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Bhutan's army launched first attack in its history to help India

Discussion in 'Military History & Tactics' started by Bhushan, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. Bhushan

    Bhushan SENIOR MEMBER

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    The 6,000-strong army of the isolated Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan launched the first offensive in its history in 2003, attacking Indian separatist rebels(ULFA) with camps in the country.

    The Royal Bhutan Army (RBA), is a branch of the armed forces of the Kingdom of Bhutan responsible for maintaining the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty against security threats.

    Operation: All Clear

    During the early 90s, the Indian Separatist groups, United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), and Kamtapur Liberation Organization (KLO) had begun to clandestinely set up camps in Bhutan's dense southern jungles. These camps were used to train cadres, store equipment, and launch attacks on targets in India. The Bhutanese government became aware of their presence in 1996 and from 1997, the issue was regularly discussed in the National Assembly. The Government of India began exerting diplomatic pressure on the Royal Government to remove the militant presence and offered conducting joint military operations against the militants. The Royal Government preferring a peaceful solution, declined the offer and instead initiated dialogue with the militant groups in 1998. By December 2003, negotiations failed to produce any agreement and the Royal Government unable to tolerate their presence any longer issued a 48-hour ultimatum on 13 December. On 15 December the RBA commenced military operations against the militant groups.

    A combined RBA and RBG force of 6000, operating out of 20 camps established during the six years of negotiations, attacked an estimated 3000 militants spread across 30 militant camps. By 27 December 2003, all 30 militant camps had been captured. Additionally, the RBA seized "more than 500 AK 47/56 assault rifles and 328 other assorted weapons including rocket launchers and mortars, along with more than 100,000 rounds of ammunition. An anti-aircraft gun was also found at the site of the GHQ of the ULFA." By 3 January 2004, all 30 militant camps (ULFA-14, NDFB-11, KLO-5) with an additional 35 observation posts, were destroyed and the militants dislodged. A total of 485 ULFA, NDFB, and KLO militants were killed, while those captured along with seized weapons and ammunition were handed over to the Government of India. Captured non-combatants were handed over to Assamese civil authorities. The RBA suffered 11 soldiers KIA, and 35 WIA.

    History of RBA

    The RBA was formed in the 1950s in response to the Chinese take over and subsequent People's Liberation Army actions in Tibet with intense pressure by India. In 1958, the royal government introduced a conscription system and plans for a standing army of 2,500 soldiers. The Indian government had also repeatedly urged and pressured Bhutan to end its neutrality or isolationist policy and accept Indian economic and military assistance. this was because India considered Bhutan its most vulnerable sector in its strategic defense system in regards to China. When Bhutan accepted the Indian offer, the Indian Army became responsible for the training and equipping of the RBA. By 1968, the RBA consisted of 4,850 soldiers, with a recruiting goal of 600 additional soldiers a year. By 1990, the RBA was a force of 6,000 soldiers.

    Relationship with the Indian Armed Forces

    The Indian Army maintains a training mission in Bhutan, known as the Indian Military Training Team (IMTRAT), responsible for the military training of RBA and RBG personnel. RBA and RBG officers are sent for training at the National Defence Academy (NDA) in Pune, and Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun.

    Project DANTAK of the Border Roads Organisation, a sub-division of the Indian Army Corps of Engineers, has been operating in Bhutan since May 1961. Since then Project DANTAK has been responsible for the construction and maintenance of over 1500 KM of roads and bridges, Paro Airport and a disused airfield at Yangphula, heliports, and other infrastructure. While these serve India's strategic defence needs, it is also an obvious economic benefit for the people of Bhutan.

    Army aviation

    The Royal Bhutan Army relies on Eastern Air Command of the Indian Air Force for air assistance. In recent years India has helped Bhutan start to develop its military in all areas through military donations and training. Indian Air Force helicopters evacuated RBA casualties to India for treatment during Operation All Clear in 2003.
     
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  2. Bhushan

    Bhushan SENIOR MEMBER

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    Some pictures of RBA

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    Training in India
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  3. Syama Ayas

    Syama Ayas ELITE MEMBER

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    An old good documentary relating to Sikkim and Bhutan,probably in 60s

     
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  4. Speaker

    Speaker FULL MEMBER

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    My friends visited Bhutan a few years back and they loved it. From their pictures, I think I know why!

    I thank our military relationship for one thing - their supplies of "Druk" jam and ketchup to defense personnel :D
     
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  5. Bhushan

    Bhushan SENIOR MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

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  6. IBRIS

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    Bhutan's army launches first attack in its history

    y Rahul Bedi in New Delhi
    Published: 12:01AM GMT 16 Dec 2003

    The 6,000-strong army of the isolated Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan launched the first offensive in its history yesterday, attacking Indian separatist rebels with camps in the country.

    "Military action has been initiated to flush out militants," Thinley Penjor, the Bhutanese embassy spokesman in New Delhi, said.

    The home ministry in the capital, Thimpu, said citizens were holding rituals and saying prayers for the kingdom's security. He said people were also holding meetings to raise additional militia volunteers.

    Last month King Jigme Singye Wangchuk's son, Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuk, 19, abandoned his history and politics studies at Oxford to return home and join the militia.

    King Jigme, who spent four years at school in England, said there were about 20 militant camps in his kingdom, which shares a long frontier with the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal. Bhutanese officials estimate that about 3,000 rebels belonging to three groups fighting for varying degrees of independence and autonomy in India operate from the thickly forested border regions.

    Officials in Delhi said the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland and the Kamatapur Liberation Organisation had about 36 camps, where insurgents were trained to use shoulder-fired rocket launchers, automatic weapons and land mines. From those hideouts they conducted hit-and-run raids on Indian army and paramilitary personnel.

    Bhutan, wedged between India and China in the eastern Himalayas, is a mainly Buddhist nation of about 750,000 people. It is one of the world's last absolute monarchies, dating from the 8th century, and has close military and diplomatic ties to Delhi.
     
  7. Desi Sher

    Desi Sher BANNED

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    Bhutanese People are So Friendly..... I paid a Visit Last september... Its so Cool there....
     
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  8. IBRIS

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    Little is known of the history of Bhutan before the 17th century. Buddhism was originally introduced from India in the 8th century, although the Buddhism of today's Bhutan is very much Tibetan in character. The forebears of the Bhotes (or Bhotias) came from Tibet, probably in the 9th century, when Tibetans invaded the area and met little resistance from the indigenous Tephu tribe. In the middle of the fifteenth century, Shabdung Ngawang Nangyal, a Tibetan lama exercising temporal as well as spiritual power, united the country and built most of the fortified villages ( dzongs ). His successors in power established a dual system, separating the temporal ruler (Desi or deb raja) and the spiritual ruler (Je Khempo or dharma raja).

    The first recorded contact with the West occurred in 1772, when the British East India Company repelled a Bhutanese invasion of the princely state of Cooch Behar in India; they concluded a peace treaty two years later. During the 18th century and most of the 19th, British efforts to open trade with Bhutan proved futile, with the Bhutanese frequently attacking the relatively level areas of Assam and Bengal along their southern border. In 1865, the British finally defeated the Bhutanese, and Bhutan formally accepted a British subsidy of r50,000 a year, which was dependent upon their keeping the peace.

    With British approval, Ugyen Dorji Wangchuk became the first hereditary king in 1907, replacing the temporal ruler. In 1910, the Punakha Treaty was concluded between the British Indian Government and Bhutan, under which British India agreed explicitly not to interfere in Bhutanese internal affairs, while Bhutan accepted British "guidance" in handling external matters—a role independent India assumed after 1947. A formal Indo-Bhutanese accord concluded in 1949 reaffirmed and amplified the earlier Punakha Treaty. Besides increasing Bhutan's annual subsidy to r500,000 and returning to Bhutan 83 square kilometers (32 square miles) of territory around Dewangiri (wrested by the British in 1865), it made India responsible for Bhutan's defense and strategic communications, committing India to avoid interfering in Bhutan's affairs and affirming Bhutan's agreement to be "guided by the advice of" India in foreign affairs.

    In 1959, China published maps of the Himalayan frontier with South Asia that showed as Chinese part of the territory claimed by Bhutan; Chinese representatives also asserted that Bhutan belonged to a greater Tibet. In response, Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru warned that an attack on Bhutan would be deemed an act of war against India. Fighting between India and China in neighboring border regions in the fall of 1962 did not violate Bhutan's borders, although survivors from Indian army units decimated east of Bhutan straggled back to India through Bhutan.

    In April 1964, the long-time prime minister, Jigme Dorji, was assassinated, revealing fissures among the ruling elite. The plotters who were caught were executed, including the deputy commander of the army; others fled to Nepal. In the 1960s, Bhutan's advance toward modernization and the end of its insularity were accelerated by economic plans prepared and underwritten by India.

    Relations with Nepal have grown difficult in recent years, due to a dispute with Nepal concerning Bhutanese refugees of Nepalese descent. The mostly Hindu "Nepali Bhutanese," comprising approximately a third of Bhutan's population, were granted citizenship in 1958. However, Bhutan changed its citizenship laws in the late 1980s, making the Nepali Bhutanese illegal immigrants. In 1990, the Bhutanese government expelled 100,000 Nepali Bhutanese, who fled to refugee camps in eastern Nepal. In 1993, Bhutan and Nepal established a Joint Ministerial Level Committee (JMLC) to address the issue of ethnic Nepalese refugees.

    Nepalese activism, spearheaded by the Bhutan People's Party based in Nepal, continued through the early 1990s. It resulted in violence from both sides, and brought charges of violations of human rights against Bhutan's security forces. In 1996, "peace marches" of refugees from Nepal into Bhutan were met by force, and the marchers were deported by the Bhutanese police. The following year, the National Assembly adopted a resolution (later discarded) that prohibited family members of ethnic Nepalese refugees from holding jobs in the government or armed forces. The government also began resettling Buddhist Bhutanese from other regions of the country on land vacated by the refugees. In 1998, Foreign Minister Jigme Thinley took office with a mandate to settle the refugee issue. Although Bhutan and Nepal originally agreed in principal that the refugees be divided into four categories (1) bonafide Bhutanese; (2) Bhutanese emigres; (3) non-Bhutanese; and (4) Bhutanese who have committed crimes in Bhutan, the question of what to do with the more than 100,000 refugees living in the camps in Nepal remains unresolved. Talks between Bhutan and Nepal are ongoing.

    At the Tenth JMLC round of talks held in December 2000, negotiators created a Joint Verification Team (JVT) to interview and verify the status of the Bhutanese refugees, but by the Eleventh round of JMLC talks held in August 2001, the verification process was moving at a rate of only 10 families per day. In addition to the JMLC talks, Foreign Secretary Level talks (FSLT) were held in November 2001, at which differences between the Nepali and Bhutanese positions on the issue of categorization of the refugees were clarified: Nepal proposed to reduce the four categories to two (Bhutanese and non-Bhutanese), a plan that was rejected by Bhutan. However, the two governments agreed that year to verify the identities of the refugees by family lineage, but the Bhutanese government did not give any indication of when these families may return to Bhutan. Further talks were held in August 2002.

    There are also tensions between Bhutan and India's northeastern state of Assam. Two separatist groups from Assam—the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB)—maintain well-entrenched bases in Bhutan. The separatist Kamatapur Liberation Organization (KLO) from West Bengal state is there as well. Bhutan refrained from taking direct action against the Indian separatists for fear of retaliatory attacks on its nationals, but in late December 2002, the Bhutanese government announced it would use military might to remove the separatists from bases within its borders. The Assam government has blamed Bhutan for the rise in militancy in the region, and welcomed the government's decision to launch a military response.

    Reforms introduced by King Jigme Singye Wangchuck in June 1998 mark a milestone in Bhutan's political and constitutional history. Continuing his efforts toward modernization, the king issued a royal edict relinquishing some of the monarch's traditional prerogatives and giving a greater role in Bhutan's administration to elected government officials.

    On 3 December 2002, the King of Bhutan issued a first draft of a constitution for Bhutan. The draft will be discussed in the country's 20 districts before it is presented to the National Assembly when it convenes in June 2003.

    Bhutan in June 1999 took major steps toward modernization, legalizing television and the Internet. The first Internet cafe opened in Thimphu in 2000.



    Read more: History - Bhutan - area, annual, system, power History - Bhutan - area, annual, system, power
     
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  9. Bhushan

    Bhushan SENIOR MEMBER

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    This thread is a good answer to the people who say that India doesn't have good relations with any of its neighbors.:P
     
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  10. IBRIS

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    Armed Conflicts Report

    Summary:

    2008 In the state of Assam, several field commanders of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) opted for a ceasefire and peace negotiations with the state. This raised hopes for less violence and while that was the case initially, violence in Assam rose towards the end of the year in part because of a conflict between Bodo tribesmen and Muslims. In addition to Assam, two other states, Manipur and Nagaland were plagued with violence and contributed to over 95% of the deaths that occurred across the seven northeastern states. The total of over 1130 conflict deaths represented a new annual high for the region which has seen the death toll almost double since 2006.

    2007 The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) began a series of attacks against Hindi-speaking migrant labourers in January that continued throughout the year and caused upwards of 300 casualties. Increased unrest in the state of Assam prompted the government to launch an “all-out offensive” against the group and deploy some 13 000 troops to the area. Elections in Manipur were carried out amidst high levels of violence as Naga rebels attempted to block participation from mainstream political parties. A ceasefire between the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isaac/Muivah (NSCN-I/M) was extended indefinitely, yet hopes of peace talks between the government and the separatist group remain low.

    2006 Ceasefires that were previously in place between the government and some rebel groups were upheld. Some peace negotiations occurred, but with little success. Clashes between other rebel groups and security forces continued, and extortion by rebels is increasingly an issue. Efforts have been made to secure India’s borders with Burma (Myanmar) and Bangladesh. Upwards of 600 people were killed.

    2005 Negotiations between the federal and state governments and a number of rebel groups continued with mixed results. Fighting through most of the northeast involved clashes between government troops and rebels, inter-rebel and inter-tribal clashes, violent police oppression and an attack by Burmese troops on rebel bases inside Burma. At least 700 people were killed in the violence.

    2004 Inter-communal conflict, terrorist attacks, and clashes between government security forces and rebel groups resulted in over 800 deaths in 2004. The Bhutanese and Burmese militaries continued to assault rebel bases in their territories while the Indian and Bangladeshi armies launched their first joint military operations against rebels. In a departure from past policy the Indian government announced it was willing to begin peace talks with any rebel group that gave up violence, regardless of whether they had begun to disarm. As a result, government talks with rebel groups began or continued.

    2003 States in north-eastern India continued to experience fighting which resulted in approximately 1,000 deaths. Civilian deaths represented almost half the fatalities as communal violence and incidents of "ethnic cleansing" occurred throughout the year. The Bhutanese army went on the offensive against Assamese insurgents based within Bhutan, killing approximately 100 rebel fighters and dislodging them from their bases. Peace negotiations continued between the government and several insurgent groups, particularly those based in Nagaland.

    2002 Fighting claimed close to 1,000 lives this year, despite the initiation of peace negotiations between a number of north-eastern rebel groups and the Indian government.

    2001 A major joint offensive by the militaries of India and Burma to dislodge separatist rebels operating along India’s northeastern border failed to prevent rebel attacks on civilians and security forces. The government’s decision to extend a cease fire with rebels in the state of Nagaland to other states in the northeast was reversed in July due to popular dissent in the neighbouring states. Approximately 1,400 people were killed in 2001.

    2000 Violence escalated in 2000, particularly in the last two months of the year, but there were conflicting claims about who carried out the killings. The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) denied targeting civilians and accused the government of masterminding the upsurge in violence. There also were attacks involving tribal Bodo groups in western Assam and an estimated 900 rebels surrendered to government forces during the year. Over 1,700 people died in 2000.

    1999 Violence in the region continued in 1999 with fighting between rebel groups and government security forces and clashes among rival insurgent groups that often targeted civilians. During the year more than 1,200 civilians, rebels and government forces were killed.

    1998 Following a government offensive against the largest insurgent group early in the year, the conflict reverted to its deadly combination of government-rebel skirmishes, abuses by security forces, and attacks by rebels on government officials and on rival insurgent forces and their communities.

    1997 Insurgent attacks on government forces and public transportation, skirmishes between government and rebel forces, factional feuds among rival insurgent groups, and abuses by government forces all contributed to an escalation of regional violence in spite of cease-fires agreed to by some rebel groups.

    1996 Major ethnic clashes in May, border tensions with Nagaland, gun fights between rebels and the police and army, attacks on civilians, and Bodo rebel bombings, including a main railway in December, killed at least 1,200 in 1996, intensifying the conflict.

    Type of Conflict:

    State formation

    Parties to the Conflict:

    1) Government of India:
    Indian Army;
    Indian Central Para-Military Forces (CPMFs)
    Elections in 2004 resulted in the Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance coalition replacing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition and forming the national government with Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister. India’s next national election is scheduled for 2009.

    2) Northeast State governments (including Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura):
    State police and special forces play some part in counter-insurgency fighting but it is national forces that mostly engage with rebel groups.

    “Counter-insurgency operations have primarily been led by the Army and central para-military forces (CPMFs), with the [Manipur] State Police playing only a subsidiary and marginal role.” [Manipur Assessment – Year 2009, South Asia Terrorism Portal]

    “Assam’s counter-terrorism strategy still relies disproportionately on central forces, and the Assam Police suffers significant infirmities.” [Assam Assessment 2009, South Asia Terrorism Portal]

    3) Neighbouring states of Myanmar, Bhutan, and Bangladesh have in the past assisted by attacking rebel camps on their territory but there have been few reports of such cooperation recently.

    “Cooperation between the security forces of India and Myanmar in countering anti-India rebels based in Myanmar is poised to enter bold new phase, with the countries discussing joint counter-insurgency operations in Myanmar – a move fraught with pitfalls.” [Sudha Ramachandran, Asia Times Online, July 21, 2005]

    “The 6,000-strong army of the isolated Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan launched the first offensive in its history yesterday, attacking Indian separatist rebels with camps in the country. ... King Jigme ... said there were about 20 militant camps in his kingdom, which shares a long frontier with the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal. Bhutanese officials estimate that about 3,000 rebels belonging to three groups ... operate from the thickly forested border regions.” [telegraph.co.uk, December 16, 2003]

    4) Rebels - There are dozens of armed groups operating in north-eastern India, many of which are ethnically-based. While many of the groups are seeking outright independence for their region from India, others are fighting to gain increased autonomy. Currently, three states host the majority of rebel activity: Assam, Manipur, and Nagaland.

    In Assam, the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) was the predominant group with the Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF) and the Black Widow group (BW) being the next most active. Besides these three, several other groups made intermittent attacks during the year.

    In Manipur, groups reported to be active include the People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), the Military Council faction of the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP-MC), the People’s United Liberation Front (PULF), the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and the Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA). Also, the areas bordering the state of Nagaland have been affected by the activities of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM).

    In Nagaland, the much of the violence in 2009 took place between two insurgent factions, namely the Isak-Muivah (IM) faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) and NSCN’s Khapalng (K) faction. [Source: South Asia Terrorism Portal’s 2009 Assessment for Assam, Manipur, and Nagaland. See South Asia Terrorism Portal ]

    “The influential National Socialist Council of Nagaland Isaac/Muivah (NSCN-I/M) today renewed its demand for a ‘greater Nagaland’ in India’s northeast, which would expand the northeastern state of Nagaland to include areas dominated by the Nagal tribal group…The NSCN is the oldest of around 30 armed rebel groups in India’s northeast and had entered into a ceasefire with New Delhi in 1997. The group has been fighting since Indian independence in 1947….” [Asia-Pacific Daily Report, March 8, 2005]

    Due to the geographic proximity of these states to several countries which border India to the north and the east, many of the aforementioned insurgent groups operate from within these countries. For example, several Assamese groups operate out of Bhutan, groups from Manipur and Nagaland are based in Myanmar (Burma), and groups from Tripura reportedly are situated in Bangladesh.

    “The three rebel groups involved in the fighting [in Assam] are Ulfa, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and the Kamptapur Liberation Organization (KLO). Ulfa is fighting for Assam’s independence from India while the NDFB and the KLO are fighting for separate tribal homelands.” [BBC News, December 26, 2003]

    “Separatists from India’s north-eastern state of Assam maintain a number of bases in southern Bhutan from where they attack targets in Assam.” [BBC News, August 4, 2003]

    “Indian officials say the NSCN has continued to maintain training camps across the border in Burma, and has operational bases in Thailand, and the Philippines.” [InterPress Service, January 28, 2000]

    “New Delhi holds that Bangladesh has provided sanctuary to ethnic-based rebel groups -- including the United Liberation Front of Asom, National Socialist Council of Nagaland and the Bodo Security Force -- who seek independence for their traditional lands in India’s northeast.” [Jane’s Defence Weekly, January 15, 1997]

    Status of Fighting:

    2008, violence rose markedly in the last four months of the year. In addition to the secessionist insurgency in Assam, a clash between Bodo tribesmen and Muslims broke out in October in which dozens were killed. In Nagaland, the number of deaths increased significantly but this was mostly due to internecine fighting between two factions of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN). Fighting in Nagaland was reported to have adversely affected neighbouring areas of Manipur.

    “The Bodos feel they are being marginalized in their homeland by the influx of Muslims, who comprise an estimated 40 percent of Assam’s population.” [Reuters, October 22, 2008]

    “Manipur’s woes, emanating from ‘indigenous’ militant outfits, have been further aggravated by the overflow of militancy from neighbouring Nagaland...” [Manipur Assessment – Year 2009, South Asia Terrorism Portal]

    “With at least 387 fatalities (provisional total), Assam in 2008 remained the second most violent theatre of conflict in India’s Northeast, after its neighbour to the east, Manipur, which recorded at least 499 fatalities. Nevertheless, this represented a decline in fatalities in all categories, as compared to 2007. ... While a measure of normalcy did appear to have been imposed during the first eight months of 2008, militant violence rose sharply in the last four months, pushing parts of Assam in chaos, uncertainty and fear” [Assam Assessment 2009, South Asia Terrorism Portal]

    “The Naga insurgency in India’s troubled Northeast has, over the years, become increasingly fratricidal, and trends in 2008 only demonstrate a further acceleration along this trajectory. ... The insurgents comprise nearly 65 percent of the total fatalities, with virtually the entire number ascribed to internecine clashes, in the absence of any significant insurgent-SF [Security Forces] standoffs.” [Nagaland Assessment, Year 2009, South Asia Terrorism Portal]

    “There have been a number of major bomb attacks in India in the past few months, many of them blamed on Islamist groups. But local separatists have been held responsible for recent explosions in north-eastern cities. Two north-eastern state capitals – Agartala in Tripura and Imphal in Manipur – saw serial explosions this month. At least 20 people were killed and more than 100 injured in the blasts.” [BBC News, 31 October, 2008]

    “India’s northeastern Assam state deployed paramilitary troops Monday to quell clashes between Muslim migrants and tribal groups that have left almost 50 dead. A senior Assam police official said an additional 2,100 paramilitary personnel had been sent to the affected areas, where curfews with shoot-on-sight orders have already been imposed.” [AFP, 7 October, 2008]

    2007 Peace talks between Delhi and ULFA remained distant as numerous surges of violence plagued Assam. ULFA rebels are suspected of killing over 300 Hindi-speaking migrants, prompting the government to launch an “all-out offensive” in response. Talks between the NSCN-IM and the government began in December but no progress is expected. Tense state elections in Manipur resulted in violent clashes as Naga rebels attempted to prevent the participation of mainstream political parties.

    “Indian army soldiers are patrolling districts of Assam state after at least 55 people were killed in two days of attacks by suspected separatists. Police say the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) is responsible, but the rebel group has yet to respond. A permanent curfew has been imposed in the Tinsukia district following a spate of attacks on Hindi-speaking settlers.” [BBC News, 08 January 2007]

    “Army deployed 13 000 troops to Assam state in response to escalation in attacks by separatist ULFA movement.” [CrisisWatch, 01 February 2007]

    “Fighting between Kuki Liberation Army and Nagaland separatists in Manipur killed 15 early in the month, raising fears of border conflict.” [CrisisWatch, 01 October 2007]

    “In Manipur, suspected separatists killed 15 soldiers on the 24th of February, following tense state elections that saw Naga rebels attempt to prevent participation of mainstream Indian parties. Earlier ambush on election vehicles killed 4 police, 2 civilians on the 9th of February.” [CrisisWatch, 01 March 2007]

    “31 July Nagaland talks with Delhi saw indefinite extension of ceasefire by National Socialist Council of Nagaland separatists, subject to progress in new round of peace talks.” [CrisisWatch, 01 August 2007]

    2006 Violent clashes continued to erupt between government security forces and rebels throughout the northeastern provinces of Manipur, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland and Mizoram. Manipur is considered the most volatile state, followed by Assam. The government fight against insurgencies in Meghalaya, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh is considered fairly successful. Rebel activities took the form of high extortion fees demanded from government offices, business and civilians, abductions, attacks on security forces and government targets, and bombings of oil refineries and pipelines. Ceasefires were maintained between the government and the NSCN-IM (Nagaland), NSCN-K (Nagaland), UPDS (Assam), NDFB (Assam) and the ANVC (Meghalaya). Peace talks between the government and the ULFA were attempted throughout the year, but with little success.

    "Manipur thus remains the most violent State in the region, although there is a relative decline in violence, with total fatalities registering a decline from 331 in 2005. While a number of other States in the Northeast have or are being reclaimed from protracted insurgencies, Manipur continues to remain volatile. Large-scale extortion and its impact on ordinary lives, as well as on the lives of people at the helm of affairs in the State, are symptomatic of the virtual collapse of governance in the State. Assam too remains a disturbed State with 174 deaths in 2006 compared to 242 fatalities in 2005. The fight against insurgency in Meghalaya, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh remains largely successful." (South Asia Terrorism Portal, South Asia Terrorism Portal, accessed January 2007)

    2005 Clashes between government forces and rebels were reported throughout the northeast including Manipur, Assam, Nagaland, Tripura and Mizoram states. Fighting also took place on both sides of the India-Burma border as the Indian government launched attacks on Burmese rebels camped in India’s Mizoram state and the Burmese army attacked rebel bases of the NSCN-Khaplang located in Burma. Inter-tribal and/or inter-rebel clashes were reported in Tripura, Nagaland, Manipur and in particular in Assam state where the end of the year saw deadly clashes between rebels of the Dimasa and Karbi ethnic groups. Local police forces fired upon mass street demonstrations in several states killing dozens. Ceasefires were signed or continued to hold between government forces and the NDFB, the BNLF and the NSCN-IM.

    "A faction of Naga separatists in north-east India say five of their bases in Burma’s Sagaing division have come under attack…The spokeman of the Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) said the Burmese troops are firing mortars and light artillery on the bases." [BBC News, December 9, 2005]

    "He [a police officer] said that a land dispute appeared to be behind Wednesday night’s attack in the oil and tea-rich state of Assam by members of the Kuki tribe on the rival Karbi tribe." "The two tribes have been battling each other for several years to control land assets." [Reuters, September 15, 2005]

    "The Indian army says it has launched a operation against the top separatist group in north eastern Assam state." "Military officials said that the troops and rebels had clashed at Changlang on Assam’s border with Arunachal Pradesh state." [Subir Bhaumik, BBC News, August 26, 2005]

    2004 Inter-ethnic clashes, sporadic fighting between Indian security forces and rebel groups as well as rebel terrorist attacks on civilian targets continued throughout the year resulting in over 800 deaths. The most serious incidents were rebel attacks on civilians, including the bombing of an Independence Day parade that killed 18 civilians and wounded dozens more. Bhutanese and Burmese attacks on rebel bases in their respective territories resulted in the destruction of several bases. Joint Indian-Bangladeshi operations against rebel groups occurred for the first time with some success and a joint India-Burma operation late in the year claimed major progress against the rebels, destroying several bases.

    "A rebel group in India’s north-east says it has lost six mobile bases in Burma during a major offensive begun at the weekend by Burmese troops. The National Socialist Council of Nagaland said about 8,000 Burmese soldiers were involved." [BBC News, November 22, 2004]

    "At least 10 people were hurt, one seriously, when a grenade was thrown in a cinema in a town in India's north-eastern Assam state, police said…. Separatist groups in the north-east have called for a ban on Hindi films, claiming they harm local culture." [BBC News, June 9, 2004]

    "Soldiers from the Royal Bhutanese Army destroyed almost all of the 30 rebel bases on the kingdom's territory, according to Bhutanese officials." [BBC News, January 5, 2004]

    "Rebel groups in north-east India have come under further pressure from Burma and Bangladesh following a successful offensive against them in Bhutan. Indian instructors are training the Burmese army and say joint operations along their border could follow. India announced on Friday it might launch joint military operations with Burma, also known as Myanmar, against rebels based in Burmese territory." [BBC News, January 2, 2004]

    2003 Inter-ethnic violence and clashes between insurgents and Indian security forces continued to plague north-eastern states throughout 2003, with some groups also targeting civilians. In Assam, militants, including members of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa), attacked Biharis and other Hindi-speakers in late-2003, killing approximately 50 people and forcing tens of thousands to flee the state. In December the Bhutanese army attacked Assamese insurgents based in Bhutan, driving them from their bases and killing approximately 100 rebels. During State Assembly elections in Tripura in March militant groups employed violent tactics to intimidate and coerce voters and political leaders, resulting in approximately 50 deaths.

    "The 6,000-strong army of the isolated Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan launched the first offensive in its history yesterday, attacking Indian separatist rebels with camps in the country." [telegraph.co.uk, December 16, 2003]

    "More than 17,000 people have fled their homes in north-east India’s Assam state to escape attacks on Hindi-speaking settlers by Assamese mobs and rebels." [BBC News, November 26, 2003]

    "Suspected separatist rebels on bicycles shot and killed 11 workers in a northeastern Indian state torn by ethnic violence, the police chief said Saturday. ... The deaths brought to 36 the total of migrant workers from Bihar who have been killed this week. The United Liberation Front of Asom, one of northeastern India’s main separatist groups, issued a statement last week warning Hindi-speaking people to leave Assam. ... The violence in Assam has prompted reprisals in Bihar, where mobs have attacked trains carrying Assamese to and from their home state." [Associated Press, November 22, 2003]

    2002 Rebel groups throughout north-eastern India continued to fight government forces and target civilians. In Assam, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) was accused of "ethnic cleansing" when it summarily executed residents of a village in Kokrajhar district. Fighting intensified in Tripura where the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) carried out increasingly brutal attacks against the paramilitary.

    "The rebels want an independent homeland for the Bodo tribal community in Assam and a police spokesman said this latest attack was part of a campaign of ethnic cleansing. " [BBC News, October 27, 2002]

    "India’s north-east has seen more violence in the last 50 years than any other part of the country. Yet the outside world knows virtually nothing about the crisis there." [Overseas Development Institute, Humanitarian Practice Network Report, April 3, 2002]

    2001 In May, the Indian and Burmese armies initiated a major joint military offensive against rebel bases in India’s northeast, bordering Burma. This did not prevent attacks on civilians and security forces.

    "Burma and India have begun a joint military offensive on the bases of three rebel groups in India’s northeast. The fighting is taking place on a section along the mountainous border that separates India’s Negaland state from Burma’s Sagaing region. More than 30 rebels and soldiers have been killed since the offensive began, first with a Burmese military push and then with Indian troops joining in to block the rebels’ escape route. This is believed to be the largest joint military campaign against the rebel groups on the Indian-Burmese border-an area where dozens of separatist groups fighting against Delhi or Rangoon have been active for nearly 40 years." [BBC, May 17, 2001]

    2000 Violence escalated in 2000, particularly in the last two months of the year, but there were conflicting claims about who carried out the killings. The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), accused of many attacks on civilians, denied targeting civilians and in turn accused the government of using former ULFA rebels and masterminding the upsurge in violence. Under pressure from New Delhi, the Royal Bhutan Army intensified operations against Assamese rebels to drive out the separatists on the Bhutanese side of the border. There also were attacks involving tribal Bodo groups in western Assam and an estimated 900 rebels surrendered to government forces during the year.

    "In the course of the conflict, the security forces in Assam have been accused of widespread human rights violations against civilians and suspected members of armed groups. In addition, there have been widespread allegations that surrendered members of ULFA have been used by the security forces to target members of ULFA and their relatives – around 20 in the past three years. In recent years talks have been ongoing between the governments of Bhutan and India to stop ULFA and NDFB from using bases inside Bhutan to launch attacks against security forces and economic targets in Assam." [Amnesty International, 4 January 2001]

    "One hundred and sixty militants, 153 of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and seven of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, on Wednesday surrendered before Assam governor Lt. Gen. (Retd) S K Sinha and Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta here." [The Times of India, 7 December 2000]

    "More than 2,000 ULFA and Bodo rebels have surrendered to the Indian authorities over the past two years, including a group of 250 ULFA guerrillas who laid down their arms on 14 August." [Janes Defence Weekly, 20 September 2000]

    1999 Violence in the region continued in 1999 as ULFA battled police and former ULFA members working with government forces. The NSCN-Khaplang faction also fought with security forces, and Bodo and Santhal ethnic groups clashed.

    1998 Following a government offensive against the largest insurgent group early in the year, the conflict reverted to its deadly combination of government-rebel skirmishes, abuses by security forces, and attacks by rebels on government officials and on rival insurgent forces and their communities.

    1997 Insurgent attacks on government forces and public transportation, skirmishes between government and rebel forces, factional feuds among rival insurgent groups, and abuses by government forces all contributed to an escalation of regional violence in spite of cease-fires agreed to by some rebel groups.

    1996 Tensions in border areas shared with Nagaland; ethnic clashes between Bodos and Adivasis killed at least 168 and created 168,000 refugees; ambushes, clashes between ULFA rebels and police and army, and attacks on civilians, killed dozens; Bodo rebel bombings, including a main railway in December, killed dozens more.

    Number of Deaths:

    Total: Approximately 20,000 to 25,000 have died in Nagaland alone according to media reports. The South Asia Terrorism Portal reports that over 13,000 people have died in the other northeastern states since 1992. Given the longevity of the conflict it is likely that overall at least 40,000 people have been killed since 1979.

    “ULFA (United Liberation Front of Asom) is just one of many separatist movements that have lead to the deaths of more than 50,000 people in India’s seven northeastern states since India won its independence from Britain in 1947.” [Times Online, 6 April 2009]

    "About 20,000 people have died in the rebellion in Christian-dominated Nagaland since it began more than five decades ago." [Biswajyoti Das, Reuters, May 11, 2005]

    2008 More than 1130 conflict deaths have been reported across India’s northeastern states, a 13% increase over the 1,000 killed in 2007. Making up this total were 455 civilians, 46 security personnel, and 631 militants. Three states accounted for over 95% of the deaths, Assam with 387, Manipur with 499, and Nagaland with 201.
    [Source: South Asia Terrorism Portal’s 2009 State Assessments for Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura]

    2007 Over 1,000 people were reported killed throughout India’s northeast in 2007 including 453 civilians, 65 security personnel, and 501 militants. Assam, Manipur and Nagaland continued to be the areas with the largest number of casualties with Assam recording 437 deaths, Manipur, 408, and Nagaland, 108.
    [Source: South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP)]

    “An Indian Interior Ministry status report on internal security acknowledged that despite a massive anti-insurgency offensive, there was a sharp increase in overall violence in the country’s restive northeast in 2007 over the previous year. … The number of violent incidents in the northeastern states increased from 1,332 in 2003 to 1,489 in 2007. Civilian casualties recorded in 2003 were 494, 414 in 2005, 309 in 2006 and 498 in 2007. However, the number of security forces killed in action and extremists killed decreased between 2003 and 2007.” [United Press International, March 27, 2008]

    2006 An estimated 627 were killed in clashes in the northeast in 2006. The provinces with the highest number of casualties were Manipur, 280, followed by 174 in Assam. (South Asia Terrorism Portal, South Asia Terrorism Portal, accessed January 2007)

    2005 Over 700 people were killed in rebel-government fighting, rebel attacks on political targets, inter-tribal and inter-rebel clashes and police suppression of street demonstrations across the northeast.

    2004 At least 800 people, a mixture of civilians and combatants, were killed in 2004. This number will climb after casualties from attacks on rebel bases in Burma, Bhutan, and Bangladesh become known.

    2003 The north-eastern states of Assam, Tripura and Manipur experienced the most violence, with approximately 1000 deaths a direct result of the fighting. Civilians and rebel fighters comprised 90 per cent of all reported deaths. A fourth state, Nagaland, also experienced insurgent violence and approximately 40 deaths.
    [Source: South Asian Intelligence Review, Insurgency Related Killings 2003 - Assam, Manipur, Nagaland, and Tripura]

    2002 Assam continued to be the state most affected by violence in north-eastern India, though casualties declined from 606 in 2001 to slightly over 400 in 2002. By the end of the year, the death toll in Manipur reached 150 and over 30 people were killed in Nagaland. Media reports claimed that approximately 50 people were killed in Tripura.
    [Source: South Asian Intelligence Review, Assam Assessments - Year 2002, Manipur Assessment - Year 2002, Nagaland Assessment - Year 2002 ]

    2001 There were more than 600 fatalities in Assam in 2001. In Nagaland, over one hundred people were killed in fighting and Manipur experienced over 250 combat deaths. Overall, approximately 1,400 people were killed.

    2000 Over 1,700 people, including many civilians, were killed in fighting in 2000.

    1999 Over 1,200 civilians, rebels and government forces were killed in 1999.

    1998 More than 1,400 deaths in 1998, including over 600 civilian casualties were reported.

    1997 A total of at nearly 1,700 deaths based on press, human rights group, and government tallies.

    1996 At least 1,200 deaths from ethnic clashes, bombings, assassinations and isolated attacks. One report also cited over 300 deaths in refugee camps arising from the May ethnic clashes.

    Political Developments:

    2008 In a mid-year move that promised new hope for a peaceful settlement to conflict in the state of Assam, several field commanders of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) opted for a ceasefire and peace negotiations. Unfortunately the remaining members of the ULFA did not follow suit and violence continued through yearend. In Nagaland, a ceasefire was again extended and peace talks between the government and the NSCN-IM were held with only marginal progress reported. Nagaland Legislative Assembly elections saw some pre-poll violence but generally the elections were peaceful. Elections in the states of Meghalaya and Tripura were peaceful, reflecting the improved situation in both cases. Conversely, the state of Manipur saw deteriorating conditions and was brought under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958 for another year. This act also applies to Assam and gives the armed forces wide powers to shoot, arrest and search in assisting the civil power.

    “The insurgency in Manipur has, over the years, become increasingly homicidal, and trends in 2008 only demonstrate a further acceleration along this trajectory.” [Manipur Assessment – Year 2009, South Asia Terrorism Portal]

    “A powerful separatist group in India’s restive northeast suffered a blow when half a dozen of its senior commanders decided to shun violence and declared a ceasefire, officials said on Tuesday.” [Reuters India, June 24, 2008]

    “The improved security situation in Tripura was visible in the largely peaceful elections to the State Legislative Assembly on February 23, 2008. In earlier elections, militants had unleashed a reign of terror, significantly affecting voter participation.” [Tripura Assessment – Year 2009, South Asia Terrorism Portal]

    2007 Peace talks failed to resume between the state government of Assam and the ULFA. The Nagaland ceasefire with the NSCN-IM was extended indefinitely. The leader of the NSCN-IM arrived in Delhi in December to continue peace negotiations amid little optimism for progress. Elections in Manipur were mired in violence after Naga separatists attempted to block the participation of mainstream political parties. Indian officials also announced Myanmar military mobilization against Assamese separatist groups whose bases are located in Myanmar.

    “In Manipur, suspected separatists killed 15 soldiers on the 24th of February, following tense state elections that saw Naga rebels attempt to prevent participation of mainstream Indian parties. Earlier ambush on election vehicles killed 4 police, 2 civilians on the 9th of February.” [CrisisWatch, 01 March 2007]

    2006 Peace talks were attempted between the Assam government and representatives from the ULFA, but with little success. In Nagaland, the ceasefire with the NSCN-IM was extended by six months, and the ceasefire with the NSCN-K extended by another year. Efforts have been made to better mark and enforce the borders between India and Bangladesh and Myanmar. In Manipur, large numbers of refugees have been returning to their native villages. The Union Government has sought to introduce a Surrender and Rehabilitation Reimbursement program in the provinces of Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.

    "The Union Government brings Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh under the Surrender and Rehabilitation Reimbursement scheme apart from the States of Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura. The scheme, which will be retrospectively effective from April 2005, will provide a stipend of Rupees 2000 per month for three years to each surrendered militant and an immediate grant of Rupees 1.5 lakh." (South Asia Terrorism Portal, February 10, 2006)

    2005 Peace talks between the Indian government and the NSCN-IM continued but remained stalled over the NSCN-IM’s demand for the creation of a "greater Nagaland" state within India. The NSCN-IM extended a 1997 ceasefire for six months in July. The National Democratic Front of Bodoland signed a ceasefire agreement with the federal government while the Mizoram state government and the Bru National Liberation Front agreed to a peace accord ending eight years of conflict between the two sides. For the first time since 1992, peace talks were held between the Indian federal government and the United Liberation Front of Assam. A wave of protest swept West Bengal in September as tens of thousands of people belonging to the Rajbongshi ethnic group demanded an independent state.

    "The insurgent group, United Liberation Front of Assam’s decision to initiate peace talks with the Centre [the federal government] has brought a ray of hope for the people of Assam, battered by 26 years of militancy. [Rediff.com, October 14, 2005]

    "A leading separatist group in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam has signed a ceasefire agreement with the federal government. The National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) has been fighting for a separate homeland since 1986. Under the truce deal, the NDFB has agreed to give up violence and stay in special camps run by the police." [BBC News, May 25, 2005]

    "The main sticking point in talks has been New Delhi’s refusal to accept the NSCN’s (I-M) demand to merge Naga-dominated areas, including districts from neighbouring northeastern states, into a ‘Greater Nagaland.’" [Biswajyoti Das, Reuters, May 11, 2005]

    "The Mizoram government and the underground Bru National Liberation Front today signed a peace accord to end eight years of militancy following the exodus in late 1997 of Brus to neighbouring Tripura due to ethnic tension with the Mizos. The MoU will facilitate the repatriation of thousands of Bru refugees now staying in six relief camps in neighbouring North Tripura district... As per the provisions of the MoU, the BNLF militants will lay down arms and come overground to lead normal lives. The state government, apart from extending financial aid for the rehabilitation and resettlement of the militants and the refugees, will give a special development package for the Bru inhabitated areas." [Outlook India, April 26, 2005]

    2004 In a change of policy, the Indian government announced it would meet with any rebel group that disavowed violence when previously it was willing to meet only with rebel groups beginning to disarm. Several rebel groups announced ceasefires and, as a result, negotiations between the Indian government and several rebel groups took place and hundreds of rebels surrendered to Indian authorities. Rebels in Assam rejected all offers of peace talks initiated by the Indian Government. Ties between India and the Bhutanese and Burmese governments grew as both foreign governments continued to attack rebel bases in their territories and, in support, India pledged additional training and military aid. India and Bangladesh also undertook joint missions against northeastern rebels for the first time. The Indian and US militaries began war games in India’s northeastern jungles and both countries pledged to help train the other’s military in jungle-fighting as part of the "war on terror". In a visit to Assam, India’s Prime Minister ruled out any discussion of sovereignty with separatists.

    "In their first-ever joint operation, Indian and Bangladeshi security forces on Tuesday gunned down Manoranjan Gosain, alias Mrinal, the chief of the New Biplabi Communist Party (M-L) — which is outlawed in Bangladesh." [Hindustan Times, September 22, 2004]

    "India’s prime minister said Saturday his government was ready to talk to any militant group, including those in Kashmir, abandoning previous preconditions that the rebels must first disarm. However Manmohan Singh, at his first press conference since taking office on May 22, added that he expected the militants to ‘eschew the path of violence’." [Agence France Presse, September 4, 2004]

    "The breakaway Biswamohan faction of the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) today surrendered before the Tripura Governor DN Sahaya. A total of 72 militants including 22 women cadres laid down their firearms in a formal surrender ceremony held at Arundhutinagar Police-line. The group was led by six top commanders of NLFT Biswamohyan faction – self -styled vice-president Kamini Debbarma, general secretary Mantu Koloy, finance secretary Bishnuprasad Jamatia, assistant finance secretary Dhanu Koloy, chief of army staff Benoy Debbarma and deputy army chief of the organization Sanjiv Debbarma." [Assam Tribune, May 6, 2004]

    2003 Peace initiatives of insurgent groups and government officials arose throughout the year. The main rebel group in Nagaland, the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (I-M) met with the Indian government in January for unprecedented peace talks, but several issues remained highly contentious, including the creation of a "Greater Nagaland." The Bodoland Liberation Tiger Force, based in Assam, signed a peace agreement with the Indian government in January 2003, which held throughout the year. Also, in early 2004, one faction of the National Liberation Front of Tripura indicated a willingness for peace talks with the government. Following his capture in December, Bhimkanta Buragohain, the founder of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) called upon his supporters to lay down their weapons and pursue their objectives through peaceful means.

    "Police said a faction of the outlawed National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) led by Nayanbasi Jamatiya had written a formal letter to the government over the weekend offering to talk peace. ...The other NLFT faction headed by Biswamohan Debbarma has so far not responded to the government's peace overtures." [keralanext.com, January 12, 2004]

    "Buragohain [the founder of ULFA] was shown by the Indian army in the north-eastern state of Assam, where he urged his supporters to lay down their arms and begin talks with the Indian government. ... ‘Armed rebellion cannot bring independence,’ the 78-year-old rebel leader said. The Indian army says Buragohain was handed over to them by the Bhutanese Army on Thursday." [BBC News, December 26, 2003]

    "Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Wednesday virtually ruled out the demand for a greater Nagaland saying there was no political consensus for changing the boundaries of states in the Northeast." [rediff.com, October 29, 2003]

    "Negotiations with the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (I-M) have made major headway in recent times with the leaders of the Naga rebel group visiting Delhi in January 2003 for the first time in almost 37 years for peace talks. Since then the Centre’s interlocutors, led by K Padmanabhaiah, had four rounds of talks with NSCN (I-M) representatives." [rediff.com, October 27, 2003]

    "The agreement was signed in Delhi on Monday between senior officials of the Indian home ministry and leaders of the Bodoland Liberation Tiger Force (BLTF). ... The accord sets up a Bodoland Territorial Council in Assam offering considerable local autonomy to more than 3,000 villages that are home to Bodo tribesmen. ... However, not all Bodo groups are happy with the accord. The separatist National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) rejects the agreement." [BBC News, February 10, 2003]

    2002 Significant steps toward peace were made this year. Two factions of the Kuki National Front, a rebel group that operates throughout north-eastern India, agreed to cooperate with one another to continue peace negotiations with the federal government. The Bodoland Liberation Tigers Force (BLTF) committed to peace talks in August after the authorities in Assam agreed to provide autonomy to the Bodos tribes people. Despite these achievements, however, India’s relations with bordering states remained tense as the Indian government accused the governments of Bangladesh and Bhutan of knowingly providing sanctuary to rebel groups active in north-eastern India. In addition, some reports claimed the Indian government viewed Pakistan and China to be supporting rebel groups in an attempt to destabilize the region.

    "One of the most powerful militant groups in India's north-eastern Assam state says it is ready to sign a peace agreement with Delhi. ‘We have agreed to give up the demand for a separate homeland in favour of a more realistic settlement,’ a spokesman for the Bodoland Liberation Tigers Force (BLTF), Maino Daimary, told the BBC." [BBC News, August 13, 2002]

    "India is putting pressure on neighbouring Bangladesh and Bhutan to destroy rebel bases it says are being run in their territory by guerrilla groups from north-east India." [BBC News, November 4, 2002]

    "New Delhi views the insurgencies in the north-east not as expressions of local discontent but as part of wider efforts at destablization by China and Pakistan. For New Delhi, the north-east is a hotbed of Pakistani intelligence activity." [Overseas Development Institute, Humanitarian Practice Network Report, April 3, 2002]

    2001 Early in 2001 an Indian government agreement with rebels to extend a cease fire beyond the state of Nagaland was opposed by the administrations and people of neighbouring states. Between May and July as many as 18 people were killed in demonstrations against the extension. By the end of July the government reversed its decision on the extended cease fire.

    "The Indian Government has backed out of a controversial cease fire deal with separatist Naga rebels in the country’s northeast. The government says the cease fire will now be restricted to Nagaland and will not include areas outside the state where the rebels operate. Delhi signed a deal with the separatist National Socialist Council of Nagaland to extend the cease fire beyond the boundaries of the state. But Delhi’s move to broaden the cease fire was met with resistance in the neighbouring states of Manipur, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh. Eighteen people were killed in violent protests in Manipur and homes and offices of politicians and officials were burnt down." [CNN, July 27, 2001]

    2000 The United Liberation Front of Assam (UFA) said it would hold talks with Delhi under UN auspices only if Assam’s independence were discussed. Meanwhile, the Indian government and the Bodo Liberation Tigers agreed to extend their cease-fire by one year in September. Early in 2001, the Indian government proposed unconditional peace talks with the ULFA in an effort to end two decades of insurgency.

    1999 A 1997 cease-fire, which has been observed by most insurgent and government forces, was extended in 1999 to July 2000.

    "On August 1, 1997, a cease-fire between the Government and the Isak-Muivah faction of the NSCN (NCSN-IM) entered into effect and largely has been observed by the Government and all insurgent groups in the state. During the latter part of the year, the cease-fire was extended through July 31, 2000." [India Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1999, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, US State Department, 2000]

    "In May 2000, the BLT - a group allegedly supported by Indian Security forces – began tripartite talks with the Government of India and the Government of Assam. At the same time a ceasefire was initiated. [Amnesty International, 4 January 2000]

    1998 In mid-1998 the government extended a ceasefire with one Nagaland rebel group and oversaw the surrender of nearly 200 members of several insurgent forces.

    "In July and August 184 insurgents from the ULFA, the Bodo Liberation Tigers and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland surrendered to government forces." [The Hindustan Times, August 13, 1998]

    "The Indian government has extended by one more year the ceasefire with rebel groups in the state of Nagaland who have been fighting for a Christian homeland in the region bordering Myanmar (Burma) for almost 50 years." [Jane’s Defence Weekly, 12 August 1998, p.16]

    "What exactly do the Nagas want? Officially, complete independence because, as so many of them keep on repeating, ‘we have never been Indian’. The trouble is that the rebels are becoming increasingly isolated. Now that Beijing has normalised its relations with the Indian ‘enemy’, the Chinese aid they used to get has dwindled. Neighbouring Bangladesh, where they once trained with the blessing of the local authorities, no longer welcomes them. In Burma, where they have established a rear base, the army has organised operations against them. Within the space of a few years, shifting alliances have completely changed the geo-strategic landscape of the 1960s and 1970s. Do the Nagas have any choice but to accept a compromise? And what more than a ceasefire can they negotiate?" ["Nagaland's forgotten war smoulders on," Bruno Philip, Guardian Weekly, April 28, 1998]

    1997 The creation in January of a "Unified Command" counter insurgency system combining Army and police operations as well as an India-Bangladesh agreement brought additional pressures on rebel groups. An August 1 ceasefire between Indian government forces and one separatist faction (NSCN-I/M) was extended for an additional three-months in October.

    "A ceasefire agreement between the Indian government and the rebel National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isaac-Muviah) has been extended by three months. The original ceasefire expired on 31 October." [Jane’s Defence Weekly, 12 November 1997, p27] The orginal ceasefire, negotiated with the support of a US Baptist church group in Atlanta (the Baptist Peace Fellowship), began August 1.

    "The Bodo Liberation Tiger Force ... announced a ceasefire on January 21. The BLTF, allegedly responsible for most of the major incidents of violence in the State during the past one month, in a statement faxed to a few local newspaper offices, said the cease-fire had been announced in view of the appeals made by the Union Home Minister." [Assam Online, Vol 1:82, January 13, 1997]

    1996 The Asom Gana Parishad-led government assumed power in the state of Assam in 1996.

    Background:

    The numerous ethnic groups of India’s northeastern states, many of them with long histories as independent or autonomous regions, have demanded greater autonomy or independence from India ever since regional incorporation (at times through military invasion and occupation as in the case of the Nagaland) into the Indian federal state during the 1950s. A large influx of Bengalis and other political refugees into the seven relatively less populated states of the northeast region of India during both the creation of Pakistan and the 1971 secession of Bangladesh, as well as subsequent economic refugees, further aggravated tensions with indigenous ethnic groups. Demands for independence arose from a sense that the indigenous population was losing cultural identity and political power and not receiving its share of the region’s resources. These feelings were fuelled by various Indian governments that sought to suppress indigenous cultures through assimilation into the majority Hindu culture and carried out discriminatory economic and political policies. Ethnic-based independence groups, such as the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), founded in 1979, the Bodo Security Force, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) and the All Tripura Tiger Force led the insurgency against the Indian government. In the early 1990s, after direct rule by the national government was imposed on the state of Assam, a series of government successes appeared to sideline the ULFA but by 1996 violence was on the rise throughout the region. The 1997 creation in Assam of a “Unified Command” counterinsurgency system combining Army and police operations, as well as government agreements with neighbouring states to thwart cross-border activity, brought additional pressures on the insurgent groups. A 1997 ceasefire between the government and one faction of the NSCN has been extended several times and was extended indefinitely in 2007. Since 1998 continuing pressures on the insurgent groups has resulted in the surrender of more than 2,000 ULFA and Bodo rebels. In the following years the conflict intensity varied as ceasefires were called and broken and as peace negotiations between the government and various rebel factions continued but failed to produce formal agreements. Additionally, the Burmese, Bhutanese and Bangladeshi militaries were drawn into the conflict, participating in joint missions and training with the Indian government.

    "The key to a safer future for the north-east lies in a better mix of Indian policies, the principal ingredients of which are: economic development, focussing especially on the needs of the poor and socially neglected; greater tolerance of local control; a willingness to work with local leaders; a strengthened democratic process and stronger civil society institutions; and more intensive efforts at reconciliation." [Overseas Development Institute, Humanitarian Practice Network Report, April 3, 2002]

    "Assamese nationalism arises from resentment against the large influx of Bengalis and other groups from all over India. The first major influx began with the partition of Bengal and the creation of East Pakistan, when Bengali Hindus migrated from East Bengal into West Bengal and Assam. Later, during the struggle for Bangladesh in 1971, millions of Bengalis -- mainly Hindus and some Muslims -- fled to West Bengal and Assam again. While most of these refugees returned after 1972, thousands remained in India. Subsequently, thousands more Bengali Muslims began to infiltrate Assam to escape the economic hardships of the newly formed state of Bangladesh. The creation of the Assamese into a minority in their own state and the perception that they have failed to obtain their fair share of the benefits of the oil, tea and timber resources of their own state, eventually led to the demand for independence. ...
    The devastating military blows inflicted by [early 1990s government] military operations have brought ULFA to the negotiating table with the promise of government amnesty if their separatist movement ceases. The success of these negotiations, however, are by no means assured." [Raju G.C. Thomas, "Secessionist Movements in South Asia," Survival, Vol 36:2, Summer 1994]

    Arms Sources:

    Government: See Kashmir

    Rebels: The rebels reportedly receive financial support from expatriate Indians in Malaysia. Like other rebel groups in southern Asia, Assam rebels likely obtain weapons via the interwoven drug and illicit arms trade. In addition, some reports suggest that rebel groups steal large quantity of weapons from security forces. The Indian government has accused Bhutan and Bangladesh of providing arms to rebel groups. China has also been reported to have supplied small arms to Nagaland rebels.

    [Sources: South Asia Intelligence Review, 2002, Assessment for Nagas in India, Minorities At Risk Project (MAR), December 31, 2000]

    New reports of illegal arms smuggled to the rebel groups in India’s northeast emerged in 2004 following the discovery of a large arms cache in Bangladesh, believed to be bound for India’s northeast. The cache included 10,000 weapons, 5000 grenades and 300,000 rounds of ammunition. Since this was one of many caches seized in Bangladesh this year, its discovery led to fears that the rebel groups were better armed than previously believed.

    "In New Delhi, it is felt that these arms were to be routed to the country’s northeastern state via Bangladesh, which has become a major gun-running point for shipments of arms routed by anti-India elements." [Webindia, May 21, 2004]

    "Thailand and India have held the first meeting of a new Joint Working Group on Security (JWGS) Bangkok and may initiate joint naval patrols aimed at interdicting smuggling and illicit arms shipments from southern Thailand ... The maritime traffic of weapons from Thailand’s Andaman Sea coast to insurgent groups in India’s troubled northeast was one issue on the agenda ..." [Janes’s Defence Weekly, June 11, 2003]

    "A Tripura State Rifles official said the rebels had fled with a large quantity of captured weapons and ammunition." [washingtonpost.com, August 20, 2002]

    Economic Factors:

    The groups fighting for independence accuse the Indian government of exploiting the region’s rich mineral resources, neglecting its economy and flooding the state with migrant settlers. [Sources: Amnesty International, 4 January 2001; washingtonpost.com, August 20, 2002]

    Oil is a major issue in the conflict in Nagaland since the region reportedly sits on a multi-billion dollar oil reserve. Tribes in Nagaland fear that when oil extraction begins they will be displaced and leaders insist that they will not allow their people to relocate before assurances that they will get new land, not just monetary payments. Nagas also want assurances that any oil development will not harm the environment. If oil extraction begins without an agreement with the Naga people, an increase in violence in Nagaland appears likely. Economic discrimination against minorities in the region is widespread.

    "It [the ULFA] blames New Delhi for taking away the region’s considerable oil resources without helping it to develop." ('Indian rebels blow up oil pipeline', Reuters, Aljazeera.net, Sunday 22 January 2006)

    "There has been limited economic development in the northeast, despite the changes that have occurred in the rest of India. The Nagas are disadvantaged due to past and current political and economic discrimination, mostly from the majority community." [Assessment for Nagas in India, Minorities At Risk Project (MAR), December 31, 2000]

    "Naga leaders say the oil will stay in the ground until they have guarantees that anyone forced to move will get new land, not just cash. They also want assurances that their lush jungles, rivers and rice paddies will be protected against oil spills and other environmental hazards. And they want a share of the profit to go to tribal councils for local development." [LA Times, September 16, 2004]
     
  11. IBRIS

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    Op Rhino-II


    Operation Rhino-II (Assam CI Ops)

    Anti-insurgency operations by the army, paramilitary, and police forces in the state of Assam since 1992 are termed Operation Rhino-II. Operation Rhino I (1991-92) was suspended by the state government when it initiated talks with the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) in early 1992. The original insurgency, caused by the unchecked immigration of Bangladeshis, and the connivance of certain political parties in their illegal acquisition of land, voting rights, and ration cards has morphed into senseless terrorism. Practically every ethnic group in Assam has formed an armed militia to fight for its rights (including the Bangladeshi immigrants). All insurgent groups have foreign links, patronage, and bases, where their leaders have evolved into wealthy businessmen while the cadres are recruited from among unemployed youth who sustain themselves through extortion.

    Orbat:

    The Eastern Command headquartered at Calcutta, comprising three army corps, is responsible for securing India’s borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Nepal, and Myanmar. The 4 Corps headquartered at Tezpur comprises three mountain divisions and an artillery brigade—the sub-units of these formations are spread across Arunachal Pradesh, Upper Assam (the Brahmaputra valley), and Meghalaya. The 4 Corps works under a unified civil-military command structure to fight insurgency alongside the police and paramilitary forces.

    Major Events (Year 2004):
    (See detailed map http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/images/maps/bigmap/Assam.jpg)

    1. Jan 01 The North East Tribune: Brig SN Sethia, Commander of 41 Sub Area along with Dr Ravi Kota, DC Jorhat and PC Saloi, SP Jorhat accepted the surrender of sixteen hardcore militants. The militants include fifteen members of ULFA and one of Muslim Liberation Tigers of Assam (MULTA). Six security personnel sustained serious injuries when militants belonging to the banned ULFA ambushed a team of Indian Reserve Police Battalion in Assam’s Goalpara district.
    2. Jan 02 The Assam Tribune: One battalion of the ULFA is located in Myanmar and the outfit launches most of its operations in the Upper Assam districts from the bases in the neighbouring country. Government of India has decided to entrust the job of guarding the India-Myanmar border to the Assam Rifles, but the full deployment would take some time.
    3. Jan 03 Hindustan Times: Seven NDFB militants flushed out from Bhutan have surrendered to a joint team of police, army and CRPF in Kokrajhar district of Assam. The Assam Tribune: Gen Vij observed that after the reverses suffered at the hands of the RBA which has done a splendid job, it would be difficult for the banned ULFA, NDFB and the KLO to regroup in Bhutan again. New Delhi drew the attention of the Chinese embassy to media reports about a letter addressed to the Chinese Government by the ULFA requesting safe passage through its territory to escape the operations being carried out against them by the Royal Bhutan Army.
    4. Jan 04 The Assam Tribune: a joint police-CRPF team recovered two M-20 pistols, one 9 mm pistol and 22 rounds of live bullets from a makeshift camp used by suspected ULFA extremists along the Assam-Nagaland border at Koliapani Bahalting under Teok PS.
    5. Jan 06 The North East Tribune: Bangladesh government has decided to make the ongoing crackdown against militants more intense while red alert has been sounded along the Myanmar border to prevent infiltration of Indian militants incase of an arms operation by Myanmarese army.
    6. Jan 07 The Assam Tribune: Assam Government intends to complete construction of roads and barbed wire fencing along the Indo-Bangla border within the State by the end of the year 2006. Both Assam Rifles and Nagaland Police have confirmed that some ULFA militants had sneaked into Nagaland following the ‘Operation All Clear’ by Royal Bhutan Army (RBA) as the outfit had close links with NSCN(K)
    7. Jan 08 The North East Tribune: ULFA militants this evening gunned down a businessman, Mahesh Agarwal, in upper Assam's Jorhat district. The victim reportedly received a demand note of rupees 4 lakhs from the outfit and inability to pay cost Mr Agarwal his life.
    8. Jan 09 The North East Tribune: ULFA attacked a police outpost situated 25 km away from Goalpara town near Assam-Meghalaya border injuring three Assam police personnel.
    9. Jan 13 The Assam Tribune: The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kamrup today remanded ULFA ideologue and political adviser Bhimkanta Buragohain alias Mama to police custody for three more days. Bhimkanta was arrested by the Royal Bhutan Army on December 19 and later handed over to the Army. The Special operations Unit of the Assam Police requested the Court to remand Bhimkanta to police custody for seven more days for facilitating recovery of weapons and extorted money of the ULFA.
    10. Jan 15 The Assam Tribune: Seven National Democratic Front for Bodoland (NDFB) militants surrendered before the SP Kokrajhar Vijoy Krishna in a jungle near Indo-Bhutan border. The ultras deposited one AK-47, one US carbine, one 9 mm pistol, five grenades, and two satellite phones.
    11. Jan 16 The North East Tribune: Indian Army will continue its vigil along the Indo-Bhutan border against any move by fleeing ultras to reenter that country, Lt-Gen J S Verma GoC-in-C Eastern Command, said in Kolkata on the sidelines of the Army day celebrations. He expressed hope that with the decisions taken at the recent Islamabad SAARC summit and the RBA's direct action against the ultras, Bangladesh too would take steps against Indian militants carrying on their activities from camps on that country's soil.
    12. Jan 17 The North East Tribune: ULFA militants blew up the pipeline at Mamorani under Digboi police station disrupting oil supply between Digboi refinery and Tinsukia Terminal. In a second incident, two pipelines were blown off at Gutibor in Upper Assam’s Tinsukia district this morning.
    13. Jan 18 The Sentinel (Assam): Two NDFB militants, R. Mwndangthi and Maokhang Narzary, surrendered before the Garubhas police in Kokrajhar district today. An NDFB ‘corporal’ Prafulla Basumatary (25) surrendered before the Bismuri police outpost. Two other cadres, Dutan Narzary alias Poshim and B. Mwsrwmjati alias Mynna surrendered today at Serfanguri Army camp.
    14. Jan 19 The Sentinel (Assam): police and CRPF personnel gheraoed the residence of Kandu Roy of Kaimari village, where a gang of ULFA militants were reportedly taking shelter. The ULFA militants opened fire at the police team, which was immediately retaliated. In the encounter, three ULFA men sustained bullet injuries but managed to escape. Nine cadres of the NDFB including two top leaders yesterday laid down their arms before the police in Kokrajhar.
    15. Jan 20 The North East Tribune: a group of 10 UPDS (anti-talks) militants gunned down five surrendered United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS represents the Karbi people) militants killing four on the spot and grievously injuring another at Rangdubi Reserve Forest. NDFB received yet another blow when 28 of its members under the leadership of G Gawjwnsa, B Sufungra, and G D Riding surrendered before V K Ranisetti, SP Kokrajhar.
    16. Jan 21 Hindustan Times: Buoyed by the Bhutan Government’s action against militants taking shelter there, northeastern states on Wednesday demanded similar steps vis-à-vis Bangladesh and Myanmar to "close down and demolish" the camps of militants in those countries. The Chief Ministers from Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura, who presented a memorandum to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in this regard, said the 1,880 km border with Bangladesh should be fenced immediately. The Assam Tribune: Militants of the banned ULFA exploded a bomb to damage the Shalmari-Moran crude oil pipeline belonging to Oil India Limited (OIL).
    17. Jan 22 The Assam Tribune: The recent announcement of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi that all people living in the Char areas of the State would be provided land patta has come in for sharp criticism from the All Assam Students Union (AASU), which has termed it as yet another ploy of the Congress Government to safeguard the Bangladeshi vote bank. The North East Tribune: ULFA triggered an IED damaging the two security vehicles that were traveling from Balijana CRPF camp to Damas. It is also being suspected that ANVC had helped the ULFA in carrying out the blast.
    18. Jan 24 The North East Tribune: ULFA and NDFB received a serious jolt when 33 cadres surrendered before army officials in Udalguri today. Major General M S Rathod, GOC Fireball division has launched a campaign urging the militants to surrender.
    19. Jan 25 The North East Tribune: The Operation Freedom group consisting of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), Tripura Peoples Democratic Front (TPDF) and Manipur Peoples Liberation Front (MPLF) today claimed responsibility for the subversive activities carried out in Assam, Manipur and Meghalaya to highlight the Regional Boycott of the Republic Day. United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) triggered another IED blast at Tikripara in West Garo hills district on Thursday night and critically injured three personnel of the CRPF’s 53rd battalion.
    20. Jan 26 The North East Tribune: two NDFB men were shot dead by army personnel on the bank of Kalanadi in Nalbari district.
    21. Jan 27 The North East Tribune: In Assam, breaking the shackles of fear psychosis Guwahatians gathered in the Judges Field to witness and celebrate Republic day. The event commenced with the procession from all educational institutions to the Judges Field and the showering of petals from the Indian Air Force, followed by the ceremonial flag hoisting by the Governor of Assam Lt Gen (Retd) Ajai Singh.
    22. Jan 29 The North East Tribune: Four ULFA militants were killed by the army at Pahari Basti area under Tamulpur Police Station in Nalbari district.
    23. Feb 01 The North East Tribune: 156 ULFA and NDFB militants including five women cadres surrendered to Lieutenant General Anup Singh Jamwal, GOC Gajraj Corps (4 Corps) at a rehabilitation Ceremony organised by the Red Horns Division of Army at Tamulpur in Nalbari district.
    24. Feb 05 The Hindu: The Royal Bhutan Government handed over 27 children, in the age group of two to 12 years, on December 24 following operation "All Clear" in which 30 camps of ULFA, the NDFB and the Kamatapur Liberation Organisation were destroyed. The Assam Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi, on December 30 announced that the Government would take full care of these children and provide them better education and health care.
    25. Feb 06 The Assam Tribune: The State Government has decided to extend further the deadline for general amnesty for militants willing to surrender. The earlier deadline had expired on January 31 resulting in the surrender of over 400 ultras.
    26. Feb 08 The North East Tribune: The Borholla police apprehended five ULFA extremists, two of them female cadres, as they were trying to cross over to Nagaland last night in a Maruti van along the Assam-Nagaland border.
    27. Feb 10 The North East Tribune: twelve ULFA cadres including a few senior members laid down arms in front of the Nalbari deputy commissioner, K C Samaria as a fall out of Bhutan operations.
    28. Feb 12 The Assam Tribune: Three NDFB militants surrendered before the Army in Kokrajhar district yesterday bringing to 51 the total number of surrenders in the district since December 15 last.
    29. Feb 13 The North East Tribune: three Kuki militants were killed after army personnel prevented a bid to ambush a patrol party by militants at Saizung in Karbi Anglong district last night. In another incident, personnel of J & K light infantry aborted an ambush attempt by militants and killed three militants at Peshing on Assam-Meghalaya border.
    30. Feb 20 The Assam Tribune: Bhutan today said that its Royal Army was still combing the kingdom's southern part bordering West Bengal to complete the flush-out of militants.
    31. Feb 25 The Assam Tribune: Twelve hardcore NDFB militants today surrendered before army authorities in a simple function at the Red Horns Artillery Brigade at Hatigor in the Darrang district. Two ULFA militants and a surrendered ULFA man were killed in an encounter with Army at Chamatiapara village under Barama police station in Nalbari district. The North East Tribune: Army operation team raided an ULFA hideout in the jungles at Badengre in West Khasi hill district. Major Samrat Maiti of the Naga Regiment was killed in the encounter. Two ULFA militants died on the spot.
    32. Feb 27 The Sentinel (Assam): In a fresh bid to bring the militants to the mainstream, the State Government has extended the period of “general amnesty” to all the rebel groups, including the ULFA, the NDFB, the UPDS and the DHD, till March 31.
    33. Feb 28 The Assam Tribune: Security forces killed four ULFA ultras in Padumani village under Mahadebpur PS in Arunachal Pradesh.
    34. Mar 02 The Sentinel (Assam): Troops of Red Shield Division apprehended two UNLF militants recently. The Army also recovered incriminating documents from their possession. The militants were handed over to Lakhipur police station by the Army authorities.
    35. Mar 04 The Assam Tribune: Army troops last night killed four hardcore ULFA militants during an encounter at Tepkilobana, in Kamrup district. An AK-56 rifle with two magazines and 14 live rounds, a Draganov sniper rifle with a magazine and 18 live rounds, a pistol with a magazine and four live rounds, four Chinese grenades, incriminating documents and some currency was recovered from the spot. The Assam Government has requested the Centre to take up measures like raising of River Police Battalion, remodeling of the Indo-Bangladesh border fencing on the lines of the Punjab border and issuance of multipurpose national identity cards to check illegal infiltration, said the Governor Lt Gen (Retd) Ajai Singh today.
    36. Mar 05 The Assam Tribune: ULFA militants, taking shelter at the house of one Amarendra Nath at Singabil under Sarbhog police station, were suddenly attacked by the joint group of 16th CRPF battalion and Assam Police. Following the encounter, one unidentified ultra was killed on the spot, while Sri Jagtar Singh (32) of CRPF and Maheswar Basumatary (23) of Assam Police died on the spot.
    37. Mar 09 The Assam Tribune: ULFA extremists exploded a bomb in a goods train between Bhojo and Safrai Railway stations in Sivasagar district.
    38. Mar 12 The Sentinel (Assam): Tension continues to mount along the Assam-Nagaland border here as recent information confirms the construction of about seven hovels by the Nagas beside the Kasojan stream at Panikheti in the Dessoi Valley region in Assam. The Assam Tribune: police party led by SP Rana Bhuyan conducted a search operation in Bheloguri-Baghara hill last night and recovered a 28 kg live time bomb from the Golcheba hillock.
    39. Mar 15 The Assam Tribune: The Manab Adhikar Sangram Samity (MASS), a human rights organisation of the state, has launched an international campaign to force the Bhutan Government to come out clean on the fate of at least 18 ULFA cadres, who are “missing” since the Royal Bhutan Army’s ‘Operation All Clear’ was launched in mid-December.
    40. Mar 16 The Sentinel (Assam): security personnel of Dah Mountain Division, stationed at Panbari, Bokakhat apprehended one Surja Patra, an ULFA cadre and one Roop Saikia, a SULFA member recently at Ghiladhari, Golaghat district. There are more than 90 camps belonging to militant outfits like the ULFA, NDFB, and the ATTF in Bangladesh. This was revealed by the Additional Director General of the BSF Sultan Iftikar Syed Ahmed who was on a two day whirlwind tour of North Bengal and Assam. One dreaded ULFA militant, Paritosh Bhakat surrendered on Saturday before the police and CRPF personnel at Kaimari Pat VI. The Assam Tribune: Bhutanese Army has launched a large-scale combing operation in its dense forests to flush out remnants of insurgents groups like ULFA, NDFB and KLO, 30 camps of which were smashed and destroyed in military action in December last.
    41. Mar 18 The Assam Tribune: One militant was killed and a huge cache of arms and ammunition recovered by the army in Assam's North Cachar Hills district. The North East Tribune: The cross border militancy in North East India received a major jolt when five top militants including one Harkat Ul Mujahidin militant Md. Moinul Haque Chaudhury and Nileshwar Basumatary, finance secretary of NDFB laid down arms before Khagen Sarma, IGP (SB) of Assam police. The Sentinel (Assam): The District Magistrate, Bongaigaon by an order under Section 144 CrPC has prohibited movement of any person or persons within five kilometres along Indo-Bhutan border.
    42. Mar 20 The Assam Tribune: ULFA militants today blasted an ONGC crude oil pipeline in upper Assam's Sibsagar district supplying crude to the Numaligarh Refinery in nearby Golaghat district.
    43. Mar 24 The Times of India: at least 13 people have been killed in a clash between Karbi and Kuki communities in the Assam's hill district of Karbi Anglong on Tuesday night. Deputy inspector general of police (special branch) Jyotirmoy Chakravarty told TNN that the clashes took place in two remote villages in Dilai police outpost area under Bokajan police station.
    44. Mar 28 The Hindu: Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) militants struck again during the wee hours today, killing five villagers and set fire to at least 50 houses in five Karbi villages under Bokajan police station in Karbi Anglong district.
    45. Mar 29 The Sentinel (Assam): troops of Kumaon Regiment of the Army based at Ajmani launched an operation at ULFA hideout in Paglahat and rescued Paban Kumar (25), the abducted son of retired police officer, Ramcharan Kumar.
    46. Apr 06 The North East Tribune: ULFA militants blew a bomb at the heart of Sibsagar town in Upper Assam. IGP (SB) Assam Police Khagen Sarma said that the bomb did not cause much damage.
    47. Apr 07 The Assam Tribune: militants triggered off a powerful explosion under a police vehicle in front of the Pachim Dhemaji college, Gauhati, injuring 9.
    48. Apr 10 The Assam Tribune: One ULFA militant Bimal Barman was apprehended by the Army at Borgaon following an exchange of fire with a group of militants, in which two civilians were also injured.
    49. Apr 11 The Assam Tribune: Three ULFA militants and two NDFB militants were killed in two separate encounters with the Army in Kamrup and Nalbari district today.
    50. Apr 13 The Sentinel (Assam): troops of the Red Horns Division of the Army killed two NDFB militants in separate encounters recently.
    51. Apr 15 The North East Tribune: With a large number of militant groups calling for poll boycott there has been a substantial increase of security forces in the region with CRPF alone raising its existing force from 209 Companies to 279 Companies informed its Director General of CRPF J K Sinha. 2 killed and 15 injured in a blast at the busy Ganeshguri area of Guwahati.
    52. Apr 21 The Sentinel (Assam): An ULFA cadre Ratneswar Gogoi alias Rantu Gogoi surrendered before the District Magistrate, Dibrugarh yesterday. He was in Bhutan in 1998 and was there till operation “all clear” conducted by the Royal Bhutan Army. Then Gogoi fled away and went to NSCN (Khaplang) camp in Mon district, Nagaland. According to the surrendered ULFA cadre, the ULFA has been facing financial crunch and is not in a position to provide food to its cadres properly.
    53. Apr 22 The North East Tribune: Two army personnel were killed during an encounter with ULFA militants in lower Assam’s Barpeta district.
    54. Apr 24 The Sentinel (Assam): Two dreaded ULFA cadres Abhijit Gogoi and Biju Hatibaruah surrendered before Col. Samsher Singh Dalal, Commanding Officer, Punjab Regiment, camped at Dibrugarh.
    55. Apr 28 The Sentinel (Assam): Seven militants belonging to ULFA and NDFB have surrendered before the SP, Kokrajhar V K Ramiseti at Serfanguri PS.
    56. Apr 29 The Sentinel (Assam): troops of 2 Mountain division, operating in Tinsukia district, recovered an improvised explosive device (IED) near Margherita.
    57. (Sainik Samachar - April 2004) A group of 44 militants of ULFA surrendered arms to Lt Gen Anup S Jamwal, GOC, Gajraj Corps, at Tezpur. The militants surrendered an assortment of weapons, ammunition, explosives, detonators and incriminating documents. Speaking on the occasion, Lt Gen Anup S Jamwal assured the militants that the Army would make all efforts to impart vocational training and help them establish themselves.
    58. May 06 The North East Tribune: Suspected NDFB militants have gunned down two Adivasis at Bogribari in Assam’s Dhubri district. The victims have been identified as Budhu Monda and Samar Biswas. The Assam Tribune: ULFA leader (Operation) Subhas Sarma alias “Fighter” of Nalbari surrendered before the SP Darrang, EA Hazarika last Sunday at Mangaldai. His wife Binapani Deka, also an ULFA leader surrendered along with him.
    59. May 07 The Sentinel (Assam): troops of the 2 Mountain Division of the Army, deployed in Tinsukia district shot dead a hard-core ULFA militant, Rudrajit Deodai Phukan alias Lachit Phukan, in New Kathalguri near Philobari. Two hard-core militants of the UPDS (anti-talk) faction surrendered before Col Surinder Kumar, 94 Field Regiment of Dah Mountain Division and police officials of Jorhat district at a surrender ceremony at Mariani.
    60. May 08 The Sentinel (Assam): a large number of ULFA cadres have shifted their operational bases from Tinsukia to various districts of Arunachal Pradesh. Arunachal Dragon Federation (ADF) is providing some logistic support to the ULFA cadres in Lohit district. The latter is reportedly maintaining a close nexus with the NSCN (K) in Changlang district. Pranab Jyoti Konwar, an ULFA activist, surrendered before the District Magistrate, Mr Niraj Verma in Dibrugarh. He worked as a wireless operator in the outfit till 1998. He said at present there are three “battalions” comprising 28th battalion, 7th battalion besides “council” which have at least 200 armed cadres including 20 women.
    61. May 14 The Assam Tribune: 10 NDFB militants including have surrendered with arms and ammunitions before Brig OPS Pathania, Commander 77 Mountain Brigade at 5 Assam Rifles headquarters at Chariduar in Sonitpur district.
    62. May 15 The Sentinel (Assam): Troops of 2 Mountain Division, operating in Tinsukia district of upper Assam, shot dead an ULFA cadre at Sema Basti near Jagun.
    63. May 22 The Sentinel (Assam): The All Assam Students Union (AASU) has condemned the recent remarks of the newly elected MP from Dhubri Anowar Hussain that he will give priority to the retention of IM(DT) Act. The Gorkha Troops of Red Shield Division, deployed in NC Hills, after a three-day search operation against militants, killed one KNF militant and recovered arms and ammunition.
    64. May 31 The North East Tribune: Four persons, including a woman and a girl, were injured in an attack by Bodos who also set ablaze 17 houses of Biharis in Upper Assam's Golaghat district.
    65. Jun 02 The Telegraph: Mediators trying to secure the release of Assam minister G.C. Langthasa’s (veterinary minister and the most high-profile political leader from the remote North Cachar Hills) youngest son Nirmal from ULFA custody have reached a dead end. The rebel outfit initially put a price of Rs 3 crore on Nirmal’s freedom.
    66. Jun 04 The North East Tribune: Three ULFA militants were killed during an encounter with the army personnel of Naga regiment in Assam’s Goalpara district this afternoon.
    67. Jun 05 The North East Tribune: In a major breakthrough, army has nabbed one of ULFA’s top leaders, Siva Rajbongshi alias Rajen Gohain, in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district.
    68. Jun 10 The North East Tribune: The porous nature of the Indo-Bangladesh border has led to the intensification of fencing works in the Meghalaya sector and surveys of fresh areas has also been completed. Inspector General of the BSF (Assam, Meghalaya and Manipur sector), Srivastava had earlier stated about the urgent need to fence the borders. The Assam Tribune: three persons were killed and eight others were injured in an attack by suspected UPDS militants in Karbi Anglong district. They separated the villagers on the basis of supporters of the Congress and CPI (ML) and badly roughed up the persons found to be the supporters of the CPI (ML).
    69. Jun 14 The Assam Tribune: CM Tarun Gogoi told reporters that with the creation of the Bodo Territorial Council (BTC), the Bodo issue has been settled. The Chief Minister also asserted that the he would not allow the extension of the ceasefire agreement with the Naga militant outfit, the NSCN-IM, to Assam.
    70. Jun 24 The ULFA continued its spree of violence in Assam killing seven people, and injuring 19 others, by a powerful bomb explosion inside a public transport bus in Sibsagar district. http://203.200.89.67/pti_news.asp?id=230603
    71. Jun 29 17 ultras laid down arms in the Army's Misa camp in Nagaon district yesterday. The surrendered included three women cadres of the ULFA. Brigadier A K Mukherjee of the 2 Mountain Artillery Brigade welcomed them at a function held in the Misa camp. http://203.200.89.67/pti_news.asp?id=231674
    72. Jul 02 The Dah Division of Gajraj Corps motivate 39 militants including four women cadre of militant outfits to surrender before Maj Gen PS Rana, GOC Dah Division. The surrender ceremony was organised at North Lakhimpur in Upper Assam. Maj Gen PS Rana said that a number of rehabilitation camps are being conducted to impart vocational training to militants. In addition to free food and lodging, they are also paid Rs 2000 per month as stipend for one year when they undergo training at rehabilitation training centers. http://www.asiantribune.com/show_news.php?id=10209
    73. Jul 11 The North East Tribune: After a brief lull, suspected ULFA militants once again struck today in central Assam's Nowgaon district when its cadres lobbed a Chinese made grenade inside Krishna cinema hall in the heart of Nagaon town this evening injuring more than twelve cinegoers.
    74. Jul 15 The Assam Tribune: the Centre has claimed that an estimated 1.20 crore illegal Bangladeshi immigrants were living in the country including 50,000 in Assam.
    75. Jul 16 The Assam Tribune: In three separate incidents of violence in the State, suspected ultras blew up a trunk gas pipeline near Chabua in Dibrugarh district, hurt one in Guwahati city and seriously injured six others in a grenade attack at Bongaigaon this evening.
    76. Jul 24 The North East Tribune: Two ULFA militants were killed in an encounter with the police in Assam’s Lakhimpur district under Panigaon police station.
    77. Jul 29 The Telegraph: The centre and state governments extended the truce with the United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) by another year.
    78. Aug 02 The Assam Tribune: The bi-annual border coordination meeting, to be attended by Inspectors General of BSF - Tripura, Cachar, and Mizoram (TCM) frontier and Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, and Nagaland (AMMN) frontier, besides Deputy Director General of Bangladesh Rifles, would take up issues such as prevention of trans-border crimes, infiltration and smuggling of arms and animals.
    79. Aug 09 The Assam Tribune: fencing has been completed in almost the entire land area of 71 km along Assam-Bangladesh border. Fencing for nearly a 60-km stretch of border in Assam was “not feasible due to riverine border”, said the BSF. In case of Meghalaya, out of the 443-km-long border the State shares with Bangladesh, fencing has been completed for only half that length, the statement said.
    80. Aug 11 The Assam Tribune: Three youths, including a surrendered ULFA cadre, were killed and a constable, Naren Deka, was seriously injured following a shootout between police and the youth in an Indica car near the Jorabat police check post.
    81. Aug 12 The Assam Tribune: Nirmal Langthasa, son of the Hill Areas Development Minister GC Langthasa, has been released by the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).
    82. Aug 13 The Assam Tribune: Two persons were killed by suspected NDFB activists at Oujuli Rangagarah near Assam-Arunachal border foothills area.
    83. Aug 15 The Assam Tribune: The Government of Assam and militant outfit Birsa Commando Force today signed an agreement for a cessation of hostilities for a period of one year with effect from tomorrow.
    84. Aug 16 The Hindu: Sixteen schoolchildren, including nine girls, were killed and 40 injured in Assam's Dhemaji district today, when the ULFA militants triggered a powerful blast.
    85. Aug 17 The Sentinel (Assam): troops of the Red Horn Division, stationed at Kachugaon in Kokrajhar district shot dead two NDFB militants in an encounter at Dhanguri forest.
    86. Aug 20 The North East Tribune: Condemning the “barbarous” Dhemaji blast, Gogoi pointed out that “mercenary” ULFA has become a puppet in the hands of foreign agents. The Chief Minister however refused to name the foreign agent, as “There is not enough evidence against them”.
    87. Aug 22 The North East Tribune: For the first time in the history of insurgency in the state, people lambasted the leadership of the outfit calling them murderers and “Foreign agents”. Hundreds of people consisting of teachers and scholars poured into the streets of Dhemaji this morning carrying placards protesting against the killing of innocent children in I-Day blast.
    88. Aug 25 The Assam Tribune: The war of words between the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) continues today with the students’ organisation calling upon the militant outfit to first “liberate Assam from the grasp of Bangladeshi nationals” before demanding sovereignty of Assam.
    89. Aug 27 The North East Tribune: The militants in Assam have stepped up violence with a twin blasts in the capital city by blasting railway line just next to the Noonmati Oil Refinery on Thursday evening at about 7:40 pm followed by another at 9:40 pm leaving two journalists and seven security personnel including six GRP personnel and DSP (Hq) injured. 70 militants, including 47 from ULFA, surrendered in Assam's Sonitpur district. http://203.200.89.67/pti_news.asp?id=245467




    90. Sep 03 The Telegraph: as many as 1,000 erstwhile militants of the disbanded Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) will soon be on the other side of the fence as members of paramilitary forces.
    91. Sep 08 The Hindu: After five years of spreading terror in parts of north Bengal through killings, abductions and extortions, the militant Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), which has been seeking a separate State, is close to being wiped out, claim the West Bengal police.
    92. Sep 09 The Assam Tribune: The West Garo Hills Police in Meghalaya recovered the bullet-riddled bodies of eight suspected ULFA militants from an interior jungle near Tikrikilla, near the border with Assam.
    93. Sep 13 The Assam Tribune: Self-styled lieutenant Rockto Cheleng and one unidentified member of the ULFA were killed in an encounter that took place at Ledo outpost of Margherita PS this afternoon with the security forces.
    94. Sep 14 The Telegraph: Troops of 2 Mountain Division have destroyed an advanced headquarters of the ULFA in the Ajukha area of the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park.
    95. Sep 16 The Telegraph: Major General P.S. Rana, GOC of the 2 Mountain Division, on ULFA extortion. "They have not only targeted the business community, but also served demand notes on government officials, teachers, doctors and anybody else who they think can pay," he told the media at the headquarters of the 181 Mountain Brigade in Laipuli.
    96. Sep 17 The Assam Tribune: Bangladesh, Myanmar and the foothills of the Arunachal Pradesh still provide a safe haven for the North-east based militants , especially the ULFA said Lt General Anup S Jamwal, GOC 4 Corps and the operational head of the Unified Command Structure.
    97. Sep 20 The Sentinel (Assam): A hard-core ULFA militant, Pratap Patgiri alias Rupjyoti Deka of Barapeta village near Barpeta Road was arrested by the police at Barang recently.
    98. Sep 22 The Sentinel (Assam): EDITORIAL— after the Assam Movement of 1979-85 and the IM(DT) Act of 1983, the pro-Bangladeshi lobby in Assam became so powerful that no chief minister was in a position even to talk about the Bangladeshi presence in the State on pain of his government being dismissed.
    99. Sep 24 The Telegraph: India is planning to import customised sensors from the US to detect trespassers along the porous Indo-Bangladesh border in Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Bengal. The Assam Tribune: Two ULFA militants were killed in an encounter with the security forces at Nayapara under Krishnai police station in Goalpara district.
    100. Sep 26 The Telegraph: The United People's Democratic Solidarity today threatened another bloodbath if its rival, the Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front, targets civilians of Assam's twin hill districts and disrupts the peace process in the region.
    101. Sep 29 The Assam Tribune: Troops of the Tamulpur Brigade of Red Horn Division recovered huge quantity of explosives from village Belbari in Tamulpur Division of Bagsa district
    102. Six hardcore militants surrendered to Col Surinder Kumar, Commanding Officer, 94 Field Regiment. The regiment played a key role for enabling the militants come back to mainstream. The militants surrendered with SLMG, 9mm pistol, radio sets, warlike stores and incriminating documents (Moriani, Assam) (September 2004)
    103. Oct 01 The Sentinel (Assam): Two NDFB militants were killed by a CRPF patrol party recently at Natun Mati village near Indo-Bhutan border.
    104. Oct 02 Militants belonging to the banned National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) struck terror in Lower Assam, indulging in indiscriminate shooting at weekly markets and triggering explosions in Dhubri, Chirang and Bogaigaon, killing 19 persons and injuring 48.news.outlookindia.com | Militancy claims 45 lives, injures in Nagaland, Assam
    105. Oct 04 e-pao.net: Four persons, including three ultras, were killed and 20 injured as NDFB and ULFA militants struck at seven places in Assam for the second consecutive day taking the toll to 30.
    106. Oct 05 In continued offensive, NDFB militants tonight gunned down 10 persons and injured five others in a dense forest at Salabila village in Dhubri district of Assam. http://203.200.89.67/pti_news.asp?id=253583
    107. Oct 07 http://203.200.89.67/pti_news.asp?id=253953 Operations are on in Mahamaya forest and Ikti reserve forest of Dhubri and Kokrajhar districts to prevent the ultras from escaping into Bhutan. Operations were on in the worst-hit Dhubri district, which alone claimed 24 lives in three days since October 2, Kokrajhar, Baska, Chirang and Bongaigaon, considered to be NDFB strongholds.
    108. NDFB accepts Assam CM's truce offer Under Operation Rhino II, two full divisions of the army - 21 and 2 based at Rangiya and Dinjan respectively - are perpetually engaged in counter-insurgency operations in the last decade. The 24 Brigade, part of the 21 Division, is based in Meghalaya and is normally held in reserve. It will now be deployed in the western districts. Reinforcements were being sent to Assam without disturbing the security grid in the Northeast and without drawing troops from formations in the Dimapur-based 3 Corps, despite the ceasefire in Nagaland.
    109. Oct 09 The North East Tribune: Thirty three people were killed in landslides in Assam and Meghalaya as rains continued to lash the region for the third consecutive day today forcing the government to deploy army in Guwahati to rescue people from waterlogged areas.
    110. Oct 10 The Telegraph: Security forces gunned down an NDFB militant at Monglajhora reserve forest in Dhubri district last night, barely hours after the militant group announced a unilateral ceasefire for six months, beginning October 15.
    111. Oct 13 The Sentinel (Assam): A meeting of the Unified Command Structure was held on October 8 to intensify operations against the insurgent groups. Sources said that as many as 20 paramilitary companies have already arrived in the State and they have been deployed in the lower Assam districts. An additional Army brigade has also been brought to the State recently. The sources said that 12 platoons of AP commandos have been pressed into action in the insurgency-affected areas. As many as 125 to 300 NDFB cadres were still active in lower Assam, the sources added.
    112. Oct 16 e-pao.net: Assam Government has accepted the unilateral six months ceasefire offer of NDFB from today. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told PTI here today that NDFB president DR Nabla had directly sent him a letter expressing the outfit's willingness to halt its activities for six months in response to his (Gogoi's) offer for ceasefire.
    113. Oct 17 The Telegraph: Chief of army staff Gen. N.C. Vij today met chief minister Tarun Gogoi at Titaguri. Both Vij and Gogoi expressed satisfaction over the level of civil-military liaison in the state during the meeting. Vij was accompanied by Lt Gen. J.S. Verma, GOC-in-C, Eastern Command, and Lt Gen. A.S. Jamwal, GOC, 4 Corps. The army chief was on a visit to Guwahati, Goalpara, Kokrajhar and Tamulpur in Lower Assam to assess the insurgency scenario in the area. Later in the evening Vij called on Assam governor Lt Gen. (retd) Ajai Singh.
    114. Oct 21 The Assam Tribune: The Sanmilita Jana-Gosthiya Sangram Samity (SJSS), which has been in the forefront in opposing the last Bodo peace accord, has once again demanded that the government's talks with the banned NDFB, if it were to take place, should include representatives of all ethnic groups and political parties.
    115. Oct 26 The Telegraph: The Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), the Manipur People's Liberation Front and the Tripura People's Democratic Front said in a joint statement that the people of the region ought to strengthen their traditional bonds and fight together to "uphold the sovereignty and independence of their respective kingdoms". This is for the first time that the banned KLO, active in north Bengal, has forged an alliance with militant groups of Tripura and Manipur.
    116. Oct 28 The Sentinel (Assam): Dipankar Barua alias Mun, a hardcore ULFA militant, surrendered before the Jorhat Police.
    117. Oct 30 The Assam Tribune: Thirteen members of the banned ULFA, including a lady, formally gave up militancy and surrendered before the police at a brief surrender ceremony at the Dibrugarh Police Reserve. At least five ULFA militants were killed while two others managed to escape in an encounter with a joint team of Army and police at Rangajan forest.
    118. Nov 02 The North East Tribune: Centre has been reportedly pressing the NSCN-K leaders for efforts to close down all the camps belonging to outlawed ULFA in Myanmar, known as the stronghold of the Naga rebel faction. According to reliable sources, there were around 300 ULFA cadres hiding in Myanmar at present in two major camps-GHQ and CHQ-which were divided into smaller units.
    119. Nov 04 The Assam Tribune: Reports of detention of top leaders of NDFB by Bangladesh Government after their unilateral ceasefire offer has sent alarm bells ringing. India's plea to Bangladesh authorities to take action on the militant leaders operating out of the country has so far been met with stout denial. But surprisingly after the NDFB announced the unilateral ceasefire sleuths arrested Sushil Bodo in Dhaka.
    120. Nov 05 The Telegraph: The Centre is seriously considering whether to "evacuate" National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) leaders camping in Bangladesh, since their security appears to be at stake.
    121. Nov 08 The Sentinel (Assam): Troops of the Red Horns Division of the Army apprehended two hardcore NDFB militants belonging to the 20th batch of the outfit from Handanpara village.
    122. Nov 14 The Telegraph: Four persons have been picked up for last night's grenade attack on a Kali Puja pandal in Nagaon in which 24 people were injured, two of them seriously. The militants are suspected to belong to the Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF).
    123. Nov 15 The North East Tribune: Ending speculations about involvement of BTC members in the proposed peace talks with the NDFB, the latter today said they would include not only a few BLT and ABSU leaders but also representatives of the entire Boro community to arrive at an amicable solution to the problem.
    124. Nov 17 The North East Tribune: Intelligence and security agencies are opposing Bangladesh's proposal to interrogate some captured ULFA and NDFB militants, including Anup Chetia, in Dhaka, saying that they should be flown to India, questioned unceasingly, and confronted with evidence and sources.
    125. Nov 19 The Sentinel (Assam): Dreaded ULFA militant Jayanta Moran, alias Jatin, surrendered before Colonel Rakesh Sarma, Officiating Commander of 181 Mountain Brigade, in Tinsukia. The Telegraph: Dispur has decided to arm members of village defence parties (VDPs) and raise their monthly honorarium from Rs 50 to Rs 1,500, indicating that it will not lower its guard against militants despite peace overtures from the ULFA and the NDFB.
    126. Nov 22 The Telegraph: A jinxed railway scheme to upgrade a 214-km-long meter gauge section from here to Lumding has been accorded the status of a national project, the only one in the region. As a result, it is likely to receive additional budgetary grants to the tune of Rs 1,013 crore in the next five years.
    127. Nov 23 The Assam Tribune: An ULFA extremist Biswajit Bora and three other aides were arrested this morning after an encounter between a group of militants and a police-CRPF team at Kalbasti Murhagaon along the Assam-Nagaland border.
    128. Nov 24 The Assam Tribune: Nine floating border outposts (BOPs), meant for strengthening anti-infiltration measures on the India-Bangladesh border in the North-east, are stranded in the Bay of Bengal as Bangladesh has declined to allow passage to the ships. BSF Director General Ajay Raj Sharma, said that the nine floating BOPs came from the Mazgaon Docks in Mumbai by sea but are now stuck as Bangladesh denied passage through its waters to the North-east. In all 14 such floating BOPs have been sanctioned for the Water Wing of the BSF by the Government and are meant for deployment in creek areas in Bhuj in Gujarat, Sunderbans in West Bengal and the Brahmaputra (Dhubri sector) in Assam.
    129. Nov 25 The North East Tribune: The ULFA has drawn up a Rs 1,100-crore annual budget for 2004-2005 to fight Indian security forces all over the North East. Part of the budget money is lying in Dhaka's Bangladesh Gramin Bank and part in the International Islamic Finance Company based in Dubai.
    130. Nov 28 The Telegraph: Police today averted possible strikes by the ULFA after they arrested three militants in Sivasagar district.
    131. Nov 29 The Sentinel (Assam): An NDFB cadre was killed in an encounter with the Army stationed at Saraibil. The Hindu Yuva Chatra Parishad (HYCP) has appealed to the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to refrain from destroying assets of the nation, including oil and gas installations in Assam, and turn its wrath towards lakhs of Bangladeshis who have entered the State illegally.
    132. Nov 30 The North East Tribune: The banned KLNLF has decided to burn the KNA and ASDC agreement starting 4th to 10th December all over NC Hills and Karbi Anglong. The massive infiltration of Kukis and Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) cadres from Burma and Manipur was nothing but the result of KNA and ASDC agreement, the KLNLF said.
    133. Dec 01 The North East Tribune: Senior CRPF officials today brushed off the claim of ULFA C-in-C Paresh Baruah saying the CRPF cadre who killed seven of his colleagues in Baramulla two days back (see Operation Rakshak III news item dated Nov 28) was a member of the banned organization. A senior CRPF official said the statement might be a ploy of the militant leader to discourage the security agencies to recruit the youth of the region.
    134. Dec 02 The Telegraph: The Cachar district administration has sounded an alert after last night's gun battle between the army and the United National Liberation Front (UNLF) in neighbouring Jiribam subdivision of Manipur. A dozen rebels lobbed grenades and fired on a column of the ninth parachute field regiment of the army at Laishambithal.
    135. Dec 03 The Sentinel (Assam): While the process of recruiting former Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) cadres in the paramilitary forces of the country has almost been completed as per the provisions of the BTC Accord, the surrendered NDFB militants have threatened to take up arms if the Government failed to announce any rehabilitation package for them soon.
    136. Dec 06 The Assam Tribune: Two ULFA militants and a child were killed in an encounter between the militants and Army near Palasbari.
    137. Dec 07 The Assam Tribune: The Prime Minister has called upon the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to come for unconditional talks with the Government of India. This was disclosed by noted litterateur Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami, who has been trying to initiate talks between the Government and the ULFA and forwarded a draft proposal to the Prime Minister in this regard. SSB to be deployed on Indo-Bhutan border http://203.200.89.67/pti_news.asp?id=266029
    138. Dec 10 The Telegraph: The 5 Madras Regiment and 11 Rajputana Rifles have destroyed two camps of ULFA militants deep inside Manabhum reserve forest in Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh. The operation was launched on November 24 on the basis of information that ULFA rebels were shifting bases from Myanmar and setting up camps inside the jungles of Arunachal Pradesh, said an army spokesperson at the 4 Corps headquarters in Tezpur.
    139. Dec 11 Kanglaonline: the Supreme Court today gave an ultimatum to the three feuding States of Assam, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh to amicably resolve their boundary dispute failing of which a boundary commission would be appointed to settle the dispute.
    140. Dec 13 The Sentinel (Assam): No military offensive has been launched against insurgent groups based in Myanmar either by the Indian or Myanmar Army, GOC 4 Corps Lt Gen Anup Singh Jamwal has said. Talking to UNI at Tamulpur after inaugurating a new school building at Barkhola, Lt Gen Jamwal, however, has said operations against the cadres of the ULFA are being carried out in Arunachal Pradesh. He said several militant groups from the region, including ULFA and NSCN (K), had set up camps in Myanmar. "Cadres from these groups, however, are living in Myanmar territory under great fear of facing another Bhutan-type operation and fleeing from the camps whenever they see troop movement in India," the General pointed out. The 4 corps has been guarding 1,923 km of the International Border, including 1,126 km of Indo-China border, falling under its jurisdiction in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
    141. Dec 15 The Sentinel (Assam): The inhabitants living along the Assam-Nagaland border are gradually developing a feeling of uncertainty for their future. The Nagas, in varied numbers, allegedly visit the Assamese villages at random threatening people, abducting persons for ransom and loot domestic animals and crops under the nose of the BOPs and beat offices. The Telegraph: One person was killed and at least 65 were injured as ULFA militants dodged tight security to carry out a string of IED attacks across the state to mark the first anniversary of the Bhutan operations.
    142. Dec 17 The Telegraph: two years after the Dima Halam Daoga (DHD) decided to put aside the gun and start a peace process with Delhi, its erstwhile leader Jewel Gorlosa has revived a defunct organisation to resuscitate the Dimasa tribe’s campaign for a separate homeland. Gorlosa has envisioned a Dimasa homeland within the boundary of the North Cachar Hills and not the erstwhile Dimasa kingdom. The Assam Tribune: The Centre is likely to toughen it stand on tackling militancy, with Union Home Minister, Shivraj Patil today hinting that the Central Government was mulling a Unified Command for all the north-eastern States. In the fourth incident of blast in Guwahati in as many days, a person was killed and over a dozen were injured, several of them seriously, when ULFA militants hurled a grenade at the busy Paltan Bazar crossing.
    143. Dec 18 The Assam Tribune: GOC 21 Mountain Division, Major Gen Karan Yadava today said that the outlawed ULFA was hitting soft targets, like civilians in public places, as it has lost its capability to carry out bigger subversive operations. He felt that the lure of easy money, gun power and unemployment were the factors sustaining militancy in the region.
    144. Dec 20 The Assam Tribune: Reports of growing links between the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the Maoist militants of Nepal are causing concern among the security agencies involved in counter-insurgency operations.
    145. Dec 21 The North East Tribune: Kamatapur Liberation Organization (KLO) today excluded the Koch-Rajbongshi dominated areas of lower Assam from the Kamatapur map. KLO chief Jibon Singha said the Koch-Rajbongshi people living in Assam need not to struggle anymore for they had been living cordially with the greater Assamese nationality since ages. Reacting to this publicity secretary of Bongaingaon unit of All Assam Koch-Rajbongshi Students union (AAKRSU) expressed surprise and shock at the declaration of the KLO and said the KLO had failed to understand the sentiments and mentality of the Koch-Rajbongshi people living in Assam.
    146. Dec 25 The Telegraph: An important jailed leader Gobinda Basumatary of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) was released today for facilitating the peace process with the militant outfit.
    147. Dec 27 The Assam Tribune: An unidentified ULFA extremist taking shelter in a hut at Majnoi Garhchukgaon along the Assam-Nagaland border under Teok Police Station was shot dead in an encounter with a joint police-CRPF team. The Sentinel: In the continuing operation Three ULFA cadres were killed on the spot during an encounter with the police at Mornoi Garsukgaon near Gabohoru Parbat Tea Estate along the Assam-Nagaland border in Jorhat district.
    148. Dec 28 The Sentinel: Two suspected ULFA militants were seriously injured in a joint action of the Assam and West Bengal police in Jikan Tola village.
    149. Dec 29 The Sentinel: Noted litterateur Mamoni Raisom Goswami's liaison with the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to bring the ULFA to the negotiation table has been stalled since the rebel group's 'commander-in-chief' Paresh Baruah took ill.
    150. Dec 31 The Assam Tribune: The officers and workers of the Oil India Ltd (OIL) today came out jointly opposing the move of the Union Government to merge OIL with the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). They described it as a camouflaged move to privatize OIL and also as a new design to undermine the interests of the NE region. They made an appeal to the state governments and the people of the NE region to voice their opposition to the move vigorously.

    End Note:

    Operation All Clear was launched by the Royal Bhutan Army against the ULFA, NDFB, a terrific psychological blow by uprooting these insurgents from what they had imagined to be as safe havens, and by sending them running into the waiting arms of the Indian Army. The KLO, fighting for a homeland in North Bengal and Western Assam, was practically wiped out as a result of this operation according to local police officials.

    While the RBA continued mopping up operations well into March 2004 large numbers of NDFB insurgents surrendered to the Indian Army and local administration. However some of the NDFB cadres active within Assam continued their attacks, prompting the army to intensify Operation Rhino II. For this purpose fresh paramilitary units were inducted into the state and the 24 Brigade (under the 21 Mountain Division) was brought down from Meghalaya to operate in the western Assam districts. In the middle of October the NDFB offered a six-month ceasefire and later demanded a rehabilitation package similar to that for the Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) and joint talks with the newly-created Bodo Territorial Council (BTC).

    Large numbers of ULFA cadres surrendered to the army but some escaped to Arunachal Pradesh, some to camps of the NSCN (K) in Nagaland, and some to Myanmar. Continued operations by the 4 Corps units however kept them on the run while units under 3 Corps and the Myanmar Army (see Operation Orchid below) disrupted their safe havens in Nagaland and Myanmar. However the top ULFA leadership, leading luxurious lifestyles in Bangladesh, retaliated by attacking the oil and gas infrastructure and sanctioning terrorist strikes in alliance with foreign agencies. ISI agents (see Operation Orchid news item dated Oct 29) probably masterminded blasts at Dhemaji and Dimapur in October. The ULFA leaders have vast businesses in Bangladesh and have links in that country’s political and military establishment, where the Pakistani ISI also wields considerable influence.

    The role of Bangladesh remained dubious throughout the year in review. When the NDFB offered a ceasefire and peace talks the Bangladesh authorities, who had all along denied militant presence in their country, arrested NDFB and ULFA leaders but declined to hand them over to India. Fencing Assam’s riverine and marshy tracts is difficult and the state government is looking at creating a River Police and issuing national identity cards to check the movement of insurgents and deport illegal immigrants.

    Southern Assam (Cachar hills north to Karbi-Anglong) comes under the 3 Corps at Dimapur. This strategic region is used for militant movements and smuggling across the northeast and has an explosive ethnic mix. The Karbis, Dimasas, Kukis, and Nagas are ranged against each other—militant groups from Manipur and Nagaland take shelter in this region to escape military pressure in their own states. Units under both the 3 and 4 Corps are active against the local UPDS and outside groups.
     
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    Bhutanese Army hunting for ULFA terrorists.
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    Pressured by Indian Army, Bhutan decides to take military action against Indian militants operating from its soil, a step the country has been trying to avert the communist faggets.
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    Indian Army Choppers in Bhutan During Operation against ULFA in 2003
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