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Instability at the Gate: India’s Troubled Northeast and its External Connections

By Renaud Egreteau

Abstract

This paper intends first to give a brief overview of the rise and growth of some of those separatist groups, with a special focus on the Nagas, the Mizos and the Assam movement. An analysis of the degeneration of these sub-nationalist movements into mere criminal groups has been proposed in this paper. With the Indian Armed Forces having more and more capacities and discretionary power of action, insurgency has radicalised its forms and activities. The criminalisation process will be broached by focusing the study on few separatist groups that have dropped their original revolutionary and lofty ideals to concentrate their struggle on easy money and underground activities, in spite of the fact that individualised interests, internecine rivalries and indiscriminate violence have often turned the population against those outfits. Finally, how has the externality of the insurgency influenced this phenomenon? The third part of the paper will propose an overview of the rapid externalisation of all the insurgent groups. The linkages they have established across borders enabled them to obtain friendly support (Pakistan), funding (China, LTTE) and strategic shelter (Burma, Bangladesh). Finally there will be an attempt to demonstrate how these external connections fuelled the instability in the Northeast and conceptualised their struggle and survival. [Occasional Paper No. 16]separatist groups, special focus, Nagas, Mizos, Assam movement, criminal groups, proposed, Indian Armed Forces, capacities, discretionary power, action, insurgency, radicalised, internecine rivalries, Pakistan, China, LTTE, Burma, Bangladesh, fuelled, conceptualised, struggle, survival

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