ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Terrorism in the North-East

The armed insurrections in north-east India have tested the Indian military might for over four decades. The region is characterised by widespread conflicts which are related to the geography of the region, the multiethnicity of its population and the political and economic feeding grounds of discontent. The conflict dynamics range from insurgency for secession to insurgency for autonomy, from sponsored terrorism to ethnic clashes, to conflicts generated as a result of a continuous inflow of migrants from across the borders, as well as from the other states of the country. Terrorism in the region can best be understood as a rational strategy to achieve political and personal ends, both through the use of extreme violence and intimidation through the instrumentalities of the state and at times with the complicity of the state's agencies.

I ndias north-east is where south and south-east Asia meet. The region is placed between what is now Bangladesh, Tibet, Myanmar and Bhutan with a thin land corridor linking it with the rest of India the Siliguri Corridor which is an area of 12,203 square kilometres connecting mainland India with the outlying border states of the north-east.1 Ninety-eight per cent of the borders of north-east India are international borders. Only 2 per cent of the region is connected to India, pointing to the north-easts tenuous geographical and political connectivity to the Indian mainland. There are altogether seven states in the region, which is why they are often referred to as the seven sisters. These are Assam the biggest state Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura and Manipur. The combined area of the region comprises 7.7 per cent of the countrys territory (about 2,55,088 sq km) and, according to the 2001 Census of India, the region is inhabitated by 3.75 per cent of the national population. Characterised by extraordinary ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic diversity, the region is inhabitated by three distinct groups of people the hill tribes, the plain tribes and the non-tribal population of the plains [Verghese 1997].

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