Manipur has been enduring ill effects of insurgency

Pothashang News Service: Imphal, December 5, 2019:  Manipur has been enduring the ill effects of insurgency, which is disrupting the social harmony of the state and is also having an adverse impact on the economic development of the state.

This was stated by Manipur governor Najma Heptulla during a seminar on “Changing security paradigm in North East- Implications and Imperatives which was inaugurated on Thursday at City Convention Centre, here.

The seminar was organised by Assam Rifles; Sentinels of the North East under the aegis of HQ Director General, Assam Rifles.

Mounting unemployment, economic backwardness and related issues apart from creating law and order problems also have the potential to affect the internal security of Manipur.  The state continues to be one of the most troublesome states in the North-East due to all these problems, the governor said.

The insurgent organisations both of the hill and the valley, though not on large scale during the past few years, continue their subversive activities, including attacks on the police and other security forces as their main targets.  In recent times, there has been a noticeable change in the insurgent movement, shifting away from the ideology of insurgency and instead indulging in terrorism, planting of bombs at strategic locations targeting innocent civilians and individual residences, extortion of money from officials, commercial establishments and vehicles plying on the national highways, etc, she added.

She said there has been significant improvement in the security environment of the state, especially in the valley areas due to the well-directed counter-insurgency measures which ensure effective tackling of the various threats.  The initiatives taken to combat the law and order and insurgency problems have shown a fairly positive outcome.

Heptulla said the theme of the seminar is appropriate considering regular reports on incidents disturbing social harmony, robbing of peace of the society even on trivial matters or disputes and violence. Loot, extortion, arson, destruction of properties, subversive activities committed by various unknown miscreants and loss of human lives are well-known consequences of such happenings, she added.

The aim of the seminar is to undertake critical analysis of changing security paradigm in North East India, identify implications and imperatives and establish a vision for overall growth and development of the region.  Assam Rifles has been serving the people of North East for the last many decades and hope that they will keep continuing serving the people to achieve the goal, the governor said.

She said the trends and statistics of the last decade clearly illustrate that the armed insurgency around the entire region of North East has been gradually waning on a scale of intensity.  This apparent shift in the regional security policy of North East has been largely defined or modelled along anti-insurgency. Till few years back, insurgency used to be the core theme of the security policy. There is more liberal approach to security with greater focus on peace, development and cooperative security with an aim to achieve stability at regional, national as well as global levels, she added.

The pivotal role played by the Assam Rifles to effectively contain the subversive and violent acts of various UG outfits at the long porous International border of 398 kms with Myanmar deserves appreciation by one and all.  This coupled with the proximity to the Golden Triangle (Laos, Myanmar and Thailand) and the backyard market of illegal arms and ammunition of East Asian countries of the area makes this border highly vulnerable to smuggling of contraband drugs, arms and ammunition and trans-border crossing by criminals, militants and insurgents. Till date, the overall security scenario remains a matter of concern as some sections of the population continue to remain under threat from UG groups operating in the state.  Continuous counter-insurgency operations need to be conducted in a concerted manner by the security forces.  It is a matter of great satisfaction to know that the changing security scenario in North East is attributed to sustained and coordinated effort of the security forces on ground and the policies of the government, the governor said.

She said the security policy should now ideally transition from combating active insurgency to combating the after effects of insurgency.  She expressed her confidence that during the seminar all the eminent personalities from both the Army and Assam Rifles will certainly explore the ways and means to eliminate these evils forever to bring a peaceful and prosperous North-East India.

Director General, Assam Rifles Lt. Gen Sukhdeep Sangwan gave the welcome address.

The seminar has two session with different subject like North East region security environment and challenges and Act east policy 2.0 and border management.

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