Friday, March 1, 2024

‘Insurgency on the decline in N-E’

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By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The largest paramilitary force in the country has claimed that insurgency was on the decline in the North East and the level of disturbance in the whole region has drastically gone down.

“The parameters showing the level of disturbances have drastically gone down. By and large, the region is now peaceful,” Director General of Assam Rifles (DGAR) Rameshwar Roy said while addressing a press conference here on Friday.

Quoting figures to justify his remark, Roy said there were only five militants killed this year in the region so far which is a significant drop from the figure of 69 militants killed last year.

He also added that the number of militant who have been apprehended this year is only 610 as compared to last year’s figure of 1132. Even the number of militants who laid down their arms this year has come down to 155 from 270 last year.

The DGAR also mentioned that the only problem which is remains in the region is the further split in the Nagaland-based NSCN (K).

“The major factor which contributed to this split is because their top leaders are all staying outside the country,” he said.

“Both the factions – NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) – are currently under ceasefire agreements with the Centre,” Roy said, while expressing surprise over how these outfits could continue their talks with the Union Government if they were not in the country.

Meanwhile, Roy stated that the underground activity in the region started as a popular movement but the same has now lost the support of the people.

“Earlier, the militant had the support of the people since they were fighting for their cause. But now these militants have begun extorting from their own people, thus losing the people’s support,” Roy claimed.

“Extortion has proved to be the beginning of the end for the militant groups in the region,” the DGAR added.

Roy also informed that the Centre has sanctioned Assam Rifles’ request for a five per cent reservation for women in the force.

“Following this approval we are going to raise a separate women battalion. Some 3,300 women are expected to be recruited,” the DGAR said.

The all-women battalion would be deployed in areas where there are frequent protests led by the fairer sex, like Manipur, he said.

“The Assam Rifles has further proposed to raise an ecological battalion which would be involved in the protection and preservation of the environment,” Roy added.

“We have proposed to raise this ecological battalion after seeing the mass destruction of the environment due to the practice of shifting cultivation by farmers in the region,” Roy stated.

“The ecological battalion will be a core element of the Assam Rifles. They will be engaged in activities like tree plantations, awareness programmes and others,” the DGAR added.

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