MILITANT GROUPS' PROFILE

1. United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA)

he United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) was formed on 7 April 1979. Arabinda Rajkhowa is the chairman of ULFA and Paresh Barua is its commander-in-chief. ULFA has principally three battalions, the 27th, 28th and 709th. Operating in the background of the popular Assam agitation (led by the All Assam Students’ Union or AASU against illegal influx from Bangladesh), the outfit’s objective was to “liberate Assam through armed national liberation struggle from the clutches of the illegal occupation of India” and to “establish a sovereign independent Assam”. While the Assam agitation was primarily a movement against the illegal Bangladeshi migrants in the State, the ULFA too raised similar concerns, which contributed to its popularity and acceptability among the common populace. Till the early 1990s, the ULFA enjoyed popular support across Assam. However, due to the mindless violent campaign of the outfit, there has been a major decline in the support base over the years. While the outfit, over the years, has moderated its opposition to the Bangladeshi migrants, it continues to fight the security forces. The ULFA, however, had a split in 2011 and at present, one faction is engaged in peace talks with the Government and the other hardliner faction is active under its leader Paresh Baruah.

It is notable that the ULFA’s influence in the State reached new heights after the Assam Agitation. The outfit’s military prowess is believed to have increased as a result of its ties with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM), which aided it in terms of securing arms and providing training to its cadres. The breakdown of governance in Assam led to the declaration of President’s Rule in the State and two army operations: Operation Bajrang (between November 27, 1990 and June 10, 1991) and Operation Rhino (between September 15, 1991 and January 13, 1992). The military offensices targeted the outfit and its facilities within Assam forcing its leadership to seek refuge in Bangladesh. ULFA was subsequently patronised by the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan and the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) of Bangladesh. The outfit also maintained camps in Bhutan till December 2003, when a Bhutanese military operation dislodged it from those camps. As result of these operations, about 650 militants, including a majority of ULFA cadres were neutralized. In 2009, there were reports of the ULFA setting up a base in China’s Yunnan province, established by the group’s military chief Paresh Baruah. A clear indication that ULFA is starting to get more support from the Chinese front is to be found in an article in August 2009 published in the website of the China International Institute for Strategic Studies (CIISS) by a Chinese strategist asking Beijing to support ULFA for it to achieve independence for Assam from India.

In November 2007, the movement of the 28th battalion of ULFA (the group’s most potent strike unit) was disrupted in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland – a territory used by the ULFA to travel between Assam and Myanmar. On November 11, the NSCN (IM) carried out an ambush on ULFA men in transit in Nagaland’s Mon District and killed two ULFA cadres keeping two others as hostages thus restricting ULFA’s movement. This was apparently the result of ULFA’s warmed up relations with the NSCN (K) – the rival group of NSCN (IM). ULFA’s earlier partner in terror, the NSCN (IM) refused any right of movement for ULFA cadres through Naga territory. However, ULFA’s route to Bangladesh through Garo Hills of Meghalaya remained undisrupted.

Strategically, ULFA is linked to the NSCN-K, the NDFB and the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO). It shared a fraternal relationship with the NSCN-IM till 2001. However, due to the over emphasis of the Naga outfit on inclusion of areas within Assam in its proposed Nagalim, such ties have been disrupted. During the early part of 2007, ULFA formed strategic alliances with small extremist groups such as the KLNLF and the AANLA. The violent drive carried out by the KLNLF against the Hindi-speaking trading community in the Karbi Anglong district in August 2007 was supported by the ULFA and, on several occasions ULFA cadres were directly involved in the attacks. Again, ULFA’s support to AANLA, earlier a nascent outfit with about 50 cadres, has actually transformed it into a violent group with access to sophisticated arms and ammunitions.

On June 24, 2008, the Alfa and Charlie companies of the ULFA's Myanmar-based 28th battalion declared a unilateral ceasefire and came over-ground seeking a negotiated settlement to their three-decade-old problem. They declared that they would have no links with the ULFA and they would be called as the “pro-talk ULFA faction”. They also gave up the demand for sovereignty or independence and said that they want to work towards achieving greater autonomy for Assam. They also submitted a charter of demands containing 18 demands to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh through Assam's Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. The first round of formal talks with the pro-talk faction of ULFA was held on October 29, 2009 in Guwahati.

The Bravo Company, the sole remaining formation of the 28th battalion and the three other surviving battalions (27th battalion, 109th battalion and the 709th battalion) are still active. ULFA’s 27th battalion is principally active in the district of Karbi Anglong and has coordinated its attacks with tribal allies such as the Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF), active in Karbi Anglong. Cadres belonging to the 709th battalion are active in the Kamrup district, north and western parts of the state.

ULFA’s top leadership is based in Bangladesh, where the outfit is suspected to maintain several safe houses and training camps. Indian security agencies say ULFA’s leadership is engaged in several profit-making ventures in Bangladesh including shipping and tanneries. Independent verification of these claims is difficult. The Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), according to Indian security agencies, controls the activities of the ULFA and in the past, several of the outfit’s functionaries have travelled to Pakistan to receive arms training and monetary support. Similar cordial relations exist between the outfit and the Bangladeshi Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI).

However, after the Awami League formed the Government in Bangladesh in December 2008, it started taking action against ULFA and other Indian militant organizations operating from within its territory. Their efforts bore fruit towards the end of 2009 with arrests of top leaders of the ULFA. On November 6, 2009, ULFA's 'foreign secretary' Sashadhar Choudhury and 'finance secretary' Chitraban Hazarika were handed over to the Indian authorities. Within a month of these arrests, on December 2, 2009, ULFA 'Chairman' Arabinda Rajkhowa and 'Deputy commander-in-chief' Raju Baruah were arrested in Bangladesh and on December 4 were handed over to the Indian authorities. These arrests have weakened the outfit to a great extent and Paresh Baruah, ULFA’s ‘Commander-in-chief’, is the sole remaining top leader in the outfit. The level of violence has also come down in the State after these developments.

All the top leaders of the ULFA were released from the jail in order to facilitate the peace talks with the outfit. This included chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, vice chairman Pradip Gogoi, publicity chief Mithinga Daimary, deputy commander-in-chief Raju Baruah, finance secretary Chitraban Hazarika, foreign secretary Sasadhar Choudhury, cultural secretary Pranati Deka, and political ideologue Late Bhimkanta Buragohain. Talks are going on for extraditing ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia to India to help him take part in the proposed peace talks.

A rift within the ULFA became visible when the ULFA faction headed by Paresh Barua sent out a message declaring continuation of its fight for a sovereign Assam. The message was accompanied with a photograph of Paresh Barua and armed cadres of ULFA in battle fatigues. For the first time since its formation, ULFA also sent a video footage showing Paresh Barua and the ULFA cadres. The video displayed ULFA cadres shouting slogans against peace talks and vowing to fight for a sovereign Assam. The photograph was sent on 20 January, 2011 and the video on 21 January, 2011.

The ULFA general council meeting was held on 31 January 2011 at a makeshift camp in Helacha in western Assam’s Nalbari district. The general council meeting was attended by the representatives from the all four battalions of the outfit including 709, 109, 27 and 28 battalions besides the central executive body. The general council meeting was presided over by chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa. The general council endorsed the resolution of the central executive council of the outfit to sit for talks with the Centre without any precondition.

The first formal round of talks between the outfit and the Government took place on 10 February 2011 at New Delhi. The eight-member delegation of ULFA, led by Arabinda Rajkhowa, held talks with senior Home Ministry officials led by Union Home Secretary G K Pillai. The ULFA delegation also met the Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on the same day. On 14 February 2011, the ULFA delegation met the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

2. United Liberation Front of Asom- Independent (ULFA-I)

On 20 January 2011, the ULFA faction headed by Paresh Barua sent out a message to the media declaring continuation of its fight for a sovereign Assam. The message was accompanied with a photograph of Paresh Barua and armed cadres of ULFA in battle fatigues. The Paresh Barua faction of the ULFA re-organized its armed wing by dismantling its existing battalions and bringing all its cadres under the mobile military headquarters. The decision to re-organize the armed wing was taken during a 10-day meeting, chaired by Paresh Barua, held from March 20 to 29 at the outfit's mobile headquarters.

The anti-talk faction of the ULFA under Paresh Barua was strongly against peace talks. Paresh Barua maintained that any discussion with the Government without sovereignty as the core issue would not solve any problem. During the Governor’s Conference convened by the President in New Delhi on 29-30 October, Governor of Assam, J.B. Patnaik said that there is a nexus between the Paresh Barua faction of the ULFA and the Naxals and there is a possibility that the Paresh Barua group may help the Naxals with weapons.

On 23 November 2011, the anti-talk faction of the ULFA announced its new 16 member central committee headed by Dr Abhijit Barman, who was made the acting chairman, while, commander-in-chief Paresh Barua became the acting vice chairman of the outfit. Paresh Barua got the additional responsibility and his rank in the outfit was upgraded from "colonel" to "Major General". The new committee was formed in the mobile military headquarter of the outfit.

As per the list, senior ULFA member Jiban Moran was made the assistant general secretary and acting finance secretary while, Drishti Rajkhowa and Bijoy Das were made deputy commander-in-chief. Michael Deka Phukan and Partha Gogoi were made assistant finance secretaries, while, Montu Saikia, Nayan Medhi, Salim and Azhar Ali were made assistant organizing secretaries. Samiran Bhuyan, Sagar Topno and Jyotirmoy Bharali were made assistant cultural secretaries and Arunodoi Dohotiya was made assistant publicity secretary. Dr Pranmoy Asom was made assistant foreign secretary of the outfit.

3. National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB )

The National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) was originally formed as the Boro Security Force under the leadership of Ranjan Daimary on October 3, 1986. On November 25, 1994, the outfit changed its name to NDFB. The outfit aims at securing a sovereign country for the Bodo tribals, the largest plains tribe in the state of Assam, in the areas north of the river Brahmaputra. The NDFB in October 2004 announced a unilateral ceasefire. A formal ceasefire agreement between NDFB and the Government was signed on 25 May 2005.

Internal differences within NDFB, the only surviving Bodo insurgent group, widened following the expulsion of its founder president, Ranjan Daimary, alias D.R. Nabla following accusation of his involvement in the October 30 serial explosions. On 15 December 2008, the NDFB replaced Ranjan Daimary, with B. Sungthagra alias Dhiren Boro, as its new president at a meeting held in Kokrajhar. A few days later, Daimary was expelled from the group. The NDFB now has two factions - a pro-talk faction led by Dhiren Boro (B. Sungthagra alias Dhiren Boro is the President of the pro-talk group of NDFB and B. Swmkhwr alias Govinda Basumatary is its General Secretary) and another hardliner led by Ranjan Daimary who claims to represent the ‘real’ NDFB.

During it’s hey days, the outfit remained active in areas in the north and north-west of the river Brahmaputra in Assam. Districts such as Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Dhubri, Darrang, Nalbari and Sonitpur remained the traditional stronghold of the outfit. In spite of its espousal of the interests of the Bodo people, the NDFB remained bitterly opposed to the other Bodo militant outfit, the Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT). Several of BLT’s leaders and civil society organisations empathising with the BLT were killed by the NDFB.

The December 2003 military crackdown by the Royal Bhutanese Army dealt a serious blow to the NDFB, which had strength of about 3500 cadres. As many as 12 camps of the outfit located in Bhutan were destroyed, impacting seriously on the capability of the outfit to carry on with its activities. Following the ceasefire with the government, NDFB cadres were supposed to stay in three designated camps. However, only a few currently are lodged in the camps.

NDFB has close ties with the ULFA and in many cases they carry out joint operations. It also has relationship with other outfits in the region like the Achik National Volunteers Council (ANVC), the Kamatapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K).

On 1 May 2008, NDFB submitted a charter of demands to the Prime Minister. The charter of demands included sovereignty or independence as the main clause which created trouble for the talks to begin. However, on 30 September 2008, NDFB submitted in writing their decision to hold peace talks within the ambit of the Indian constitution by giving up its demand for sovereignty during a meeting in New Delhi with union home ministry officials. The first round of talks between the Centre and the pro-talk faction of NDFB was held on 23 September 2009 in New Delhi. The ceasefire is also being periodically extended.

4. National Democratic Front of Bodoland- Ranjan Daimari (NDFB-R)

The anti-talk faction led by Ranjan Daimari, however, didn’t show any interest in talks and the outfit carried on with its disruptive activities. On 4 October 2009, they killed 11 persons and injured 12 others in an attack in Bhimajuli village at Balisang area under Biswanath Chariali police station in Sonitpur district. On 10 December 2009 the cadres of the anti-talk faction of NDFB triggered two powerful explosions, including a grenade attack, in two busy markets in Sonitpur district killing four people and leaving at least 34 people wounded. The rivalry among the pro-talk and anti-talk factions also increased resulting in fratricidal killings.

The anti-talk faction of NDFB received a big blow when its leader Ranjan Daimari was arrested in Bangladesh and later handed over to Indian authorities on 1 May 2010. During interrogation he confessed that the October 30 serial explosions in Assam that killed about 90 people and wounded more than 300 people were carried out under his express instructions. He also said that he is ready for peace talks and would be able to make his commanders and cadres surrender if New Delhi was keen for negotiations.

On 27 May 2010, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) personnel arrested four members of anti-talk faction of NDFB, directly involved in the October 2008 serial explosions in Assam.

The anti-talk faction of NDFB is still carrying on its violent activities in the State. On 8 July 2010 the outfit triggered a powerful blast that flung the locomotive and two coaches of Kolkata-bound Garib Rath Express from the tracks, killing a six-year-old boy and injuring 23 others at Gossaigaon in Kokrajhar district. On 26 July 2010 it killed four jawans of the Sashastra Seema Bal and injured two others in an ambush at Amlaiguri in Chirang district bordering Bhutan. The faction then carried out a violent attack between 8 and 10 November 2010, killing 23 people in 11 separate attacks across five Bodo dominated districts of Assam. The killings were in retaliation to the killing of a NDFB anti-talk faction cadre on 8 November 2010 by the 51 Gorkha Regiment of the Indian Army. Earlier, on 1 November 2010, the anti-talk faction had issued a warning to the State Government that if any NDFB cadre was killed by the Indian Army in the name of fake encounter, the armed wing of the NDFB will take action against any Indian.

The anti-talk faction of NDFB suffered another major blow in December 2010 when security forces arrested its deputy commander-in-chief B Jwangkhang alias George Boro in Aizawl, Mizoram. He is one of the key accused of 30 October 2008 serial bomb blasts in Assam. He is now in judicial custody. On 1 August 2011, the NDFB-R faction declared a unilateral ceasefire, but counter-insurgency operation against the outfit continued due to its involvement in several subsequent incidents of violence. The NDFB-R headed for a split as I. K. Songbijit, the ‘chief’ of Bodoland Army (the armed wing of the faction), announced the formation of a nine member “interim national council” on 20 November 2012, with Songbijit as its self-proclaimed “interim president”.

Ranjan Daimary was released from jail on bail in June 2013 to expedite the proposed talks between the NDFB and the Government of India. On 29 November 2013, the Ranjan Daimary faction of the NDFB and the Government of India signed formal ceasefire agreement thus paving the road to peace talks.

5. National Democratic Front of Bodoland- IK Songbijit (NDFB-S)

Following a split in the National Democratic Front of Bodoland- Ranjan Daimary faction (NDFB-R), another rebel group was formed, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland- Songbijit, headed by I. K. Songbijit. Songbijit was the earlier ‘chief’ of Bodoland Army (the armed wing of NDFB-R). I K Songbijit announced the formation of a nine member “interim national council” on 20 November 2012, with Songbijit as its self-proclaimed “interim president”. On 8 August 2012, the Myanmar-based rebel leader who, actually belongs to the Karbi tribe, called off the 1 August 2011 unilateral ceasefire declared by NDFB-R and has emerged as the most lethal group.

6. United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS)

Karbi National Volunteers (KNV) and Karbi People’s Front (KPF), the two insurgent groups in the Assam hill district of Karbi Anglong merged together in March 1999 under the leadership of Kiri Rongphar to form the United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS). At present, its Chairman is Longder Singner alias H.E. Kathar and General Secretary is Haren Sing Bey. The outfit aims at establishing an independent homeland for the Karbi tribe.

After three years of violent insurgency, the UPDS entered into a cease-fire agreement with New Delhi on 23 May 2002. While it brought a semblance of order to the violence-wracked district, it led to a split in the UPDS, with a large chunk of cadres parting ways to form the anti-talk faction of the outfit, which was subsequently named the Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF). The ceasefire agreement has been extended periodically, without a single round of formal dialogue being held.

During its active days, the total cadre strength of the UPDS was about 150, one third of which were armed with sophisticated firearms. The outfit primarily operated in the Karbi Anglong district. Its cadres, however, often trespassed into the North Cachar Hills district of Assam and the Jaintia Hills district of neighbouring Meghalaya. Majority of the UPDS cadres are presently stationed in two designated camps located in the Karbi Anglong district.

Abductions for ransom and extortion constituted the primary source of finance for the outfit. The outfit’s extortion net is cast wide on the civilian population, government employees and the traders in the district. Farmers in the Block-I and Block-II areas of Meghalaya’s Jaintia district too were targeted.

UPDS was among many outfits in the Northeast, which were believed to have grown with the active assistance of the NSCN-IM. The latter provided the UPDS cadres with arms and training in return for a portion of the extortion money collected. In addition, the UPDS also maintains strategic ties with the NDFB and the ULFA.

A round of talks was held between the UPDS, the Central government and the state government in New Delhi on 22 December 2010. The talks resulted in all the three sides approving a draft accord paving the way for the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MoA).

On 25 November 2011, UPDS signed a peace accord with the Centre and Assam Government. The Centre declared a package worth over Rs 2000 crore, while the new set-up that would be formed in Karbi Anglong would be named as ‘Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council’ (KAATC).

The main points of the accord are:

  1. 39 additional subjects will be transferred to the new Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council.
  2. There will be a total of 50 members in the council, in which 44 will be elected and the rest six will be nominated.
  3. The council will prepare its annual budget, and the state government will approve it.
  4. Funds under the Central Government’s special package will be directly received by the council.
  5. New appointments for different departments under the council will now be made by the council itself, except for a few posts.
  6. A special economic package of Rs 350 crore over and above the Plan fund over the next five years will be provided to the council.

The accord has proposed that rehabilitation of UPDS cadres, withdrawal of cases relating to heinous crimes shall be reviewed case by case according to existing policy for withdrawal of such cases.

The accord also proposes setting up of village councils for boosting democratic process at the grassroots level. State Finance Commission (SFC) has been proposed for consideration of higher fund allocation to the council to undertake viable activity. The Centre has inserted a clause proposing strict adherence to established norms of financial management and proper audit of the accounts.

Special measures for socio-economic, education, health and cultural development have been promised by the Centre. Improvement of road connectivity, water supply and supply of power in Karbi Anglong district under existing schemes, besides providing one-time grant for capacity building in KAATC for preparation of DPR have also been proposed.

7. Dima HalAm Daogah (DHD)

The Dima Halam Daogah (DHD) was formed in 1 January 1995, following the en masse surrender of the Dimasa National Security Force (DNSF) in November 1994. A few cadres of DNSF led by Bijoy Naiding, Kanto Langthasa and Jewel Garlosa did not surrender and went on to form the DHD with an avowed objective of carving out a separate Dimasa homeland "Dimaraji" comprising the Dimasa inhabited areas of Dima Hasao (North Cachar Hills), Karbi Anglong, parts of Nagaon district, and parts of Dimapur district of Nagaland. Jewel Garlosa became the founder president but most of the organizational activities were done by Bijoy Naiding.

DHD signed a ceasefire agreement with the government on 1 January, 2003. In July 2004, Jewel Garlosa left the DHD to form another outfit, the Black Widow. Since then, the DHD is led by Pranab Nunisa who is the designated president of the outfit and Dilip Nunisa, who is the Chairman.

DHD continues to maintain the ceasefire agreement with the government and most of its estimated 500 cadres are located within the designated camps set up for the purpose. From 10 August 2009 onwards, its cadres started depositing arms in accordance with the revised ground rules at its designated camp in Maibong. Formal talks with the Government, however, are yet to begin.

Despite the ceasefire agreement, the DHD continues to extort civilians, public servants and most importantly the tea gardens in the areas under its influence, i.e. NC Hills district, Cachar district, pockets of Karbi Anglong and Nagaon district.

The DHD, in its initial days was reportedly assisted by the NSCN-IM which provided it with arms and trained its cadres in return for money. Both, however, parted ways after the NSCN-IM insisted on the inclusion of the proposed Dimasa homeland within its dream territory, Nagalim. The DHD in turn asked for Dimapur to be included in its Dimaraji (homeland for the Dimasas). Tactical understanding also existed between DHD, the NDFB and the ULFA.

8. Dima HalAm Daogah - Jewel (DHD-J) / Black Widow (BW)

Former DHD chief Jewel Garlossa formed the Black Widow in July 2004, after leaving the DHD. The DHD-J’s activities are mainly confined to the Dima Hasao district. Activities of the outfit have also been noticed in the Karbi Anglong and Nagaon district. The DHD-J cadres have constantly clashed with their rival DHD-N cadres and several deaths have been reported in such clashes.

Moreover, in its area of influence, the DHD-J is engaged in large-scale extortion, targeting the civilian population, government employees, infrastructure building agencies as well as tea gardens. Vehicles passing through the region, too, have been targeted for extortion. Cases of burning of vehicles for non-compliance have also been reported. It has also charged huge amounts of money from the developmental projects going on in the region like the construction of the broad gauge railway line and the National Highway under the East-West corridor project. The outfit also targets political parties in the NC Hills district for fund collection and more often than not, such demands have been fulfilled. The arrest of Mohit Hojai, the chief executive member of N.C. Hills autonomous council, for allegedly supplying funds to DHD-J is an example of this. It also brings to light a militant-politician nexus. The outfit is also said to have a role in the ethnic clashes going on between the Dimasas and the Zeme Nagas in N.C. Hills.

The NSCN-IM, which severed its ties with the DHD-N, found an able ally in the DHD-J, which allows the former to maintain its influence in the districts of Assam such as NC Hills and Karbi Anglong. The NSCN- IM is suspected to have armed and trained the DHD-J cadres. Many of the DHD-J cadres have also found shelter in the NSCN-IM facilities in Dimapur. In return, the DHD-J shares its extortion booty with the Naga outfit.

On 4 June 2009, DHD-J chairman Jewel Garlossa was arrested in Bangalore with two of his aides. After his arrest, DHD-J announced a unilateral ceasefire for three months from their side. On 2 July 2009, DHD-J was banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1965. After these developments, DHD-J showed interest in coming for talks. On 2 October 2009, 382 cadres of DHD-J laid down their arms in front of the authorities at Haflong, headquarter of NC Hills district.

In November 2009, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the alleged diversion of funds of the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council to the DHD-J, charge-sheeted the outfit’s 'chief' Jewel Garlossa and 'commander-in-chief' Niranjan Hojai. While Jewel Garlossa is still in judicial custody, Niranjan Hojai went missing after he was charge sheeted. He was arrested from Nepal on 2 July and is now being interrogated by the NIA.

9. Dima HalAm Daogah - Action (DHD-A)

Dima Halam Daogah (Action) was floated by David Kemprai alias Action Dimasa and Bongrison Khelma alias Son Khelma after they escaped by breaking jail on 11 June 2013. Action Dimasa was earlier a member of the DHD (J) and was behind the bars from 6 December 2007 to 10 June 2013 until he managed to escape from Haflong Jail along with Bongrison Khelma, a former DNDF (Dimasa National Democratic Front) cadre. Action Dimasa immediately fled to Dimapur and was reported taking shelter in Assam–Nagaland border. He gathered some other youths and started extortion drive in Dima Hasao district. The group managed to create terror among the people after claiming that they have killed executive engineer of the Irrigation Department of Assam Rajiv Kumar Pathak for extortion money on 22 November 2013. On 12 December 2013, the self-styled commander-in-chief of the group was arrested by the police at Haflong, along with a pistol and ammunition.

10. Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA)

The All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA) was formed in 2004 in the Singhashan hills of Karbi Anglong under the leadership of Nirmal Tirkey, alias David Tirkey, with the aim of protecting the interests of the people belonging to the Adivasi community and to put pressure on the government to grant the status of Scheduled Tribes to the Adivasi community in Assam. The General Secretary of the outfit is Richard Tirkey.

AANLA is now believed to have cadre strength of less than a hundred, mostly in Karbi Anglong, Golaghat and Jorhat districts. It also has presence in the eastern tea-growing districts of Sivasagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia, riding on the Adivasi sentiments over the issue of scheduled tribe (ST) status to the community.

AANLA leader Nirmal Tirkey was arrested on December 7, 2008 in Jharkhand. On February 1, 2009, its 20 top leaders, including its chief commander Sanjay Lakra alias Biren Gaur, surrendered before the Army. On May 14, 2009, Richard Tirkey was arrested from Bokajan in Karbi Anglong district. Weapons available with them include AK series Rifles, carbines, pistols, .38 revolvers, grenade launchers, SLRs etc. Some of its cadres are trained to assemble Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and the outfit is believed to be in possession of sophisticated explosive material also.

AANLA started its terror run by kidnapping wealthy members from within the community, including businessmen and relatives of some Zila Parishad members and an executive member of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous District Council. It has been involved in a few bomb blasts, including a blast carried on in the Rajdhani express on December 13, 2007. The outfit is also believed to be behind the street riots that took place in Beltola area in Guwahati on November 24, 2007 during an Adivasi protest march.

During the initial days after its formation, the AANLA received patronage from the Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA), active in Karbi Anglong district. Later, the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCM-IM) had taken AANLA under its wings.

The police in Assam say there is a written agreement between the AANLA and the NSCN-IM about carrying out joint operations against security forces if need be, and about not carrying out extortion in each others’ areas of influence without prior notice.

11. MUSLIM UNITED LIBERATION TIGERS OF ASSAM (MULTA)

The Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam (MULTA) was formed in the year 1996. It seeks to mobilise the Muslim youth in Assam to fight for the cause of Muslims. It has also been carrying out a propaganda campaign in support of a separate "Islamic homeland," which, they envision, would be a society based on Islamic values and morals.

MULTA has linkages with NSCN-IM and their cadres had been trained by the Naga group. It has also established close ties with the ULFA and there have been reports of some ULFA militants working as agents of MULTA. The outfit also has extensive links with Islamic jihadi groups in Bangladesh like the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI-B), Pakistan’s ISI operating in Bangladesh, and the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI), the Bangladeshi intelligence agency.

Activities of MULTA have been reported from Dhubri, Nagaon, Morigaon and Darrang districts of Assam, with maximum reports coming from the Dhubri district. The MULTA militants use the passage along the International border in the Golokganj area of Dhubri district as a route to infiltrate into the State from Bangladesh.

The main activities of the outfit are extortions, murders, abductions and illegal arms manufacture and trade. The outfit, allegedly at the behest of the ISI, has also plans to create communal disturbances in Assam. The arrest of quite a few number of MULTA militants in Assam during the last few years indicate their increasing presence in the northeastern region.

12. ADIVASI COBRA MILITANT FORCE (ACMF)

Adivasi Cobra Militant Force (ACMF) was formed in the late 1990s with the objective of protecting the Adivasi people of western Assam through an armed revolution. The outfit has its presence in the Kokrajhar and Bongaigaon districts of Assam. The commander of the organization is Durga Minz and the chairman is Xabrias Khakha.

On 9 September 2001, the outfit signed a cease-fire agreement with the government of India and the ceasefire has been periodically extended since then, with no peace talks taking place.

13. BIRSA COMMANDO FORCE (BCF)

The Birsa Commando Force (BCF) was formed in 1997 with demands for a separate Adivasi land, Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the Adivasis and security for the Adivasi community. Birsingh Munda is the commander-in-chief of the BCF. The outfit signed a ceasefire agreement with the government in 14 August 2004 and has been in ceasefire since then.

14. Bodoland Royal Tigers Force

The Sentinel reported that a new militant outfit, identified as Bodoland Royal Tigers Force, has been formed in the Bodoland area on 29 March 2008.

15. Asom Lion Force

Asom Lion Force, a new militant outfit, is reportedly formed on 9 July 2007 by some youths belonging to all Northeastern states in Karbi Anglong district. Aniruddha Barphukan, a self-styled secretary of the outfit, in a statement said the group had been formed to "further strengthen" the liberation movement in the North East. Barphukan has demanded an immediate halt on all "occupational and allied activities" by the Government and called upon the people to boycott all Indian functions and honour their own culture.

16. UNITED DEMOCRATIC LIBERATION FRONT OF BARAK VALLEY (UDLFBV)

A new outfit called the United Democratic Liberation Front of Barak Valley (UDLFBV) was formed after the Panchram Apeto led United Liberation Front of Barak Valley (ULFBV) surrendered before the Assam Government in September 2008. The ULFBV was formed in 2002 and was operating in the Karimganj and Hailakandi districts of Assam.

17. RABHA VIPER ARMY (RVA)

Rabha Viper Army was supposedly formed with the support of the ULFA in 2008. It has some influence in the Goalpara district of Assam. It was involved in a few kidnappings and extortion activities in the district.

18. Karbi Peoples Liberation Tiger (KPLT)

The KPLT was formed on 8 January 2011 by an anti-peace talk breakaway group of 25 members of the Karbi Longri National Liberation Front (KLNLF) after it had laid down arms on 11 February 2010. The group is led by Nillip Enghi. The outfit’s major demands include autonomous statehood for Karbi Anglong and development of the education facilities in Karbi Anglong.

On 16 January 2011, KPLT launched a heavy attack on Manipur bound bullet tankers (bulk LPG carriers) on NH 39 near Bokajan in Karbi Anglong and abducted three drivers and handymen of the tankers. Again on 25 January 2011, KPLT cadres attacked a bus and a truck heading for Imphal from Guwahati at Deopani area along NH 39. On 27 January the outfit killed Duwarbagori Congress leader Mahen Engti for allegedly going against the interest of the militant group.

On 2 April 2011, KPLT gunned down four CRPF jawans and injured another when an operation was launched by the CRPF against the outfit in the Deothar area under Bokajan police station in Karbi Anglong district. On 8 June 2011, KPLT militants shot dead Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council member Narendra Killing at Bokajan.

19. Adivasi People’s Army (APA)

Adivasi People’s Army (APA) was formed in 2006 with the help of United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) in Sonitpur district of Assam. It is led by its ‘commander’ Tarzen Mardi. The outfit is active in the Western Assam’s Bodo heartland of Kokrajhar, in the northern districts of Udalguri and Sonitpur as well as in Eastern Assam. According to police sources, the outfit has about 40-50 trained cadres.

The outfit was allegedly involved in the killing of Bosco Chermaco, the president of All Adivai Students’ Association of Assam on 22 February 2011. The outfit was also responsible for the failed bomb attack on Kanchenjunga Express in Guwahati on June 17, 2011. The outfit was also suspected to be behind the attack on the Guwahati-Puri Express train on 10 July 2011. The outfit triggered an explosion on the railway track near Bhatkuchi between Rangia and Ghagrapar in Lower Assam leading to the derailment of the train injuring 50 persons.

In November 2010, newspaper reports said that the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has established links with APA. This was revealed during the interrogation of Tarjan Majhi, the Sonitpur district ‘commander’ of the APA. Majhi was arrested with five others on 3 November 2010, at Bhairabguri under Dhekiajuli Police station of Sonitpur district. Majhi claimed that an ULFA self-styled sergeant Major Das had provided arms training to APA cadre in Majbat area of Udalguri district and helped them contact the Maoists.

20. National Santhali Liberation Army (NSLA)

Formed in 2005, the NSLA is a splinter group of five militant outfits, which claim to be fighting for the cause of the Adivasis. The groups are – Adivasi People's Army (APA), Adivasi Cobra Militants of Assam (ACMA), Birsa Commando Force (BCF), Santhali Tiger Force (STF), and All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA). The new outfit was formed after the five militant outfits surrendered their arms and ammunition on 24 January 2012 at Guwahati paving the way for peace talks. The other four outfits who surrendered were Hmar Peoples Convention (Democratic), Kuki Liberation Army (KLA), Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) and United Kuki Defence Army (UKDA). The group is influential among the plantation workers in Kokrajhar, Chirang and Udalguri districts of the BTAD. The outfit’s chairman is Efril Murmu and its vice-chairman is Lakhiram Murmu. Deepak Hembrum is the deputy commander-in-chief of NSLA. The militant group is also active in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar districts, which share a border with Assam.

The militants are involved in extortion and kidnapping on both the sides of the border. NSLA militants are active in areas like Gosaingaon sub-division of Kokrajhar district. They are carrying out subversive activities like kidnapping, extortion and killings. The NSLA cadres have links with Maoists in Jharkhand and some of their cadres are trained in the red zone. On 31 March 2014, unidentified gunmen shot dead the self-styled commander-in-chief of Santhali Tiger Force Shivlal Murmu at Padumpukhuri under Gossaigaon Police station. On 2 April 2014, the Assam Home Secretary G.D. Tripathi told The Hindu that the State government had received feelers from the NSLA that it was willing to join the peace process with other outfits by surrendering their arms.

21. Dimasa national revolutionary front (DNRF)

Militant outfit called Dimasa National Revolutionary Front (DNRF) raised its head in southern Assam's Dima Hasao district in July 2011. The news of the formation of the new outfit was made available to local media through SMS by its 'publicity secretary' Black Dimasa. According to the self-styled 'publicity secretary', the aim of the outfit is to "ensure safety and security of the Dimasa people living in the region and all-round development of Dima Hasao district."He also claimed that DNRF was concerned about the demand raised by the NC Hills Indigenous Students Forum (NCHISF) to bifurcate the Dima Hasao district. "We oppose the demand for bifurcation at all costs. We can't allow the district to weaken geographically by dividing it further in the name of any community or group of people," the message said. The 'chairman' of the outfit is Hasong Dimasa and the 'finance secretary' is Diamond Dimasa. (The Times of India, 5 July 2011, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/guwahati/Dimasa-outfit-surfaces-in-Dima-Hasao-district/articleshow/9117080.cms)

22. Dima Jadi Naiso Army (DJNA)

Dima Jadi Naiso Army (DJNA) was formed on 25 September 2012, in the Dima Hasao Autonomous Territorial Council. This group has its headquarters at Dima Halali. Its main objective is to unite the Dimasa-Kachari population of the region and to protect and promote as well as work for the development of all Dimasa Kacharis and to fight for establishment of their own separate state—Dimaraji ('Land of Dimasas') comprising the Dimasa-inhabited areas of Assam and Nagaland. They believe that the Dimasas are deprived of their rights, existence and development. The announcement was made by the Chairman of the outfit, Bhaipa Dimasa, in a press note to the media. Bhaipa Dimasa said the DJNA (Dima Jadi Naiso Army) has taken up 11-point charter of aims and objectives, the foremost among them, being the establishment of a separate state, which will be named as ‘Dimaraji State’. It will bring about unification of all the Dimasa Kachari inhabited areas of the entire Northeast under “one umbrella, one rule and one form of government”. In order to run the outfit, they resolved to seek financial and material help of people from within and outside their ‘territory’. The Commander-in-Chief of DJNA is Jering Dimasa and the Secretary General is Rinjen Dimasa.

23. National DimaSa Protection Army (NDPA)

On 20 December 2011, a new Dimasa outfit emerged in Dima Hasao autonomous district of Assam. The NDPA (National Dimasa Protection Army) publicity secretary Sumit Dimasa said that Dimasas would not accept anything but an ‘autonomous state’ for the community. NDPA has declared that ‘armed struggle’ for achieving an autonomous state would continue till the goal is reached.

24. United People's Liberaton Front (UPLF)

United Peoples Liberation Front (UPLF) came into existence on 4 January 2013 with an aim to create a separate Dimasa Karbi-Anchal state comprising of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao. The statement was made in a mailed press release by information and publicity secretary of UPLF, R. Dimasa and L. Karbi. It was informed that S. Karbi was appointed as the Chairman and J. Dimasa as Commander-in-Chief of the outfit. In the release the outfit stated, “Hill people are feeling betrayed by the Government of Assam, there is no alternative to an autonomous state which will have to be created with Karbi and Dimasa dominated areas”. The organization warned that those involved in illegal exploitation of minerals and natural resources within the declared zone of Dimasa Karbi-anchal would be punished. The UPLF has also warned dishonest governmental officials to cease from deceitful activities, failing which it would carry out action in accordance to ‘Ydo- Wojaru’ martial rule.

25. National Liberation Front of Bengalis (NLFB)

The National Liberation Front of Bengalis (NLFB) was formed on 21 November 2013, as confirmed by the Assam police. Abhijit Das, 'commander-in-chief' of NLFB, called up a Guwahati-based satellite news channel on 20 November and claimed that the group had planted three explosives—one on a train, the other in Chirang and the third in Kokrajhar—and the police later detected the same and defused all. He said their intention was not to kill people but to warn the Government of their decision to take up arms to protest abduction and extortion in the BTC area.

26. Hill Tiger Force (HTF)

HTF, an outfit formed by Naga, Kuki and Hmar people, was floated in the early 2010. The militant group had been involved in terror activities like kidnapping, extortion and triggering blasts targeting government establishments and trains in the Dima Hasao district. The group is opposed to the Government's action to change the nomenclature of the erstwhile North Cachar Hill district to Dima Hasao. They also oppose the constitution of the Dima Hasao Territorial Council in place of the autonomous council. On 13 November 2011, the Dima Hasao police and 25 Battalion Assam Rifles launched an operation in the jungles of the Arda area, 35 km from Haflong. The police arrested nine cadres of the outfit, including HTF 'commander-in-chief' Benjamin Zaolin Jate, 'finance secretary' Zare Thiyek, a self-styled 'sergeant major' and six 'sepoys' of the outfit.

(Updated till August 2014)