The Northeast region has been facing insurgency issues for the last five, or six decades. Different factors contributed to the presence of insurgents in the region. And with draconian laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) imposed in many parts of the NE states, the region has seen thousands of killings due to insurgency-related incidents.
This article will not dig into the root cause and the reason for the presence of insurgents in the region, but to provide you with the data and numbers of incidents and killings due to insurgency-related incidents.
The information provided in this article is only for the period starting March 2000 and up to 6th November 2022. And as such, the actual number of people killed in the NE region due to insurgency-related incidents will be very much higher as the insurgency issues have been in the region since the early 1950s.
Here are the number and figures of insurgency related killings in the Northeast region for the period from March 2000 till 6 November 2022 as per the datas available in SATP (South Asia Terrorism Portal).
Number of people killed in insurgency related incidents in the NE region.
As per the data available in SATP website, a total of 11,808 people have been killed in insurgency-related incidents in the seven states of the Northeast region (excluding Sikkim) in the last two decades. The data collected is for the period starting March 2000 till 6th November 2022.
The most people killed were recorded in the years 2003, 2007, 2008, and 2000 with total killings of 1161, 1110, 1059, and 1027 people in each respective year. That’s an average of 3 killings each day.
Assam and Manipur recorded the highest number of 5069 killings and 3640 killings respectively. Their combined total of 8708 killings accounts for more than 80% of killings recorded in the NE region.
The year 2007, and 2008 saw the peak with 1110 and 1059 killings. And since 2014, the number of killings has consistently been declining except for the last year 2021 when it saw a steady rise as against the previous year.
Number of Civilians killed in insurgency related incidents.
Out of the total killings of 11808, civilians killed accounted for 4273. Assam recorded the highest number of civilians killed at 2222 followed by Manipur with 917, Tripura with 703, Meghalaya with 201, Nagaland with 191, Arunachal with 3, and Mizoram with 9.
Number of killing incidents.
Assam recorded the highest number of insurgency-related killing incidents with 2584 incidents followed by Manipur with 2160 incidents during the period from March 2000 till November 5, 2022. Mizoram has the least number of killing incidents with just 13 incidents in the last 20-plus years. The NE region has in total reported 6386 incidents of insurgency-related killings that have claimed the total life of 11,808 people in the last two decades.
NE has however seen a drastic change in the last few years, and the killing incidents have since dropped to a very low level. From 2014 onwards it has seen a declining number of incidents year after year except in 2021 when it rose from 18 incidents to 35 incidents.
Number of Armed forces and insurgents killed.
A total of 1152 armed forces have been reported killed in insurgency-related incidents during this year in review. Whereas the total number of insurgents killed during this period is 5974.
State wise Data
Here is the state-wise graph data
Arunachal Pradesh has reported total killings of 239 from 114 incidents, and out of which 30 are civilians, 37 are security forces. and 172 Insurgents.
As per the SATP report, there are 11 insurgents group in the state, out of which 8 groups are inactive, 2 active groups, and 1 proscribed group. The active groups are NSCN-IM, National Liberation Council of Tani Land (NLCT), and NSCN-K
Assam reported the highest number of killings due to insurgency-related issues. The state reported 5069 people killed during the period from March 2000 till 5 November 2022. A total of 2222 civilians, 2357 insurgents, and 340 armed forces have been killed in 2584 insurgency-related incidents.
Assam has the highest number of insurgent groups that operated in the state. As per the report, Assam has 60 insurgent groups that were operating in the state. Out of these 60 groups, 30 are now inactive, 13 are in peace talks with the government, 12 are still active, and 5 groups are on the proscribed list.
Manipur records the second-highest number of killings due to insurgency-related issues. The state reported 3640 killings in the last two decades, out of which 917 were civilians, 446 were armed forces, and 2125 were insurgents. Things have however become much more peaceful in the last few years. The number of killings in a year has dropped from 3 digits to single digits in the last few years.
Manipur had 24 insurgent groups that operated in the state. Out of these 24 groups, 2 are in peace talk, 12 inactive groups, 13 active groups, and 7 are proscribed. Manipur has the highest number of active and proscribed insurgent groups in the NE region.
Meghalaya reported 648 killings due to insurgency-related issues in the last two decades. Out of which 201 were civilians, 74 were security forces, and 354 were insurgents.
Meghalaya reportedly has 21 groups that were operating in the state. Out of this, 9 are now inactive, 11 are still active, and GNLA is on the proscribed list.
Mizoram reported the least number of killings due to insurgency issues. The state reported only 39 killings in the last 23 years. There was no report of killings in the year 2016 till 2021. However, this year, Mizoram reported 3 killings in March due to a bomb blast at the Durtlang locality of Aizawl District.
Mizoram had 7 insurgent groups that operated in the state. Out of which 6 are now inactive and only 1, ie Hmar National Army (HNA) is active now.
Nagaland had recorded a total of 827 people killed due to insurgency-related issues from 450 incidents in the last two decades. Out of which 191 were civilians, 22 were armed forces, and 600 were insurgents. The number of killings has drastically decreased in the last few years. There has been no report of killings due to insurgency-related issues this year in Nagaland.
As per the data available, Nagaland has only 9 groups, out of which 3 are in peace talk, 1 inactive, 3 active groups, and 2 in proscribed lists.
Tripura reported 1346 people killed in 664 insurgency-related incidents, out of which 703 were civilians, 214 security forces, and 355 insurgents. Like all the other above NE states, the states have seen less number of killings in the last few years.
Tripura has 3 insurgent groups operating in the state. Out of these 3, 1 insurgent group is now inactive, and 2 insurgent groups, the All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) and National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT), are active. Though Tripura has the least number of insurgent groups, the state has seen more killings as compared to other states like Mizoram, Meghalaya, Arunachal, etc.
Though there are still insurgency issues and killings in the NE region, it’s a relief that things have become more peaceful in recent years. From thousands of killings in a year way back in 2007, 2008 has now come down to 19, as of this year.
Has the government’s approach towards the NE helped in reducing the insurgency issues and the killings in the region? Or can this be attributed to other factors?
And has peace finally arrived in the NE region?
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