If the Northeast was the Punjab…

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All this would be front page news every day. This is why, says Avalok Langer, you must know about what’s happening

Nagaland

National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang)

WHAT THEY WANT To establish Nagalim by bringing all Naga areas of Manipur, Arunachal, Nagaland, Assam and Myanmar under one sovereign umbrella.

WHAT THEY ARE DOING Though a signatory to the ceasefire agreement, NSCN(K) has not entered into negotiations with the Centre. Committed to the reconciliation process, it feels that Nagas must unite first and then approach India for a solution. While NSCN(IM) enjoys financial dominance, NSCN(K) has won the underground popularity contest. Not only have two Naga factions agreed to unite with NSCN(K), many groups are eager to become its allies.

ALLIES PAKISTAN, CHINA, ISI, KIA, NDFB, ULFA, UNLF


Nagaland

National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak–Muivah)

WHAT THEY WANT To establish Nagalim by bringing all Naga areas of Manipur, Arunachal, Nagaland, Assam and Myanmar under one sovereign umbrella.

WHAT THEY ARE DOING Known as the “mother of all insurgencies”, NSCN(IM) has reached an advanced stage of talks with the Centre after 13 years. Chairman Isak Chishi Swu accepted an Indian passport on his return from Bangkok last month, boosting the peace process. Though NSCN(IM)’s proximity to the Centre has caused bad blood, general secretary Muivah and Swu are hopeful that the upcoming Forum for Naga Reconciliation meeting could possibly unite the groups before they meet the Centre.

ALLIES PAKISTAN, CHINA, ISI, KIA, HNLC, GNLA, ANVC, NLFT, NAXALS


Manipur

United National Liberation Front

WHAT THEY WANT Re-establish a sovereign Manipur.

WHAT THEY ARE DOING The arrest of UNLF chairman Rajkumar Meghen on 1 December has not only thrown Manipur’s biggest Meitei underground group into a leadership crisis, but has affected the arms and drugs trail (opium and weapons from the Myanmar’s Wa tribe come into Manipur and are pushed into Bangladesh and Dimapur). Historically close to the NSCN(K), UNLF and other Meitei groups have opposed NSCN(IM)’s demand for Nagalim causing clashes between the Meiteis and the NSCN(IM).

ALLIES NSCN(K), ULFA, KNA, PAKISTAN, CHINA, BANGLADESH ARMY


Meghalaya

Achik National Volunteers Council and Garo National Liberation Army

WHAT THEY WANT The creation of a separate state for the Garos, Garo Land.

WHAT THEY ARE DOING Signing a ceasefire in 2004, ANVC made way for GNLA. Headed by rogue DSP Champion Sangma and a former ANVC member Sohan D Shira, GNLA is not only recruiting ANVC’s surrendered cadres, but has also welcomed NSCN(IM) and NDFB in the dense jungles of the Garo Hills. Sources said Champion still commands the loyalty of certain sections of the police force, which provide him with information.

ALLIES NSCN(IM), NDFB, BANGLADESH ARMY


Assam

United liberation front of Asom

WHAT THEY WANT To establish a sovereign Asom through armed struggle.

WHAT THEY ARE DOING Joint military operations and a crackdown by the Bangladesh government led to the arrest of the group’s top leadership last year, causing a split. While the anti-talks faction has remained active under the leadership of Paresh Barua and is training its cadres in Myanmar (camps shifted from Bangladesh), ULFA’s top brass released on bail over the past few months is open to unconditional talks with the government.

ALLIES NSCN(K), KIA, UNLF, PAKISTAN, AFGHAN MUJAHIDEEN


Assam

National Democratic Front of Bodoland

WHAT THEY WANT To carve out a separate Bodoland from Assam.

WHAT THEY ARE DOING While three of NDFB’s four battalions have entered into a ceasefire and talks with the government, their ‘3rd Battalion’ formerly under the command of Rangan Diamary (arrested in 2010), has remained active. The government feels the arrest has left the group rudderless and the November 2010 massacre of 22 civilians was a desperate attempt to reassert dominance. However, sources say there is growing popular support for the NDFB. But apart from reactivating their alliance with the Garos, they are training cadres at a joint ULFA-NDFB-NSCN(K) camp in Myanmar.

ALLIES ULFA, NSCN(K), ANVC, GNLA, KIA


 

avalok@tehelka.com

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