The impact of insurgency activities on society, development and politics in the North East is deep, wide and complex. The region is connected with the mainland through the 21km wide Siliguri corridor, which is commonly known as the Chicken neck, created by the Radcliff Line, the boundary drawn by the British Colonial administration before they departed from India in 1947. The corridor is flanked by Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

The region has always felt the sense of alienation from the mainland. Beside this,

lack of connectivity, poor economic opportunities and political instability of the region has only helped in strengthening the insurgency and militancy in the region. The region has almost 99% of its border with foreign countries. These countries, particularly Bangladesh (earlier East Pakistan) has contributed a huge influx in the region – which remained unchecked for too long a time. All these have helped in causing unrest and a crisis of identity in the region.

The scale of insurgency was too high. To curb insurgency, the government of India has even bombarded through Indian Airforce in the state of Mizoram on March 5, 1966, which had turned the beautiful hills of Aizawl into ashes. This took place a few days after the declaration of Mizoram Independence by the Laldenga led Mizo National Front and barbaric killing of CRPF jawans.

Similarly on June 9, 2015, India gave a strong message to the insurgents of North East who killed 18 soldiers in ambush in Chandal area of Manipur on June 4, 1915. Indian Commandos entered Myanmar and killed NSCN insurgents and destroyed their camps on June 9, 2015. The entire process was completed by 70 Commandos in just 40 minutes.

Thanks to the political will of the present government that peace is prevailing in the region. The only hitch that we have today is successful completion of Naga Peace Talk. The Centre is working on it but apprehensions are that all is not well and taking time to give a final shape to the agreement. No doubt, the rich culture of Nagas, their diversities, unique food habits, customary colourful dress and assimilation to India has inspired for peace. Nagaland is today a peaceful state, which welcomes tourists with open heart.

True, the law and order is a state subject. But, due to extraordinary location of North East state, the central government needs to supplement the effort of state government in curbing insurgency. The two milestones, i.e Mizoram Accord by Late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and surgical strike by the present government to eliminate extremists who killed jawans in Manipur, at Myanmar is definitely praiseworthy.

Memories of the inferno still remain in the minds of the people in North East. Our cover story this month, titled End of Insurgency - North East deals with this issue, which I believe will give you a good insight on the subject. Gun can never solve a problem. People in the region have realized.

Dr. K.K.Jhunjhunwala