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Archive for category Bodoland Liberation Front & ULFA

India’s Brutal Tactics in Suppressing Separatist Movements By Sajjad Shaukat

India’s Brutal Tactics in Suppressing Separatist Movements

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

A large number of separatist movements in different parts of India are posing a serious threat to Indian federation, as Indian security forces have badly failed in suppressing these movements through brutal tactics.

 

In this respect, Naxalites or Maoists is second major freedom movement after that of the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). Maoists inhabit an area known as the ‘Red Corridor’ that stretches from West Bengal to Karnataka state in the southwest. Indian former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had called Maoist insurrection, “the single biggest internal-security challenge”, whereas, Home Secretary G.K Pillai reiterated the magnitude of this threat, saying that the Maoists want to completely overthrow the Indian state by 2050. Tamil Nadu is another area where separatist movements are haunting the Federation of India. However, in many regions of India, separatist movements or wars of liberation continue unabated.

 

In this regard, the seven states of Northeastern India, which are called the ‘Seven Sisters’ are ethnically and linguistically different from rest of the country. These states are rocked by a large number of armed and violent rebellions, some seeking separate states, some fighting for autonomy and others demanding complete independence while keeping the entire region in a state of turmoil. These states include Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. These states accuse New Delhi of apathy towards their issues. Illiteracy, poverty and lack of economic opportunities have fueled the natives’ demand for autonomy and independence.

 

Owing to the political, economic and social injustices, tensions existed between these Northeastern states and the central government as well as amongst their native people and migrants from other parts of India. In late 2013, Indian state governments tried to ease tensions making by promising to raise the living standards of people in these regions. But, in late 2014, tensions again rose, as the Indian rulers launched an atrocious offensive which led to a retaliatory attack on civilians by tribal guerrillas.

 

Since the secessionist movements started in these states, Indian security forces have used various brutal tactics which brought about untold miseries on the people. In one way or the other, these atrocities still continue in these areas of North East India.

 

Undoubtedly, these states have witnessed various forms of India’s state terrorism like crackdowns, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted killings, sieges, burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rapes, breaking the legs, molestation of women and killing of persons through fake encounters.

 

It is notable that in 2015, the then Indian Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh had highlighted his focus to build the capacity of security forces, engaged in fighting uprising and separatism. Indian Central Government finalized the raising of Indian Reserve Police Battalions (IRBPs) in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and Naxal/Maoist hit states or Left Wing Extremism (LWE) areas, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Out of the total 25 IRBPs proposed, five were for IOK and 12 for LWE affected states whereas rest of 8, IRBPs for other states. Online reports suggested that IRBPs also include Northeastern states of India.

 

Now, IRBPs have totally failed in suppressing insurgency and separatist movements in various regions of India, including those of the North East.

 

It is mentionable that one of the important causes of the disintegration of the former Soviet Union was that its greater defence expenditure exceeded to the maximum, resulting in economic crises inside the country. In this connection, about a prolonged war in Afghanistan, the former President Gorbachev had declared it as the “bleeding wound.” However, the militarization of the Soviet Union failed in controlling the movements of liberation, launched by various ethnic nationalities which were kept under control through the ruthless force.  While, learning no lesson from New Delhi’s previous close friend, Indian fundamentalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the BJP extremist party is acting upon the similar policies.

 

Instead of redressing the grievances of the people by eliminating injustices against them, Indian Government is depending upon ruthless force to crush these secessionist movements through security forces. Therefore, India’s unrealistic counterinsurgency strategy has badly failed.

 

Nevertheless, poor economic policies, heavy defence spending, neglected social development, growing serpent of radical Hinduism, ancient caste system and divisive/pressure politics are just few triggers of these secessionist movements.

 

India, instead of addressing actual domestic problems and peoples’ genuine grievances also resorts to blaming its neighbours for fueling these movements. In the pretext, New Delhi is also acting upon war-mongering policy against Pakistan and China.

 

It is also speculated that Indian government under the pretext of escalation of tension with China in Doklom region, will increase the number of armed forces in ‘Seven Sister’ regions, as an attempt to neutralize the uprisings there.

 

Again, it is noteworthy that the escalation of centrifugal tendencies, fostering insurgency and separatist movements in India is mainly due to complete failure of the Indian Government to address the root causes. This situation has a potential to lead to a domino effect in the South Asian region, which will be detrimental to regional security and peace.

 

It is of particular attention that Indian Minister of External Affairs Jaswant Singh who served the BJP for 30 years was expelled from the party for praising Mohammad Ali Jinnah (Founder of Pakistan) and echoing the pain of the Indian Muslims in his book, “Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence.”

 

While pointing out the BJP’s attitude towards the minorities, Singh wrote: “Every Muslim that lives in India is a loyal Indian…look into the eyes of Indian Muslims and see the pain.” He warned in his book, if such a policy continued, “India could have the third partition.”

In fact, taking cognizance of the separatist movements in India and New Delhi’s use of brutal force through the military in suppressing them, in one way or the other, Jaswant Singh has shown realistic approach in his book.

 

Nonetheless, we can conclude that under the mask of democracy and secularism, Indian subsequent regimes dominated by politicians from the Hindi heartland—Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) have used brutal tactics mercilessly in suppressing the separatist movements in various regions, including Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. Under Modi’s extremist regime, these tactics have openly been employed by the Indian security forces. But, like the former Soviet Union, separatist movements which pose a serious threat to Indian federation, will culminate in the disintegration of the Indian union.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is the author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic_@yahoo.com

Additional Readings

  • Khalistan Freedom Movement.

  • Assam Separatist Movements.

  • Dravida Nadu.

  • Indian Occupied Kashmir Liberation Movement

  • Naxalite–Maoist insurgency.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON SECESSIONIST MOVEMENTS IN INDIA

by

Sardar Zafar Mahmud Khan

HERE IS A LIST OF JUST SOME OF THESE SEPARATIST MOVEMENTS;

1. National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB)

2. United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS)

3. Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO)

4. Bodo Liberation Tiger Force (BLTF)

5. Dima Halim Daogah (DHD)

6. Karbi National Volunteers (KNV)

7. Rabha National Security Force (RNSF)

8. Koch-Rajbongshi Liberation Organisation (KRLO)

9. Hmar People’s Convention- Democracy (HPC-D)

10. Karbi People’s Front (KPF)

11. Tiwa National Revolutionary Force (TNRF)

12. Bircha Commando Force (BCF)

13. Bengali Tiger Force (BTF)
Banner of the UNLF

Banner of the UNLF (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

14. Adivasi Security Force (ASF)

15. All Assam Adivasi Suraksha Samiti (AAASS)

16. Gorkha Tiger Force (GTF)

17. Barak Valley Youth Liberation Front (BVYLF)

18. United Liberation Front of Barak Valley

19. United National Liberation Front (UNLF)

20. People’s Liberation Army (PLA)

21. People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK)

22. The above mentioned three groups now operate from a unified platform,
india kerala boat people

india kerala boat people (Photo credit: FriskoDude)

23. the Manipur People’s Liberation Front (MPLF)

24. Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP)

25. Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL)

26. Manipur Liberation Tiger Army (MLTA)

27. Iripak Kanba Lup (IKL)

28. People’s Republican Army (PRA)

29. Kangleipak Kanba Kanglup (KKK)

30. Kangleipak Liberation Organisation (KLO)

 

31. Revolutionary Joint Committee (RJC)

32. National Socialist Council of Nagaland — Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM)

33. People’s United Liberation Front (PULF)

34. Kuki National Army (KNA)

35. Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA)

36. Kuki National Organisation (KNO)

37. Kuki Independent Army (KIA)
English: Location of Jammu and Kashmir in India

Kashmiris dont think of themselves as Indians.English: Location of Jammu and Kashmir in India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

38. Kuki Defence Force (KDF)

39. Kuki International Force (KIF)

40. Kuki National Volunteers (KNV)

41. Kuki Liberation Front (KLF)

42. Kuki Security Force (KSF)

43. Kuki Liberation Army (KLA)

44. Kuki Revolutionary Front (KRF)

45. United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF)

46. Hmar People’s Convention (HPC)

47. Hmar People’s Convention- Democracy (HPC-D)

48. Hmar Revolutionary Front (HRF)

49. Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA)

50. Zomi Revolutionary Volunteers (ZRV)

51. Indigenous People’s Revolutionary Alliance(IRPA)

52. Kom Rem People’s Convention (KRPC)

53. Chin Kuki Revolutionary Front (CKRF)

54. Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC)

55. Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC)

56. People’s Liberation Front of Meghalaya (PLF-M)

57. Hajong United Liberation Army (HULA)

58. National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) – NSCN(IM)

59. National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) – NSCN (K)

60. Naga National Council (Adino) – NNC (Adino)

61. Babbar Khalsa International (BKI)

62. Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF)

63. International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF)

64. Khalistan Commando Force (KCF)

65. All-India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF)

66. Bhindrawala Tigers Force of Khalistan (BTFK)

67. Khalistan Liberation Army (KLA)

68. Khalistan Liberation Front (KLF)

69. Khalistan Armed Force (KAF)

70. Dashmesh Regiment

71. Khalistan Liberation Organisation (KLO)

72. Khalistan National Army (KNA)

73. National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT)

74. All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF)

75. Tripura Liberation Organisation Front (TLOF)

76. United Bengali Liberation Front (UBLF)

77. Tripura Tribal Volunteer Force (TTVF)

78. Tripura Armed Tribal Commando Force (TATCF)

79. Tripura Tribal Democratic Force (TTDF)

80. Tripura Tribal Youth Force (TTYF)

81. Tripura Liberation Force (TLF)

82. Tripura Defence Force (TDF)

83. All Tripura Volunteer Force (ATVF)

84. Tribal Commando Force (TCF)

85. Tripura Tribal Youth Force (TTYF)

86. All Tripura Bharat Suraksha Force (ATBSF)

87. Tripura Tribal Action Committee Force (TTACF) Socialist Democratic

88. Front of Tripura (SDFT)

89. All Tripura National Force (ATNF)

90. Tripura Tribal Sengkrak Force (TTSF)

91. Tiger Commando Force (TCF)

92. Tripura Mukti Police (TMP)

93. Tripura Rajya Raksha Bahini (TRRB)

94. Tripura State Volunteers (TSV)

95. Tripura National Democratic Tribal Force (TNDTF)

96. National Militia of Tripura (NMT)

97. All Tripura Bengali Regiment (ATBR)

98. Bangla Mukti Sena (BMS)

99. All Tripura Liberation Organisation (ATLO)

100. Tripura National Army (TNA)

101. Tripura State Volunteers (TSV)

102. Borok National Council of Tripura (BNCT)

103. Mizoram

104. Bru National Liberation Front

105. Hmar People’s Convention- Democracy (HPC-D)

106. Arunachal Pradesh

107. Arunachal Dragon Force (ADF)

108. Left-wing Extremist groups

109. People’s Guerrilla Army

110. People’s War Group

111. Maoist Communist Centre

112. Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist)

113. Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Janashakti Other Extremist Groups

114. Tamil National Retrieval Troops (TNRT)

 

 

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The velvet rocket : Bodoland And The Separatist Movements Of Northeast India

 Bodoland And The Separatist Movements Of Northeast India

by

JUSTIN AMES 
National Democratic Front of Bodoland

I knew there were a number of separatist movements in India before we arrived. However, it wasn’t until after we’d been there that I realized how intense some of these conflicts are and simply how many of them there are. One estimate we were given indicated that there are over 300 different separatist movements in India, with the overwhelming majority being in the Northeast.

What makes things sporty is that trouble can flare up suddenly and unpredictably. For example, multiple bombings have hit the normally safe cities of Guwahati (2008), Agartala (2008) and Dimapur (2004) and in 2008 communal violence surged in northern Assam between the Bodo people and Bangladeshi immigrants.

It’s interesting because despite all of the killing and bombs going off, the outside world hears relatively little to nothing of these conflicts. For example, just before the Mumbai attack in 2008, a massive bomb was set off in the Northeastern city of Guwahati that killed over 50 people. However, this story never made it beyond the Indian news media, while the Mumbai attack was a huge story since it involved Westerners. Interesting, isn’t it? That state of affairs creates an illusion of calm for the outside world that does not reflect reality.

Now, some of these “separatists” in places like Arunachal Pradesh are really just thugs extorting money from Indians in the area. And as I alluded to above, some of the violence blamed on the separatist groups is, in fact, ethnic violence. Hey, it’s a tribal society and the tribes fight a lot – they always have and probably always will…

Many groups, however, are quite legitimate separatist movements and are quite active. They often set up shadow governments within their spheres of influence that impose taxes, resolve disputes, act as a police force and provide (impose?) many of the other functions of an official government.

It is alleged that China, for larger geopolitical reasons, provides arms and training to the separatist groups as well. I’m not going to burn any sources because I don’t want to get them in trouble, but these allegations about Chinese involvement came from a variety of different individuals – some of whom have firsthand knowledge of this activity. China plays for keeps and there are few cheaper and more effective ways to throw your competitor off their game than by stirring up insurgencies to keep them distracted. This policy of supporting and arming the separatists is consistent with China’s more public policy of supporting and arming the governments of many of its neighbors such as Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Many of the training camps of the separatists are based in Myanmar. Aside from serving as a safe haven, the Chinese are able to provide weapons and training to the groups without actually needing to enter India as it would be rather awkward for Chinese agents to be caught bringing weapons and cash into India.

The various separatist groups go by an alphabet soup of acronyms such as ULFA (United Liberation Front of Asom) or ANVC (Achik National Volunteer Council) or MULTA (Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam) or NDFB (National Democratic Front of Bodoland) or NLFT (National Liberation Front of Tripura) or… Well, you get the idea. I’m not going to go through all 300+ names.

One particularly serious group are the Nagas. Nagas live in several states besides their own, Nagaland, and they have fought a six-decade insurgency for an autonomous “Greater Nagaland” including chunks of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. An estimated 100,000 people have died in the violence of that conflict. A ceasefire with the government has largely held since 1997, but successive rounds of peace talks have gotten nowhere.

As an example of how a separatist movement can become entwined with ethnic conflict, non-Naga Manipuris, who have their own violent secessionist movement, are alarmed by Naga ambitions and are now taking up arms against the Nagas. I think The Economist summed things up well in a recent article by stating,

“Life in Manipur and Nagaland, wracked by insurgency and under a draconian act giving special powers to the armed forces, is never easy.”

To provide you another example of the complexity of some of these conflicts, allow me to focus on an area

have placed additional information here).

I placed “settled” in quotation marks above because the matter is anything but. The Bodo still want complete independence. Just a month before our passage through Bodoland, an Indian government official was abducted and killed by the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, also known as NDFB or the Bodo Security Force. And the NDFB are still engaged in blowing up railroad lines and other such activities.

I should mention another group that was operating in Bodoland – the BLTF (Bodo Liberation Tigers Force). They have now joined the political mainstream, but nevertheless, many people continue to confuse the two groups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some views of Bodoland to give you a sense of what one of these zones of conflict looks like:

 

That’s rice growing in the fields around the homes:

 

Doesn’t really look like a war zone, does it? That’s the thing about an insurgency – The insurgents blend in with the local population and wage a covert rather than an overt war:

 

Those dark shapes in the road are monkeys:

we traveled through known as Bodoland. Or, to be technical, the Bodoland Territorial Areas District. Bodoland is part of Assam. However, the Bodo people resent the Assamese while the Assamese resent the Bodo, Bangladeshi immigrants, and greater India. The result was a major Bodo insurgency that was only “settled” in 2004-05 with the creation of an autonomous “Bodoland” in northwestern Assam (For more information on the insurgency specifically in Assam, 

Bodoland

The Indian Army would make short work of any of the separatist that tried to do battle with them on the open plains. In the jungles, however, it is the local tribesmen that often have the upper hand. Aside from their incomparable knowledge of the local terrain, many of the separatist groups provide serious military training of six months to a year at the training camps in Myanmar before sending a fighter into battle:

 

Bodo Liberation Tigers Force

The Bodo people are, naturally, quite sympathetic to the various Bodo separatist groups and if they are not actively supporting groups such as the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, they are at least looking the other way in regard to any actions the groups may be carrying out:

National Democratic Front of Bodoland

With so many Indian Army convoys heading out from Tezpur into the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh, the Indian military has suffered many attacks on their convoys passing through Bodoland.

It’s a classic scenario (and headache) for conventional forces when contending with an insurgency… For example, a construction worker such as this one breaking up rocks alongside the road below, can easily pull out a mobile phone and alert the National Democratic Front of Bodoland of any military activity before returning to innocently breaking up rocks seconds later:

Bodo Liberation Tigers Force

As such, there are a staggering number of Indian Army troops patrolling the road through Bodoland. In many places, the patrols are as close as fifty meters apart:

NDFB

These conflicts flare up frequently… Sometimes the spark for a gun battle or a bombing can be tension between different tribes or ethnic groups. Sometimes the tension can be with the Indian government. And other times it can be all of the above.

And then, of course, there are the Naxalites… STRATFOR recently published a good breakdown of the Naxalites (and the secessionist movements I have discussed) and so I’ll let them handle the analysis of the Naxalites. I will place one disclaimer on the STRATFOR piece, though – One section of the passage below mentions a possible link between Pakistan’s ISI and the various insurgencies in India. However, our researchers at The Velvet Rocket encountered not a single individual that indicated Pakistan was in any way involved in supporting such groups (And we met with a number of people, including some close to the separatist movements). Everyone, however, pointed a finger at China. So, that said, carry on…

There are numerous reports in open-source media in India and elsewhere that link Naxalites to a number of militant and criminal groups throughout South Asia. These groups interact with Maoists from Nepal, secessionists in India’s restive northeast, ISI-backed Islamists from Bangladesh, criminals from Myanmar and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka. Weapons flow among these groups in a region that have historically been a rich environment for secessionist movements.

STRATFOR sources in India claim that Pakistani intelligence has established business relationships with Naxalites to sell arms and ammunition and lately has tried to use Naxal bases for anti-Indian activities. There is evidence that the ISI is providing weapons and ammunition to the Naxalites in exchange for money or services, mostly through third parties like the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) or the ostensible Bangladeshi militant leader Shailen Sarkar (both are described in more detail below). Naxalite leaders in India deny cooperating with Pakistan but have very publicly pledged their support for separatist movements in India. STRATFOR sources (Stratfor dubious background as a Mossad-RAW supported site) in the Indian army say they are investigating but still lack the evidence to prove a direct link between the Naxalites and the ISI since the Pakistanis continue to play a peripheral role.

The groups below are reported to have had contact with the Naxalites and to have provided various levels of support. Some of these groups have established links to the ISI, which makes them possible conduits of contact and support between Pakistan and the Naxalites.

* ULFA, one of the largest, most violent secessionist movements in India’s northeast, is accused of working with ISI Islamist assets along the Indian-Bangladeshi border, where it controls smuggling routes through the Siliguri corridor. The Indian government accuses the Naxalites of working with ULFA to smuggle drugs and counterfeit money through Siliguri on behalf of the ISI in exchange for weapons and explosives.

* The People’s Liberation Army of Manipur (PLAM) is a secessionist group in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur. According to Indian security officials, the respective political wings of the PLAM and the Naxalites signed a document in October 2010 pledging to “overthrow the … Indian reactionary and oppressive regime.” However, there are no documented instances of PLAM providing material support to the Naxalites. Indian intelligence agencies report that a militant from Manipur who was arrested in 2007 revealed that the PLAM leadership was in frequent contact with the LeT leadership in 2006 as directed by the ISI.

* The National Social Council of Nagaland-Issac Muviah branch (NSCN-IM) is a secessionist movement in the northeast Indian state of Nagaland. Indian Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said in June that the leader of NSCN-IM helped members of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-M) smuggle weapons through Myanmar and Bangladesh. Indian officials in the state of Tripura accused the NSCN-IM of working jointly with the ISI in assisting militant cadres.

* The People’s War Group (PWG) was a militant faction of the Communist Party of India-Marxist/Leninist until 2004 when it left and helped form the CPI-M, which is the political arm of the Naxalite movement. In 2004, the PWG received bomb-making materials and training from groups like ULFA and NSCN-IM in Bangladesh in exchange for smuggling drugs into India, an effort organized by the ISI between 2000 and 2004, when the PWG was not under the Naxalite umbrella.

* LTTE is an ethnic secessionist movement in northern Sri Lanka that was defeated by Sri Lanka’s military in 2009 after 26 years of fighting. According to a surrendering Naxalite commander, LTTE militants taught Naxalites how to handle mines and grenades at a camp in Bastar, Chhattisgarh state. LTTE fighters have fled Sri Lanka since their 2009 defeat, and Indian authorities suspect that Tamil fighters are providing training for Naxalites in exchange for a safe haven.

* Nepalese Maoists comprise the militant wing of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal. They have exchanged training and weapons with Indian Naxalites, and there are also reports of Nepalese Maoists receiving medical care at Naxalite camps in India.

* Shailen Sarkar is a member of the Communist Party of Bangladesh. The Indian Home Ministry accuses Sarkar’s group of training Naxalites at ISI-funded camps in Bangladesh. The ministry also claims that Sarkar has met with Naxal leaders in India.

Here is a map, courtesy of STRATFOR, that outlines the weapons smuggling routes that supply the Naxalites and the various separatist groups:

Here are some views of Bodoland to give you a sense of what one of these zones of conflict looks like:

bodoland

That’s rice growing in the fields around the homes:

bodoland

bodoland

Doesn’t really look like a war zone, does it? That’s the thing about an insurgency – The insurgents blend in with the local population and wage a covert rather than an overt war:

bodo security force

Bodo Liberation Tigers Force

Bodo Liberation Tigers Force

Those dark shapes in the road are monkeys:

bodoland

bodoland

The Indian Army would make short work of any of the separatist that tried to do battle with them on the open plains. In the jungles, however, it is the local tribesmen that often have the upper hand. Aside from their incomparable knowledge of the local terrain, many of the separatist groups provide serious military training of six months to a year at the training camps in Myanmar before sending a fighter into battle:

Bodo Liberation Tigers Force

Bodo Liberation Tigers Force

The Bodo people are, naturally, quite sympathetic to the various Bodo separatist groups and if they are not actively supporting groups such as the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, they are at least looking the other way in regard to any actions the groups may be carrying out:

Bodo Liberation Tigers Force

National Democratic Front of Bodoland

With so many Indian Army convoys heading out from Tezpur into the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh, the Indian military has suffered many attacks on their convoys passing through Bodoland.

It’s a classic scenario (and headache) for conventional forces when contending with an insurgency… For example, a construction worker such as this one breaking up rocks alongside the road below, can easily pull out a mobile phone and alert the National Democratic Front of Bodoland of any military activity before returning to innocently breaking up rocks seconds later:

Bodo Liberation Tigers Force

As such, there are a staggering number of Indian Army troops patrolling the road through Bodoland. In many places, the patrols are as close as fifty meters apart:

Bodo Liberation Tigers Force

NDFB

These conflicts flare up frequently… Sometimes the spark for a gun battle or a bombing can be tension between different tribes or ethnic groups. Sometimes the tension can be with the Indian government. And other times it can be all of the above.

And then, of course, there are the Naxalites… STRATFOR recently published a good breakdown of the Naxalites (and the secessionist movements I have discussed) and so I’ll let them handle the analysis of the Naxalites. I will place one disclaimer on the STRATFOR piece, though – One section of the passage below mentions a possible link between Pakistan’s ISI and the various insurgencies in India. However, our researchers at The Velvet Rocket encountered not a single individual that indicated Pakistan was in any way involved in supporting such groups (And we met with a number of people, including some close to the separatist movements). Everyone, however, pointed a finger at China. So, that said, carry on…

There are numerous reports in open-source media in India and elsewhere that link Naxalites to a number of militant and criminal groups throughout South Asia. These groups interact with Maoists from Nepal, secessionists in India’s restive northeast, ISI-backed Islamists from Bangladesh, criminals from Myanmar and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka. Weapons flow among these groups in a region that has historically been a rich environment for secessionist movements.

STRATFOR(is a Jewish and Hindu run Islamophobe Group) sources in India claim that Pakistani intelligence has established business relationships with Naxalites to sell arms and ammunition and lately has tried to use Naxal bases for anti-Indian activities. There is evidence that the ISI is providing weapons and ammunition to the Naxalites in exchange for money or services, mostly through third parties like the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) or the ostensible Bangladeshi militant leader Shailen Sarkar (both are described in more detail below). Naxalite leaders in India deny cooperating with Pakistan but have very publicly pledged their support for separatist movements in India. STRATFOR sources in the Indian army say they are investigating but still lack the evidence to prove a direct link between the Naxalites and the ISI, since the Pakistanis continue to play a peripheral role.

The groups below are reported to have had contact with the Naxalites and to have provided various levels of support. Some of these groups have established links to the ISI, which makes them possible conduits of contact and support between Pakistan and the Naxalites.

* ULFA, one of the largest, most violent secessionist movements in India’s northeast, is accused of working with ISI Islamist assets along the Indian-Bangladeshi border, where it controls smuggling routes through the Siliguri corridor. The Indian government accuses the Naxalites of working with ULFA to smuggle drugs and counterfeit money through Siliguri on behalf of the ISI in exchange for weapons and explosives.

* The People’s Liberation Army of Manipur (PLAM) is a secessionist group in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur. According to Indian security officials, the respective political wings of the PLAM and the Naxalites signed a document in October 2010 pledging to “overthrow the … Indian reactionary and oppressive regime.” However, there are no documented instances of PLAM providing material support to the Naxalites. Indian intelligence agencies report that a militant from Manipur who was arrested in 2007 revealed that the PLAM leadership was in frequent contact with the LeT leadership in 2006 as directed by the ISI.

* The National Social Council of Nagaland-Issac Muviah branch (NSCN-IM) is a secessionist movement in the northeast Indian state of Nagaland. Indian Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said in June that the leader of NSCN-IM helped members of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-M) smuggle weapons through Myanmar and Bangladesh. Indian officials in the state of Tripura accused the NSCN-IM of working jointly with the ISI in assisting militant cadres.

* The People’s War Group (PWG) was a militant faction of the Communist Party of India-Marxist/Leninist until 2004, when it left and helped form the CPI-M, which is the political arm of the Naxalite movement. In 2004, the PWG received bomb-making materials and training from groups like ULFA and NSCN-IM in Bangladesh in exchange for smuggling drugs into India, an effort organized by the ISI between 2000 and 2004, when the PWG was not under the Naxalite umbrella.

* LTTE is an ethnic secessionist movement in northern Sri Lanka that was defeated by Sri Lanka’s military in 2009 after 26 years of fighting. According to a surrendering Naxalite commander, LTTE militants taught Naxalites how to handle mines and grenades at a camp in Bastar, Chhattisgarh state. LTTE fighters have fled Sri Lanka since their 2009 defeat, and Indian authorities suspect that Tamil fighters are providing training for Naxalites in exchange for safe haven.

* Nepalese Maoists comprise the militant wing of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal. They have exchanged training and weapons with Indian Naxalites, and there are also reports of Nepalese Maoists receiving medical care at Naxalite camps in India.

* Shailen Sarkar is a member of the Communist Party of Bangladesh. The Indian Home Ministry accuses Sarkar’s group of training Naxalites at ISI-funded 

(Indian Propaganda) camps in Bangladesh. The ministry also claims that Sarkar has met with Naxal leaders in India.

 

Reference

   Date of Original Publication December 12, 2011 

 

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