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Northeast India: Times Are Changing

The last two decades, 2001 to the present 2020, saw more than 10,000 killings. Unfortunately, more than 37% (3,723) were civillian fatalities.
Northeast India: Times Are Changing

Northeast India, in the last few decades, has witnessed too much bloodshed resulting from violent armed conflicts. The last two decades, 2001 to the present 2020, saw more than 10,000 killings. Unfortunately, more than 37% (3,723) were civillian fatalities.

In the last two decades, Assam has found itself at the top of the list with a total of 4501 deaths related to insurgency related conflicts, followed by Manipur (3,467), Tripura (1,089), Nagaland (743), Meghalaya (636), Arunachal Pradesh (224), and Mizoram (27). Here’s a state-wise round-up of the disturbed areas in the Northeast, to be followed by the most current development (latest data up to December 5, 2020)

Arunachal Pradesh

The state had 104 armed rebellions from 2001 to 2020 that ended up in the loss of 224 lives. Out of this, 159 were rebels/insurgents, 36 security personnel, and 29 civillians. The state witnessed ten bomb explosions during this period killing 18 people and injuring 43 people.


With a total of 2,343 incidents reported in the last 20 years that had killed 4501 people, Assam tops the list. There were losses of the lives of 2111 armed rebels, 1944 civillians, 303 security personnel, and 143 unspecified. During this period, Assam had 677 incidents of explosions killing 582, and injuring 3310 people, the majority of which were civilians.


Manipur is second-highest on the list. Altogether 2096 incidents in the last two decades killed a total of 3467 people, out of which 2048 were armed rebels, 858 civillians, and 409 security personnel. Manipur also recorded a maximum number of explosions in the region. Altogether a total of 935 explosions took place in the last 20 years that killed 247 and injured 1190, the majority of which were civillians.


Meghalaya recorded a total of 392 armed rebellions in the last 20 years that took the lives of  636 people out of which 199 were civillians. Also recorded were 88 explosions that killed 27, and injured 107.


With the least number of cases, ten in total, Mizoram recorded a total of 27 lives lost in the armed rebellion in the last two decades. A total of eight explosions were reported during this period and with no explosion-related casualty.


The state recorded a total of 442 incidents in the last two decades with the loss of the lives of 743 people, including 526 armed rebels, 184 civillians, and 22 security personnel. There were 62 cases of explosions reported that killed 50 and injured 177.


A total of 548 armed rebellions were reported in Tripura in the last two decades, with the loss of 1089 lives. Half of the people killed were civillians (505). The state also reported 23 cases of explosions, killing 37 and injuring 149.

However, the current scenario is less grim. Things have improved a lot in the latter part of the two-decade period. There’s been a massive drop in armed rebellions. Many of the above states have dropped from the three-digit mark to a much improved two or single-digit mark.

In Assam, the last decade saw 472 cases with 812 deaths. Manipur saw a reduced number of 323 cases and 651 deaths. Nagaland has also shown reduced incidents and loss of lives. With the current status of 133 incidents with 199 deaths, we can safely say that there has been a tremendous change. And in the last five years, the number of incidents and killings have reduced to single digits each year.

As per the latest data, the security situation in the Northeastern region seems to have improved a lot over the years. Could it be translated as the current government’s better understanding of the region’s fragile situation, or the change can be attributed to the people’s conscious effort to shun violence and root for the much-needed peace and development?