Manipur Governor Dr Najma Heptulla Thursday said the insurgency movement in the state was “indulging in terrorism” in recent times.
“In the recent times, there has been a noticeable change in the insurgent movement, shifting away from the ideology of insurgency and instead indulging in terrorism — planting bombs/IEDs at strategic locations which target innocent civilians, individual residences, commercial establishments and vehicles plying on National Highways, and extortion of money from officials,” Heptulla said.
The Governor was speaking at the inaugural session of a seminar on “Changing security paradigm in North East – Implications and Imperatives” at City Convention Centre, Imphal. The seminar was organised by Assam Rifles under the aegis of Head Quarter Director General, Assam Rifles.
Dr Heptulla said Manipur had been facing the problem of insurgency since the 1970s, after the formation of People’s Liberation Army of Manipur in 1978, though the state had already witnessed the Naga underground movement in the hill districts.
Since then, the number of UG outfits had increased manifold, creating uncertainty and tension with the “deaths and destruction unleashed by their acts of terrorism”, she said.
“Mounting unemployment, economic backwardness and related issues, apart from law and order problems, also have the potential to affect the internal security of the state. Manipur continues to be one of the most troubled states in the North-East due to all these problems,” she noted.
The Manipur Governor claimed that though the NSCN (IM) is under a ceasefire with the Government of India, they are still actively involved in extortion and other criminal activities in Manipur. Similarly, the UG outfits belonging to other tribes, which have entered into Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreements, are also involved in incidents of extortions.
However, said the Governor, there had been a significant improvement in the security environment of the state, especially in the valley areas, due to well-directed counter-insurgency measures.
Director General Assam Rifles, Lt. Gen Sukhdeep Sangwan, and top brass of the Assam Rifles also attended the inaugural function.