CHRONOLOGY: 2018

  • January 4: A militant and commander' of militant group Liberation Democratic Council of Mising Land (LDCM) Rohan Patir, was arrested from Guwahati. The arrested militant was allegedly involved in the killing of local Indian National Congress leader Hiranya Doley in May 2017.
  • January 16: Police arrested an NSCN-K militant known as `sergeant major' Bishnu Bhujel from Mullong village in Tinsukia District.
  • January 16: According to official data, the security scenario in the Northeastern region has radically improved as well insurgency-related incidents have dropped down by 85 per cent in 2017 as compared to 2000. The data said that the insurgency related incidents in 2017 was the lowest since 1997, which was 308.There were 1,963 insurgency-related incidents had taken place in the Northeast in the year 2000. Altogether 168 incidents of kidnapping or abduction were reported in 2016, which came down to 102 in 2017 – a 40% drop. Also, the death toll of security personnel and civilians was lowest in 2016 when 12 security forces personnel and 37 civilians were died.
  • January 22: UNLFW a conglomerate of Northeast rebel groups on January 22 called for a total boycott of Republic Day celebrations.
  • January 25: Ahead of the republic day ULFA-I circulated a video showing 10 ULFA-I militants burning the Indian national flag and demanded a total boycott of the Republic Day.
  • January 29: Former special secretary of R&AW A.B Mathur was appointed as new negotiator for peace talks with ULFA-PTF of Asom, UPF and KNO.
  • February 5: NIA filed charge sheet against 'military chief' and 'deputy chief' of NDFB-S G Bidai alias Bishnu and M Batha alias Binod, in relation to the killing of five Adivasi at Pakriguri in Kokrajhar District in December 2014. NIA had earlier charge sheeted against a total 14 persons regarding the case when at least 14 heavily armed NDFB-S militants on December 23, 2014, belonging 'Serfanguri platoon' attacked Pakriguri village in Kokrajhar District only following orders issued by Bidai and Batha.
  • February 10: Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju announced that Government of India has revised stipend amount and fixed deposit for the surrendered militants in Northeast. The monthly allowance of the surrendered militants would be increased from INR 3,000 to INR 6,000. Moreover, the militants will be given a relief amount of INR 400,000, which was earlier INR 1, 50,000. The new surrender scheme would come into effect from April 2018.
  • February 11: Minister for State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said that Assam recorded 33 insurgency related incidents in 2017 where six civilians lost their lives along with three SFs.
  • February 11: Union Ministry of Home Affairs clarified that the year 2017 confirmed the lowest number of insurgency related incidents since 1997. Insurgency related incidents in Northeast went down by 63 per cent as compared to 2014 in and 36 per cent compared to 2016. During the year 2017, the state witnessed 308 insurgency related incidents against 824 incidents in 2014, 574 incidents in 2015, 484 incidents in 2016. Civilian casualties have also recorded a drop by 83 percent, from 212 in 2014 to 37 in 2017. SF’s casualty rate of also decreased by 40 percent, from 20 in 2014 to 12 in 2017.
  • February 20: ULFA-I declared that it supports the definition of "indigenous" people that was recently announced by Khilonjiya Mancha Asom, an organization headed by ULFA pro-talks faction leader Anup Chetia.
  • February 20: In a statement, Khilonjiya Mancha Asom recently said that those who resided in Assam before the Yandabu Treaty of February 24, 1826 (when Assam was annexed to the British Empire) were indigenous people and those who settled in the state thereafter and accepted Assamese culture as their own were accepted as Assamese but were not indigenous people. The statement further said tea garden communities who were brought from Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh by the British to work in tea gardens of Assam and accepted Assamese language and culture as their own were also Assamese but they could not be considered as indigenous people
  • February 21: The 'commander in chief' of HPC-D Lal Minthang Sanate was arrested from Tezpur in Sonitpur District concerning his alleged involvement in killing of NCP candidate in Sawilgre village in East Garo Hills. HPC-D has now split up into two factions, one is headed by Zosangbera, who is currently holding talks with the Mizoram government, and the other by Lalhmingthang Sanate
  • March 3: The Home and Political Department of Assam, via a notification issued on February 28, declared the entire State a "disturbed area" under AFSPA. Consequently, Assam State Government announced extension of AFSPA by another six months in Assam.
  • March 12: Police arrested ULFA-I militant identified as Dipjyoti Gogoi at Lafera gaon in Charaideo District. According to the arrested militant ULFA-I had accomplished the attack on Borhat tea estate in Upper Assam's Charaideo district in the first week of February. The militant explained that they walked into the factory and fired indiscriminately besides lobbed a grenade before leaving.
  • March 26:The insurgency related civilian casualties decreased in all states except in Assam where it increased from nine in 2015 to 29 in 2016. Furthermore, the number of abductions also comes down the region from 267 in 2015 to 168 in 2016. Counter Insurgency operations in the reason-triggered killing of 87 militants, arrest of 1202 and recovery of 605 arms in 2016.
  • April 1: The security situation in Northeastern states saw a considerable improvement over the last four years. The year 2017 recorded the lowest insurgency related incidents and casualties covering the civilians and security forces during the last two decades since 1997. There has been a noticeable improvement of security situation in Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Manipur, whereas insurgency has been abolished from Tripura and Mizoram. Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act had been withdrawn from all areas of Meghalaya, while in Arunachal Pradesh areas under AFSPA reduced from 16 to 8 Police Stations besides Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts. In Assam, ongoing counter-insurgency operations against NDFB (S) have brought good results just when 63 cadres were neutralized and 1,052 cadres/linkmen were arrested apart from that huge arms and ammunition were recovered between Dec 2014 and March 2018.
    The casualties among the security forces were reduced from 289 in 1997 to 12 in 2017 across the Northeast region amounting to a reduction of 96%. Civilian casualties furthermore reduced to 96% from 907 in the year 2000 to 37 in 2017.Insurgency incidents during the same period decreased by 85% from 1963 to 308. Kidnapping and abductions were also witnessed a sharp decline of 40% from 168 incidents in the year 2016 to 102 last year.
  • April 2: State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary informed at the assembly that between 1990 and 2016 approximately 931 security personnel had been killed in Assam of which 480 were Police Personnel. In between 2016-18, seven Security Forces had been killed out of which five personnel belonged to Assam Police.
  • May 5: Bhaskar Kalita, officer in-charge(OC) of Bordumsa Police station died of bullet injuries during a counter-insurgency operation against ULFA-I in eastern Assam’s Kujupathar village in Tinsukia district. On the midnight of 4 May a combined team of the police and the Cobra battalion of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), guided by deceased Bhaskar Kalita, had launched an operation after receiving inputs about the presence of a group of ULFA-I militants at a house in Bordumsa bordering Arunachal Pradesh. Three ULFA militants were killed during the operation.
  • May 22: According to a report published in The Assam Tribune the talks between the Government of India and the pro-talk ULFA faction is at a crucial stage. Even though the pro-talk faction’s demand for scrapping of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill cause throttle in the peace process. According to a senior pro-talk leader their demand for scraping of the Bill was not part of the original charter of demands submitted to the Government of India. They have placed the fresh demand later and the leader added, “Rest of the demands have more or less settled.”
  • May 23: Chairman of the pro-talk faction of the ULFA Arabinda Rajkhowa said that their outfit would be formally disbanded after signing of an accord with the Government of India. The accord is likely to be signed later this year. Addressing the media, ULFA General Secretary Anup Chetia informed that negotiations with the Centre were in the final stage. ULFA leaders took part in a crucial talk in Delhi with representatives of the Government of India. The pro-talks leaders confirmed that they have raised the issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill with the Centre besides issue of constitutional and political safeguard of the indigenous people.”
  • May 26: Based on intelligence sources the home ministry have issued high alert in Assam about an increased threat of Islamist radicalization in the State and said that islamic terror group Hizbul Mujahideen was recruiting cadres from Muslim-dominated areas. A youth named Qumer Uz Jamaan R/O Jmuna Mukh of Hojai has joined Hizbul Mujahideen in Kashmir. A book ‘Afghanistan Ami Allah Ke Dekhechi’ written in Bengali, is being circulated in remote Muslim areas of Bongaigaon.
  • May 29: The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) has threatened to pull out of the peace process if the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 is passed in the Parliament. The group is now holding peace-talks with the Government of India. All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) organized an 11-hour mass hunger-strike programme in Guwahati to demonstrate their opposition to Citizenship Amendment Bill where 28 indigenous people’s organizations and a large number of artistes from the state today participated in including ULFA General Secretary Anup Chetia. Chetia said that ULFA would end peace process with the Government if the bill will pass.”
  • May 30: The 9th Battalion of the Rajputana Rifles and police arrested two ULFA (I) linkman from Chaulkhowa of Dibrugarh district during a joint operation. Police recovered demonetized currency notes with a face value of Rs 42.5 lakh from the militants.
  • June 1: The Ministry of Home Affairs has updated the existing surrender policy and introduced a new one to entice the misguided youths of Northeast who often join militant organizations. Home Ministry informed that the new policy has proposed a fixed deposit of Rs 4 lakh and monthly stipend of Rs 6,000 to those who surrendered and an extra incentive for those with weapons. The new surrendered policy, is designed and being implemented in Assam. Earlier the surrendered militants were given a stipend of Rs 3,000 and one time grant of Rs 1.5 lakh by the Government.
  • June 1: June 1: NSCN-IM rebels killed a youth belonging to Joypur area in Tinsukia district of Assam bordering Arunachal Pradesh after his family fail to give ransom of Rs 10 lakh . Police sources informed that the killed youth Rafel Ali and his father Moon Ali were abducted by NSCN-IM rebels from Deomali area in neighboring Arunachal Pradesh. Moon Ali was later released by the rebel after severe beating and they demanded Rs 10 lakh as ransom for release of the son. When the youth’s father failed to meet the ransom requirements of the rebels, they killed his son afterwards.
  • June 2: Six militants of the Kuki Liberation Front surrendered with a huge cache of arms before Assam Police. According to Government sources they will be rehabilitated under the revised scheme for surrender-cum-rehabilitation of rebels in the Northeast.
  • June 16: Assam Police decided to write to Facebook asking it to deactivate the account created by the ULFA(I), official sources said. The account was created by the outfit to increase its interface with facebook users.
  • June 17: ULFA (I) released a video where they talked about a police “informer” who double-crossed the police regarding the information of ULFA (I) presence at Kujupathar under Bordumsa police station in Upper Assam’s Tinsukia district last month where an officer of Assam Policed was killed. The video was uploaded by ULFA (I) on their Facebook page, which shows nine cadres.
  • June 18: The “joint military command” of Myanmaar based NSCN (Khaplang) and Paresh Barua-led ULFA (I) claimed responsibility for Sunday’s ambush in Nagaland’s Mon district where two soldiers were killed and four others were injured. The statement said that the attack was carried out “to enhance the progress of the national liberation movement of western Southeast Asia.”.
  • June 18: The “joint military command” of Myanmaar based NSCN (Khaplang) and Paresh Barua-led ULFA (I) claimed responsibility for Sunday’s ambush in Nagaland’s Mon district where three soldiers were killed and four others were injured. The statement said that the attack was carried out “to enhance the progress of the national liberation movement of western Southeast Asia.” According to the statement, the ambush was a joint operation accomplished near Aboi town in Mon district on Nagaland on Sunday afternoon where four Assam Rifles jawans were killed while six others were injured. The militants also claimed to have snatched away weapons and ammunition that were with the Assam Rifles team.
  • June 20: Voluntary organization Assam Public Works (APW) alleged that ULFA-I has been working against the ongoing process of negotiation between the pro-talk ULFA and the government. The banned outfit is also maintaining a double standard in matters of death of police official Bhaskar Kalita, the organization said. APW further alleged that the ULFA –I has also kept a poor tea garden employee captive and it is demanding a ransom of Rs 3.5 crore for his release.
  • June 20: Assam police have requested the US- based Facebook authorities to block ULFA-I account. The outfit opened a new account hours after the first one was blocked by the police. Additional director-general of police (security) Harmeet Singh informed that the ULFA had changed the IP address soon after Police blocked the first account so they had written to the Centre to request Facebook office to ensure that the outfit cannot open an account. ULFA-I had announced earlier on 15 June that it had created a Facebook account to make social media a part of its “ revolutionary journey as an experiment”. Many people became “friends” within hours of opening of the account, named ULFA Swadhin and some even shared their phone numbers on the wall of the first account, expressing their willingness to join the outfit.
  • June 20: Assam police is “trying” to hold talks with the government of Myanmar so as to secure the release of Dinanath Upadhyay, a supervisor at Phaneng tea garden who was abducted by ULFA-I militants on June 8. He is currently in the custody of the banned outfit in one of its camps in Myanmaar. According to police sources, ULFA (I) is demanding Rs 3.5 crore from the garden owner for Upadhyay’s release. The outfit on June 16 posted a video on facebook of Upadhyay in his captivity alleging that BJP MLA from Margherita, Bhaskar Sharma and the tea garden owner, Radha Chetia had tempted him with a pay raise and bonus on the condition that he would provide information on the movement of ULFA (I) and NSCN (K) cadres in the area.
  • June 22: Six “senior” ULFA (I) cadres surrendered with weapons in Tinsukia district. The surrendered cadres, who left their camp in Myanmar’s Arakan region, deposited a German made HK 33 rifle, an AK 56 rifle, an MQ 81 rifle, Chinese grenade, magazines, over 300 rounds of ammunition and equipment.
  • June 23: ULFA-I in a statement claimed that the six of its cadres who surrendered recently were with the police for past several months and were carrying out extortion under the protection of security forces. The outfit asserted that the police had resorted to the surrender drama and false claims to discredit it as they were apprehensive following the outfit’s recent successful operations.
  • June 24: ULFA-I has become active again in various parts of Darrang district as the outfit started to send extortion notices to a section of traders. The traders who are now in panic said that although the state police have claimed that the activities of the underground groups have been declining in the wake of stepped-up operations carried out by the security forces, ULFA is still active in some pockets.
  • June 24: Following a recent request by Assam police Facebook had blocked ULFA-I account for the second time. The state police had written to the US-based Facebook authorities through the Centre with a request to block the page after the outfit opened an account for the second time in order to attract youths through social media.
  • June 25: A woman was killed while travelling near Sibilong village along the National Highway-37 by suspected NSCN-K militants as they attacked the vehicle where she was present along with other dance troupe. The woman was a part of a dance troupe who had performed during the inaugural function of a railway substation at Kamai.
  • July 1: A group of suspected NSCN-IM cadres ambushed an Assam Rifles road opening team on the outskirts of Motonongsa village under Nampong circle in Arunachal Pradesah’s Changlang district on Saturday noon. The ambush was failed because of the alertness of the security forces and no causalities were reported on either side.
  • July 4: Police arrested a suspected ULFA (I) linkman from his residence in Nalbari in connection with a case registered at Gorchuk Police station Guwahati. An amount of 4 lakh was recovered from the linkman.
  • July 4: A joint team of army and police arrested A NDFB(S) militant and a linkman from Hajraiguri village under Saraibili police outpost in Kokrajhar district. The police recovered two pistols from the militants.
  • July 11: In a joint operation of the army and Assam Police, two suspected cadres of NSCN-IM- self styled “major” Shiranjit Singh 22 and self-styled corporal Apoh Ah Gashim, 25 were arrested from Tingalibam under Sonari police station in Charaideo district on Tuesday. Security forces recovered a 7.65mm pistol, a 22mm pistol, six live rounds of ammunition and two extortion notes.
  • July 16: A joint team of army and police apprehended two KLO militants from Silkatari Part 2 village in Kokrajhar district. Police recovered two pistols from the arrested militants.
  • July 17: Cachar police arrested an active member of the Manipur-based anti-talk terrorist group Zeliangrong United Front from Irongmara. The militant was the prime accused of the Udharbond Paticherra tea garden extortion case.
  • July 17: Army personnel of the 9th Battalion of the Rajputana Rifles and Moran Police apprehended one over-ground worker of ULFA-I from Sepon in Dibrugarh district. Police recovered one 9 mm pistol and one magazine with five live rounds from the militant. Sources said that he was actively involved in several extortion and anti-national activities on behalf of the proscribed outfit.
  • July 19: Cachar police arrested three ultras of ZUF (Kamson) faction in a joint operation at Rangmaijan area under Jirighat along the Assam-Manipur border of Cachar district. A huge cache of arms and ammunitions were seized from the militants.
  • July 20: Jagun Police and 13 Assam Rifles personnel in an operation arrested three NDFB (S) cadres at Nagadhuli, Kuwarabasti under Jagun PS of Tinisukia district. Police recovered one AK 47 rifle, one magazine, 9 live ammunition, two pistols of 7.65 and .22 calibers from the possession of the militants.
  • July 21: The army under Dao Division arrested one NSCN-IM cadre from Sepon in Dibrugarh district. A .32 mm pistol, one magazine, and two live rounds of ammunitions were recovered from the possession of the militant. The militant was actively involved in several extortion and anti-national activities.
  • July 22: Police carried out an operation against rebel outfit People's Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK) at Bokaram Tokbi Gaon under Dolamara Police Station in Karbi Anglong district, which led to a savage gun-battle.The police there after arrested one militant of PDCK. The Police recovered one HK 33 Rifle, 70 rounds ammunition, 2 magazines of the rifle, 2 numbers of mobile phone, 1 knife, from the spot.
  • July 23: In a joint operation, the army and Tingkhong police arrested two over ground workers of ULFA(I) from Dibrugarh district in Upper Assam. Police recovered a, 32mm pistol and a magazine with four live rounds from the arrested workers.
  • July 25: Security forces arrested two NDFB(S) militants from Saralbhanga forest in Kokrajhar district. Security forces recovered two pistols and two hand grenades from the militants.
  • July 25: Bharalumukh Police in Guwahati arrested a surrendered ULFA cadre who had come to the city to collect extortion money from a businessperson. Rs one lakh was seized from his possession.
  • July 25: Rajputana Rifles personnel of Indian army destroyed a hideout of the proscribed ULFA (Independent) in Lakhipathar area in Tinsukia district on Thursday and recovered a large amount of arms and ammunition. Army recovered four pistols, one revolver, two rounds of 40 mm Multi Shot Grenade Launcher, 11 rounds of 9 mm revolver, 16 rounds of 2.2 mm, one round of AK-47, a radio set, and Rs 1.49 lakh from the busted hideout.
  • July 27: A parliamentary panel affiliated with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in its latest report that Assam has the highest rate of violent crimes such as kidnappings, abductions, extortions in the country. The parliamentary Standing Committee, headed by P Chidambaram of the Congress party, in its report ‘ Security Situation in the North Eastern States of India’ said that although insurgency related instances of kidnappings and extortions may be on a decline but there is a general upsurge of such crimes. The committee speculates that poor rehabilitation and settlement of former insurgents can be a reason responsible for such a situation. The report noted that a large number of victims, who were kidnapped or abducted in Assam before and during 2016, are yet to be traced and a cause for concern is that over 81% of victims are women.
  • Assam recorded the highest rate of violent crimes among all the states in 2016 enlisting an uncontrollable 87% of the victims of kidnappings and abductions were women. Furthermore, out of 6,128 abductions, only 249 victims were recovered. Assam also reported a vast number of 13,413 unrecovered victims of kidnappings and abductions that happened before 2016. The number of kidnapping and abductions, in general, as reported by the National Crime Record Bureau in the Crime in India 2016 report, shows a significant rise during this period from 4, 824 in 2014 to 6,128 in 2016. In 2016, Assam recorded the highest rate of kidnappings and abductions among all Indian states with a rate of 18.8 kidnappings and abductions per thousand persons in 2016. However improvement is perceptible regarding insurgency related incidents in the state as the insurgent related incidents declined from 246 in 2014 to just 81 in 2015 and further came down to 75 in 2016 and to 33 in 2017 being the lowest since 1997. The casualties of civilians and security forces personnel were also lowest at 9 in 2017 which was 99% less than the 1,136 deaths of civilians and security forces personnel took place in 1997. During 2017, altogether 16 insurgents were killed while 204 were arrested.

  • July 27: A team of Assam Rifles and police arrested the self-styled commander of the newly formed outfit, Barak State Liberation Force at Barkatpur village under Karimganj of Assam from Notun Bosti. Police recovered one .22mm pistol along with magazines and six rounds of .22mm live ammunition from the militant’s possession.
  • August 3: According to Police sources, a National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) cadre, identified as Zonet Aier, was apprehended today in Mariani area of Jorhat district in Assam along the Nagaland border with arms and ammunition. Police nabbed him from Morongiyal village, under Mariani Police station, along the Assam-Nagaland border and recovered a 9mm pistol along with ammunition and a grenade.
  • August 4: The Army’s Dao Division, nabbed two Ulfa (I) workers, identified as, Gyandeep Boragohain and Mridul Sarma from Lahowal area of Dibrugarh district. One .22mm pistol and a magazine with three live rounds were seized.

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