New Delhi, Oct 5 (IANS) Violent clashes between the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Iask-Muivah (NSCN-IM) and the Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF), a little known outfit, in the Peren district of Nagaland, has triggered an alarm for the central government, which is focusing on development in the region, according to security establishment sources on Saturday.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has been stressing on development projects during his visits to the northeastern states.
On Saturday in Mizoram, Shah said the BJP-led central government had doubled the development projects compared with the UPA government. He was speaking at the inauguration of the North East Handloom and Handicraft Exhibition, organised by the North East Council, in Aizawl.
According to sources, the NSCN-IM and the ZUF activists fought fiercely over setting up a camp near the Jalukie village, firing hundreds of rounds and razing settlements, two weeks ago. The clashes have upset security establishments and peace in the region.
Formed in 2012, the ZUF never had a peace pact with the government. It has also set up an armed wing — Zeliangrong Tiger Force (ZTF) — and frequently clashes with the NSCN-IM, which has raised the eyebrows of intelligence and security establishment.
“In 2015, when the NSCN-IM held talks with the Centre over integration of Naga-inhabited areas under one administrative unit, the ZUF opposed that, leading to violence between the groups,” said a source.
When the central government reviewed the security situation in the northeast, it found that clashes were taking place on a regular basis, though the number were not alarming.
On review of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) status report on the northeast,udaipur kiranfound that 136 violent incidents took place till July. The maximum number clashes took place in Manipur (74), followed by Nagaland (24) and Arunachal Pradesh (21).
According to the report, 6 extremists were killed and 556 arrested till July. Also, 78 others were kidnapped and 16 killed.
In 2018, 252 violent incidents were reported, 34 extremists killed and 804 arrested. Also, 117 people were kidnapped and 23 killed by militants.
The central government have taken various steps to gain confidence of local people in the northeast. “To take the local populace in confidence and boost the armed forces’ image among people, the army and the central armed police forces have been asked to carry out civic action programmes,” said a senior IPS officer. For the programmes, Rs 13 crore had been allocated, the officer added.
The government also follows the surrender-cum-rehabilitation policy to wean away the misguided youth and hardcore militants, who stray into the fold of militancy and later find themselves trapped.
“Under the policy, an immediate grant of Rs 4 lakh is made to each surrenderee. It’s kept as bank fixed deposit in the name of surrenderee for three years. They are also paid Rs 6,000 stipend for three years,” the officer said.
Till July, 45 militants have surrendered. in 2018, 161 militants had surrendered before the security agencies.
(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)