001 period was the worst and after that period, things had started looking up, except the aberration of last year.
''The worst is already over,'' the Chief Minister said, hoping that with growing popular resistance against militancy and change of heart of those who had strayed to militancy, things would further improve.
The figures showed that since 1992, a staggering 6,745 people had lost their lives in insurgency-related incidents of which 3,594 were civilians while 748 of them were security personnel. The remaining 2,407 were terrorists.
Various insurgent groups, including the United Liberation Front of Assam, National Democratic Front of Bodoland, Dima Halong Dauga, United People's Democratic Solidarity and National Socialist Council of Nagaland, waged low-intensity wars against the state over this period.
The figures also showed that 2006 was the year with the least violence when altogether 174 persons were killed, in comparison to the all time high of 327 persons killed in 2000.
''This slowdown is due to the sustained counter-insurgency operations carried out jointly by the Army and security forces,'' GOC in 4 corps Lieutenant General B S Jaswal said.
From 1992 to June 2008, as many as 2,403 militants of different groups have been killed. Besides, a huge quantity of arms and ammunition as well as cash had been recovered from different militant groups. During the same period, 748 security personnel laid down their lives in the fight against terrorism.
According to the figures, things started improving from 2000-2001, when because, of intense security pressure, introduction of an Unified Command structure as well as better economic condition of general people had started paying dividends with common people themselves resisting the militants.
As a result, there were lower incidents of violence and lesser number of killings.
''This is a very good sign and it only reaffirms the old belief that insurgency can be eliminated from a region only with the cooperation of the people and not by the gun alone,'' a Home Ministry source, handling the data, said.
The problem of insurgency in the state acquired another important dimension when Assam Police gathered sufficient evidence of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence agency's involvement in fomenting violence and terrorism in the state.
''Assam Police is in possession of evidence to prove the nexus of the top ULFA leadership with certain officials of the Pakistani High Commission in Dacca,'' official sources said.
According to the confessional statement of scores of arrested ULFA leaders, including their self-styled vice-chairman Pradip Gogoi, presently lodged in jail, the Pakistani officials in their High Commission in Dacca arranged for their passports in various Muslim names and sent them to Karachi.
However, both the Centre and state government officials believe that with the ground situation improving in the North Cachar Hills districts of Assam, the situation would further improve.