North East militancy: Here is what these groups want

In the year 2014, 193 people died in terror related incidents in Kashmir while 372 in naxal affected belts of India. The same year saw 413 deaths in the North Eastern states with Assam being the highest.

These statistics gives a telling picture of how bad the situation is in North East. Another worrying statistic would show that there are around 94 active terrorist and insurgent groups operating out of the North Eastern states of the country.

What militant groups in Northeast want?

Let us take a look at some of the groups operating in the North East, their structure and objectives:

National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN)

The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) was formed on January 31, 1980 by Isak Chisi Swu, Thuingaleng Muivah and S.S. Khaplang opposing. The group was formed to oppose the Shillong accord which was signed by the Naga National Council and the Indian government.

However differences crept in and the NSCN split into two factions-NSCN-K led by S S Khaplang, and NSCN-IM, led by Isak Chisi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah.

The areas of operation of this groups is seen at Senapati, Ukhrul, Chandel and Tamenglong in Manipur and Wokha, Phek, Zunebhoto, Kohima, Mokokchung and Tuensang districts of Nagaland.

National Socialist Council of Nagaland - Khaplang (NSCN-K)

Formed on April 30 1988 after its split with the NSCN (IM), the outfit is led by S S Khaplang, the man who is said to have masterminded the recent Manipur attack in which 18 Indian army soldiers were killed.

The primary objective of the NSCN-K is to establish a ‘greater Nagaland' comprising Naga dominated areas of the neighbouring States within India, and contiguous areas in Myanmar.

It has a cadre strength of approximately 2,000 and runs a government in exile known as the Government of the People's Republic of Nagaland, NSCN-K. Headquartered at Myanmar Kitovi Zhimomi is the self-styled Prime minister of the Government of the People's Republic of Nagaland.

Bodo Security Force or the NDFB

The Bodo Security Force (BdSF), under the leadership of Ranjan Daimary, was formed on October 3, 1986. It later went on to call itself as the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB). 

The outfit, since May 2005, is under a ceasefire agreement with the Assam and Union Government.

The NDFB was formed with and objective of securing a ‘sovereign Bodoland' in the areas north of the river Brahmaputra. Among some of the other objectives are:

-Liberate Bodoland from the Indian expansionism and occupation;

-Free the Bodo nation from the colonialist exploitation, oppression and domination;

-Establish a Democratic Socialist Society to promote Liberty, Equality and Fraternity; and

-Uphold the integrity and sovereignty of Bodoland.

The Kabri Peoples Libration Tiger

Initially known as the Anti-Talks Factions of Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF-ATF) this group was formed on January 8, 2011. The group was formed with an objective of carving out an autonomous Karbi State (AKS) out of Assam.

The KPLT is based out of Dima Hasao district of Assam and parts of Arunachal Pradesh but is most active in the Karbi Anglong district of Assam.

Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam (MULTA)

The Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam (MULTA) was founded in 1996 and operates in Assam. The group was founded with an intention of coordinating the activiies of Islamic terrorist groups and elements in the North East.

It seeks to mobilize the Muslim youth and fight for the cause of Muslims in North East. Intelligence bureau reports state that they want to replicate in North East what the Islamic groups are doing in Kashmir.


The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) was formed on April 7, 1979, by Bhimakanta Buragohain, Rajiv Rajkonwar and Paresh Baruah. The outfit has a political and military wing. While the military wing is headed by Paresh Baruah, the political wing is under the control of Arabinda Rajkhowa.

The undivided ULFA took shelter in the forests along the Indo-Bhutan border and set up several camps. It had links with the Royal Bhutan Army. This is said to have helped the ULFA set up the camps and also bring in the money in large numbers.

The ULFA states that it is a revolutionary political organization aimed at setting up a sovereign, independent Assam.

It claims that Assam was never a part of India. It claims that among the various problems that the people of Assam are confronting, the problem of national identity is the most basic, and therefore it seeks to represent "independent minded struggling peoples" irrespective of race, tribe, caste, religion and nationality.

Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO)

The Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) undertakes an armed struggle for a separate Kamtapur State. Trained by the ULFA, the KLO has a cadre strength of 300.

The KLO aims at forming a separate Kamtapur State comprising Cooch Behar, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, North and South Dinajpur and Malda--of West Bengal and four contiguous districts of Assam--Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Dhubri and Goalpara.

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