‘Troops are being sent to barracks in Karbi Anglong’
KOLKATA, Feb 14 (AGENCIES): GOC-in-C of Eastern Command, Lt Gen Anil Chauhan said on Friday that insurgency is on a decline in the Northeast and expressed hope that the situation will further improve in the future.
Overall, militancy-related incidents have declined by about 12 per cent and the arc of violence in the entire Northeast has shrunk primarily to an area which is the tri-junction between Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and north Nagaland, the officer said.
“In the hinterland, the situation is under control and we are confident that things will only improve in the future,” General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C), Eastern Command, Lt Gen Chauhan said.
Speaking to reporters after the ‘Defence Investiture Ceremony 2020’ at Command headquarter Fort William here, he said that 40 per cent of last year’s violence occurred in this area at the tri-junction.
“In Nagaland, the government is engaging with the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) and NSCN(I-M) and hopefully, there will be a positive outcome of these talks,” Lt Gen Chauhan said.
He said that the agreement between factions of the NDFB, the ABSU, the Assam government and the Centre is a welcome step and may be seen as a precursor to a lasting solution in the state.
The officer said that with the insurgency level having gone down in the Northeast, the focus of the Eastern Command has shifted towards non-combat operations.
A large number of civil-military projects have been taken up by the Army, which includes infrastructure development, setting up of medical camps and national integration.
He said that with the betterment in the situation, troops are being sent to barracks in Karbi Anglong and the Army is also contemplating withdrawing some of its forces from the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts in Assam.
The GOC-in-C said that along the northern borders, activities of both the Indian and Chinese forces are relatively less with the winters having set in, and peace is being maintained along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Chauhan said that about 133 individuals in the Indian Army were conferred gallantry awards this year.
Of the individual gallantry awards given this year, approximately 96 per cent are for operations in Jammu and Kashmir and about 4 per cent for operations in the Northeast.
In the Eastern Command, most of the distinguished service awards were given for operations and administrative efficiency either along the LAC or in the hinterland for counter-insurgency operations.
“Of the individual gallantry awards given in the Eastern Command, 37 per cent were for distinguished service along the LAC and 47 per cent for operations in the hinterland,” he said.
As far as the unit citations are concerned, altogether 22 awards were given, including the Chief of Army Staff’s citation and Army Commander’s citation, he said.
These include 10 units that got citations for operations along the Line of Actual Control, while 8 units got it for operations in the hinterland for counter-insurgency operations.
Two units got it for infrastructure development, which were done mainly along the Chinese border, he said.
“While the grant of these awards is not a reflection of the security situation either on the LAC or in the hinterland, but this gives some indication as to where the priorities lie,” he said.