TODAY -

India: Violent hills of Manipur – Analysis

M A Athul *

A view of Sajik Tampak in Chandel District in May 2011
A view of Sajik Tampak in Chandel District in May 2011 :: Pix - Students of Department of History, MU (2009-11)



On March 31, two Assam Rifles (AR) troopers identified as Havildar N.K. Dolly and Havildar B.N. Kshetri were killed and Rifleman G.D. Shastra was wounded in an ambush by cadres of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at a location between Kamjong and Kongkan villages in the Hill District of Ukhrul. A PLA ‘sergeant’, Prem, was also killed in the incident. The PLA militants exploded an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), then rained bullets on the troops. Two IEDs were recovered during the subsequent search by Security Forces (SFs) in the area. On April 1, PLA claimed that the assault was carried out by a team of its ‘tactical command’.



On the same day, the Nehlun faction of Kuki National Front (KNF-N) reportedly ‘awarded’ capital punishment to one Thanglallen alias Abi Vaiphei, in connection with the abduction of three construction workers on January 23, 2015, from Saramkon in Ukhrul District.

Earlier, on March 21, four personnel of the Gorkha Regiment, including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO), were injured in an ambush by suspected militants of the Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K), at Luklang Khunou in Tamenglong District in northwest Manipur. The injured SF personnel were identified as Subedar Chitra Bahadur, Rifleman Aan Singh, Rifleman Gir Bahadur Thapa and Rifleman Mingma Dorjee.

The five Hill Districts of Manipur – Senapati, Churachandpur, Ukhrul, Tamenglong and Chandel – have been the most troubled by violence. According to partial data compiled, in 2011, the Hills Districts accounted for 29 out of 65 (44.61 per cent) of total fatalities in the State; in 2012, 55 out of 110 (50 per cent); in 2013, 36 out of 56 (64.2 per cent); and in 2014, 40 out of 54 (74.07 per cent). Thus, while overall violence in the State has been declining, the share of violence in the Hill Districts has been increasing.

The trend continues into 2015, with the State recording 23 fatalities, (8 civilians, 2 SFs and 13 militants), till April 26, out of which 16 (69.5 per cent) are accounted for by the Hill Districts. The lone incident of SF killing in 2015 was recorded in Ukhrul. Further, there have already been seven incidents of encounters between SFs and militants in the Hill Districts (four in Tamenglong, and one each in Ukhrul, Senapati and Chandel).

In 2015, according to SATP data, 12 incidents of abduction have already been reported across the State till April 26, in which 21 people were abducted. Of these, one civilian and two militants who were abducted have been killed, six were released and two escaped unhurt. The current status of the others is not known. Of the 12 incidents of abduction, 10 are confirmed to have occurred in the Hill Districts (four in Tamenglong, four in Senapati, and one each in Ukhrul and Churachand-pur).

Internecine clashes among militant groups have always been a significant aspect of violence in Manipur. According to partial data collected , all the nine internecine clashes in 2015 occurred in the Hill Districts (two in Churachandpur, five in Tamenglong and one in Ukhrul and Senapati). In a major incident Kuki factions clashed on February 10, 2015, after which the bodies of three Kuki Independence Army (KIA) militants, identified as Jongkholun, Manglensei and Sotinpai, were recovered near Vaison Cemetery in Churachandpur District. They were killed by a splinter faction of KIA. The original KIA was formed during the Naga-Kuki conflict in the 1990s.

Likewise, Naga factional clashes have continued between the NSCN-IM and the Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF), the militant group that broke away from NSCIN-IM in 2011, with the proclaimed objective of protecting the interests of the Zeliangrong tribe. In a Press Release, ZUF stated that, on March 30, 2015, a gun fight erupted between militants of NSCN-IM and ZUF at Taosang Khunou in Tamenglong District. They claimed that they killed an NSCN-IM militant identified as Joshua Thangal. This particular incident has not been independently verified.

The five Hill Districts, account for just 38 per cent of the Manipur’s population, but occupy 90 per cent of the State’s total area, and dominate the National Highways, where Naga and Kuki militant groups regularly extort huge amounts of money along the highways. Three of the Hill Districts – Ukhrul, Churachandpur and Chandel – share a porous 398 kilometre-long border with Myanmar, and this has had an encouraging influence on militant tactics, with the rebels crossing over into safe havens in Myanmar after engaging in violence.

Thus, while the internal security situation in the Hill Districts remains precarious, it is infinitely compounded by the porous Myanmar border. On April 23, 2013, reports indicated that as many as nine Northeast militant groups – including the United National Liberation Front (UNLF) and the Coordination Committee (CorCom), an umbrella group of six militant groups – had formed a joint front, the United National Liberation Front of West South East Asia (UNLFW) in the Sagaing Division of Myan-mar, with S.S. Khaplang of NSCN-K as its ‘chief’.

On March 29, 2015, (CorCom) issued a Press statement supporting the abrogation of the cease fire between NSCN-K and the Government of India (GoI). NSCN-K had withdrawn from the ceasefire on March 27. NSCN-K has provided shelter in Myanmar to various active militant groups, including PLA, which is a part of CorCom. PLA also has camps located in Mintha in Myanmar.

Earlier this year, a Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) official had stated that the Government of Myanmar was yet to take strong action to evict the militants from its territory, adding that there were about 2,000 Indian rebels sheltering in Myanmar. Significantly, on November 29, 2014, the then Director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) Syed Asif Ibrahim had observed that safe sanctuaries of the militants in neighbouring countries, particularly Myanmar, was compounding to the security situation in North East, which he described as “fragile”.

India has failed to effectively patrol the border with Myanmar, and among the reasons of this lapse is the fact that the bases of AR, the Force that has been guarding the Indo-Myanmar border since 2002, are located deep inside Indian Territory. AR troops have not been able to check the movement of militants and other anti-national elements along the border, and the Force has now sought to increase its strength, for dedicated deployment along the border. There have also been discussions of entrusting the Border Security Force (BSF) with the responsibility of guarding the Indo-Myanmar border, although no final decision has yet been taken. Earlier, a UMHA official had stated that, although it may not be possible to fence the entire border with Myanmar due to the terrain, the border may be fenced where such construction is possible.

Recent revelation by NDFB-IKS militant during interrogations by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) have confirmed that Chinese-made weapons were being smuggled into India through Manipur, via Myanmar, further underlining the necessity of secure borders and a revamp of law enforcement agencies of the State. The Union Government, well aware of the situation, is planning to improve border infrastructure and enforcement capabilities. During a visit to Manipur on April 6, 2015, Joint Secretary for the Northeast Shambu Singh emphasised further that increasing cases of bomb explosions and ambushes on AR personnel in the remote areas of Manipur were due to the lack of coordination between the State Police and AR.

Although SFs have been able to keep a lid on the violence in Manipur, with fatalities dropping significantly from 485 in 2008 to 54 in 2014, poor political management, porous borders and India’s inability to get Myanmar’s cooperation to smother the militancy, continue to be major obstacles to a restoration of peace. NSCN-K’s withdrawal from the ceasefire is likely to worsen the situation, and could escalate factional clashes among Naga groups, once again deepening problems in the Hill Districts, reversing the declining trends in violence across the entire State.


* M A Athul wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on May 05, 2015.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Relief @Kangpokpi & @Senapati: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Annual Orphanage Visit 2021 at Pune
  • Women's Film Festival @ 3 Districts, Manipur
  • Decision :: Poem
  • Women empowerment through economic..
  • Women empowerment : Nation growth
  • ADCs: Election, not undue delay..
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #19
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Gaidingmei, Mathanmi, Wungreikhan: eMing
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Budget session & beyond
  • Launch of Cancer OPD Services at Guwahati
  • Less lipstick, more eyeliner
  • Arts Exhibition @ MU #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Women's Film Festival 2021 at MSFDS
  • Totem of natives of North East India #2
  • As I see the world in one page :: Poem
  • AMWJU Meeting Resolutions : 05 March 2021
  • Breaking down silos to look beyond exams
  • Mova Cave @ Hunpung, Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • PROMYS, a summer program in mathematics
  • Meeting of AMWJU : 05 March 2021
  • Dissecting Bird flu
  • Will Bengal vote for a poroborthon ?
  • Job @ Cobigent Technologies
  • Film : Is it a medium or an art form? #2
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Emergency Meeting of AMWJU : 04 March
  • Golden Jubilee of Manipuri Cinema
  • Impact of Climate Change in Agriculture
  • Paradigm shift in role of public sector
  • The God Lainingthou Thangching Koylellai
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • When all goes wrong
  • Are we failing children in the HIV response?
  • Counter-cyclical fiscal policy
  • Where will ST demand stand in next election?
  • Ningtham Kummei: Dance Drama #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Empowered teachers for local efficiency
  • First step towards regulation of social media
  • Of resignation dramas & disqualifications
  • Today's Manipur as reflected in media
  • Bongbal Kholen, Kpi District #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Totem of natives of North East India #1
  • 5 days with Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Swami
  • National Science Day 2021 at Lilong
  • Themes & objectives in National Science Day
  • More teeth to war against drugs
  • Mayang Imphal Keithel #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur COVID Vaccination Report : 26 Feb
  • March Calendar for Year 2021 : Tools
  • Road from Imphal to Yangkhullen #2: Gallery
  • Best Panel Lawyer, Best DLSA in Manipur
  • Sustainable Agriculture: Key to Food Security
  • Film : Is it a medium or an art form? #1
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Buyer Seller Meet @ Hotel Imphal: Gallery
  • Job @ Makok Technologies, Keinou
  • Should Meetei belong to Minority or ST #2
  • Colour your hair, limit the damage
  • Medical camp at Lamlaba Village, Tamenglong
  • Japan Lan: Life In Kangla Sangomshang
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • AMWJU Meeting : Resolutions [Feb 25]
  • Positions @ KIIT-Tech Business Incubator
  • 'Seeding Gampreneurs' transforming villages
  • Orchidarium at IBSD Shillong is reopened
  • Cracking down on 'errant' teachers
  • Chadong Village/Chadong Lake #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Folktales of Mao Maram & Poumai : Gallery
  • Guwahati Session : World Meetei Convention
  • HIV science has advanced but ...
  • I will rise :: Poem
  • Not the time to let the guards down
  • Journalism is not everybody's cup of tea
  • Foot bridges in Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • AIFF recognised Andro Girls Team : Gallery
  • Relief @ Songlung, Kangpokpi : Gallery
  • Lecture on medicinal plants at IBSD
  • Jobs @ Neopath Technologies, Imphal
  • Students on the protest path
  • Ignoring the core issues
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #18
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Implementation: Climate Change : Gallery
  • KAPU Meet: Tribute to Late Benny Khongsai
  • Career options in beauty industry
  • Meet on capacity building on energy efficiency
  • Need to establish cause of death
  • Don't break the bone
  • Shirui Lily Festival 2019 #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Nakamh-Riangsuanneic - Folklore Film Fest
  • Should Meetei belong to Minority or ST #1
  • Aspergilloma of lung
  • From wetlands to dry lands
  • Ipudhou Pakhangba Puruksoubi #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Sit-in-protest against bomb threat : Gallery
  • Young Generation and Modernization
  • The Mansion :: Poem
  • Netaji's DNA & INA Moirang
  • Demonstration demanding to cut Price Hike
  • 'Condemn hurling grenade at Governor'
  • Fulfilling the long cherish dream
  • Churachandpur Profile
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn the Manipuri script
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Paoyi villagers with CM : Gallery
  • Predicament of Journalists & Media Houses
  • A day of stardom for Thoiba Singh at Seoul
  • Lay off hands on the media
  • Smiles of the Emas
  • Cherry Blossom at Mao #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Basak: A dying art form
  • World War II, INA & Manipuri Literature #2
  • Meeting of AMWJU : Resolutions [Feb 18]
  • CM & Governor urged to cut down price hike
  • Union Minister for Social Justice meet CM
  • Seram Neken joins Congress party
  • Snowfall at Shirui, Ukhrul #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Meitei-Pong Relations & Conquest of Khampat
  • Dying of Yongchak: declare National Disaster
  • Protection of tribal land in Manipur #2
  • Is policing pandemics different... ?
  • Home remedies for winter hair problems
  • Facets of human trafficking in Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Road from Imphal to Yangkhullen #1: Gallery
  • Understand prerequisits for ST tag
  • When all goes wrong
  • Centre Head @ JCRE School of Hospitality
  • Khamba Thoibi Jagoi #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Re-Opening of Ima Keithel : Gallery
  • Emergency Meeting AMWJU: Resolutions
  • ICERME-2021: Intl Conference on SDG-7
  • Law in Motion : Basics of Law
  • Discussion on Koubru Chinggoirol #2
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni - Naga Seed Sowing Festival
  • Wung-Hao of Tangkhul & Chinese Counterpart
  • World War II, INA & Manipuri Literature #1
  • 3rd Jump Rope Championship : Result
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #17
  • Book: Manipur-Myanmar connections: Gallery
  • Mushroom training at Tentha Heibung
  • Workshop on GeoGebra at IISER Bhopal
  • Indian Women & Maths annual conference
  • Walking through final lap of my life :: Poem
  • Can BJP strategy win in Tamil Nadu ?
  • Granting minority status to Meitei
  • Snowfall at Shirui, Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • Shanti Thokchom's Life Experiences #44
  • Inspection at Kangla & Cheiraoching : Gallery
  • Protection of tribal land in Manipur #1
  • Oxford and Aatmanirbharta
  • Education in Mother Tongue will strengthen
  • Impressive shows from young MLAs
  • If it is for the people...
  • Ipudhou Pakhangba Puruksoubi #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Relief at Yangkhullen, Senapati: Gallery
  • Restored Wetland : Yaralpat
  • Appeal: WG to monitor crime against women
  • Distress Relief at Yangkhullen, Senapati
  • Sensitization on constitutional obligation
  • ST demand for the Meiteis
  • Democratisation of Education
  • Licypriya in 'Forbes 30 Under 30' List 2021
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Sushila, Indubala selected for Asian Judo
  • RIST Talk 48 : Microplastic is everywhere
  • Productivity revolution of farmers in Manipur
  • NEC Secretary meeting with CM Manipur
  • Valentine's Day beauty tips
  • College teachers on strike!
  • Are you fooling people of Manipur Mr FM
  • RK Jhalajit's contribution in historiography
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Keibul Lamjao: today in deplorable state
  • Nadda's hailing 'War On Drugs' Campaign
  • Sachi Gurumayum called on CM
  • She really can be trusted for fiscal prudence
  • Child Marriage: Stigma for a civilized society
  • Fate of hostellers
  • Ema Gi Wari by Imphal Talkies : Review
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Projects Inauguration - Tamenglong: Gallery
  • Budget: Perspective on Gender Budget
  • NPF meeting with NSCN (K-Niki)
  • Mushroom training program at Nagamapal
  • Solace me, chap ! :: Poem
  • Active cases below 3 figure mark
  • Mother Nature is still unhappy
  • Discussion on Koubru Chinggoirol #1
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Packaged Organic Product launch : Gallery
  • Naga American announces Scholarship
  • Prize distribution for 9th MANIFA held
  • Range of options to prevent HIV is key
  • Paoyi village setting an example
  • Churachand Maharajgi Imung : Gallery
  • Churachand Maharajgi Imung published
  • Grab the given opportunities
  • A poet :: Poem
  • Supports farmers' movement call
  • Gaan-Ngai @ Iboyaima Shanglen #3 : Gallery
  • Financing burden of lifestyle diseases in NE
  • A budget that lays foundation for growth
  • Sports & Physical Fitness as career choice
  • Volunteers' Meet at Irong Bazar
  • Limping towards the New Normal
  • Is India prepared for Chinese aggression?
  • Re-openning of schools #2 : Gallery
  • Is Compulsive Shopping a Mental Disorder ?
  • Ex-Tempore Competition at Lilong
  • My hundred deaths :: Poem
  • Fragile - Handle with care !
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #16
  • The ring has finally arrived!
  • Study of growing traffic congestion in Imphal
  • World Wetlands Day 2021
  • Bringing Equality for Women in Armed Forces
  • Ima Keithels: Closed since March 21
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni @ Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Understanding panic disorder
  • Life, It is ! :: Poem
  • A pinch of blessing with a tonne of a curse
  • COVID-19 combine to clobber MSME sector
  • Single digit spike of just 4 in last 24 hrs
  • Impact in India after coup in Myanmar
  • Remembering Kuki singer Benny Khongsai
  • Was Netaji really in Manipur ?
  • Environmental impacts of COVID-19 pandemic
  • Memo to CM concerning transportation
  • Gaan-Ngai @ Iboyaima Shanglen #2 : Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai @ Iboyaima Shanglen #1 : Gallery
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • COVID-19 vaccination [Jan 16] #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 vaccination [Jan 16] #1 : Gallery
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar :: 2021
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #6: Gallery
  • Sory Wahengbam - Actress Gallery :: eRang
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS