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Arunachal Pradesh Timeline - 2002

Date Incident

January 2

A leading businessman, who was abducted by Bodo militants from Itanagar on December 26, 2001, was released after a huge ransom was paid.

January 6

Suspected Bodo militants are reported to have abducted two businessmen of Dorlong in East Kameng District when they had gone to a forest in the Assam-Arunachal border.

January 21

Two NSCN-IM militants were killed in an encounter at Dadam village near Khonsa in Tirap District. SFs recovered a carbine, an AK-47 rifle and some ammunition from the encounter site.

January 26

Arunachal Pradesh Governor Arvind Dave cautioned the people of the state about the designs of Pakistani intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which, he said, was trying to penetrate the peace-loving state of Arunachal Pradesh through Assam. He said the youths of the state should remain vigilant as some people were trying to form outfits on the lines of the terrorist groups in neighbouring north-eastern states. He was speaking in Itanagar on the occasion of Republic Day.

February 7

A postcard addressed to the Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, urging him to create a conducive atmosphere for effective participation that would facilitate the proposed political negotiation between the Union Government and the NSCN-IM was circulated among the people at Dimapur and also in Naga-inhabited areas of Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, and Myanmar. The demands include an immediate repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, lifting of the proscription against various Naga militant outfits, the withdrawal of arrest warrants issued against the leaders of the 'Naga National Movement', the release of all Naga "political" prisoners and to honour the cease-fire by restricting the armed forces to their barracks in all Naga-inhabited areas.

February 18

SFs arrested a resident of Chowkham believed to be maintaining close links with the NSCN-K, NSCN-IM and ULFA in Lohit District and recovered cash amounting to INR 9,600 and ammunition from his house.

February 25

A NSCN-K militant was shot dead by the Army during an encounter at No. 2 Wagangaon under Bordoomsa Police Station in Changlang District. An AK-56 rifle, three magazines and 70 live cartridges were recovered from the encounter site.

The ULFA and the NDFB militants are using the areas of Arunachal Pradesh on the common border with Assam as their hideouts. Changlang and Lohit Districts of Arunachal have reportedly become a safe heaven for these militants. The militants holed up in these areas find it easier to operate in the Districts of upper Assam. These areas are used by these militants to facilitate the functioning of inter-militant organisation network, as NSCN-IM militants are also believed to be operating from these areas. The latter are also believed to have sent requests to militant outfits like NDFB 'to work in collaboration' with them.

March 2

Addressing a public meeting at Seppa of East Kameng District in Arunachal Pradesh, the Nagaland Chief Minister S. C. Jamir warned the Arunachal Government of possible militant attacks and advised them to take every precaution. Stating that peace is necessary for any kind of development, he said, it was necessary to ensure that peace prevailed in the State.

March 13

Nyishi leaders in Arunachal Pradesh demanded deployment of Police reinforcements at Seijusa in East Kameng District where the community was allegedly bearing the brunt of Bodo atrocities. In a memorandum to Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Mukut Mithi, the Nyishi Elite Society (NES) alleged that the Nyishis "were being subjected to Bodo atrocities including extortion and abduction for ransom in recent months". NES also demanded immediate transfer of the East Kameng District Police Chief and Officer-in-Charge of the Seijusa Police Station.

NES President Ligu Tacho and Secretary Techi Nuykum called for a social boycott of Bodos living and working in Arunachal Pradesh and urged the State and the Union Governments to intervene against the 'atrocities". Nyishi leaders also claimed that the Bodos had completely violated the peace agreement reached after the meeting in 1999 between the Nyishis and the Bodos.

March 26

The circle officer of Namtak under the Changlang District in Arunachal Pradesh, Pallav Roy Chowdhury, was abducted and later killed by a group of approximately 20 NSCN-IM militants. The killing is reported to have occurred due to his refusal to 'pay' 25 per cent of his salary to the NSCN-IM.

March 30

The Director General (DG) of Assam Rifles (AR), G. K. Duggal said that 15 more battalions would be raised by the AR to meet security demands along the India-Myanmar border and other sensitive areas like those east of Manipur's Churachandpur District. Talking to the media in his first official press briefing, he pointed out that five battalions had been raised so far and approximately 1,800 persons from Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Mizoram were inducted into the force over the past year including a large number of surrendered terrorists bringing the total number of forces recruited from the Northeast region to thirty percent more than what was permissible as per all-India recruitment rules.

April 9

The Bodos living in Darrang and Sonitpur Districts of Assam and in parts of Arunachal Pradesh are threatened with expulsion by the Nishi community. They constitute the majority community in Arunachal Pradesh. This is seen as a retaliatory attack because the NDFB cadres have allegedly been targeting the Nishis in their extortion drive in the Bodo dominated areas of Assam. The same was discussed at the executive meeting of the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) on April 7. The participants alleged that All Nishi Students Union (ANSU) and Nishi elite society is following indirect policy of gradual expulsion of the Bodos from Arunachal Pradesh by imposing 'social boycott'. Rabiram Narzary, the ABSU president appealed for 'peaceful co-existence' following the meeting.

April 11

The representatives of Nyishis and the Bodos from the States of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, at a meeting in Itanagar, have resolved to work for the restoration of peace and harmony. It was also agreed upon that atrocities like kidnapping, torture, extortion among others suffered by the Nyishis living along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh was undesirable and the same should be stopped immediately. A broad-based peace committee comprising members of both the communities will also be set up under the terms of agreement.

May 7

The State Bank of India (SBI) has closed its Jairampur branch in Changlang District indefinitely after the NSCN-K served extortion notes on the staff. This has reportedly forced most of them to flee the State. Quoting an unnamed official at the SBI's regional office in Dibrugarh, the report also said the staff were threatened of 'dire consequences' if they did not comply with the demands, which ranged from paying an amount of Rs 10,000 to Rs 1 lakh. The demands were allegedly made over telephone.

May 15

The State Bank of India (SBI) Jairampur branch in Changlang District in Arunachal Pradesh has resumed functioning. It has reportedly been provided adequate security cover by the security forces. The bank was closed on May 7 following the extortion notices served to its staff allegedly by NSCN-K militants.

May 28

A media report quoting the Annual Report of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for year 2001-02 said India has taken initiatives to seek cooperation from Thailand to stop Northeast militant outfits from procuring arms and ammunition from unofficial sources in that country. The reported setting up of camps in Bhutan by some of those outfits like the ULFA and the NDFB have also been taken up with the Bhutanese authorities.

The report stated that contemporary forces of social and economic changes have also contributed to unrest in certain segments of tribal communities in the region. Meghalaya is reportedly witnessing militancy of moderate intensity. Pakistan's external intelligence agency, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), has reportedly been pursuing its evil designs by misguiding people and also by providing arms and training to the outfits in the Northeast. The MHA report also said that Northeastern region is geo-politically the most sensitive because it has only a narrow surface link through Siliguri corridor with rest of India.

While examining the security scenario in Northeast, the MHA report also said that Union Government has reimbursed a total of INR 629.03 crore from 1997-98 to 2001-02 to the Northeastern States as the security related expenses. The report also cited data of number of militants killed in various Northeastern States in 2001 during encounters with the security forces. While 282 militants were killed in Assam, 65 in Nagaland, 170 in Manipur, 30 in Tripura, 7 in Meghalaya and 20 in Arunachal Pradesh.

June 25

Two troopers of the Gorkha Rifles were killed and five others injured in a clash with suspected NSCN-IM militants at Fungyak in Changlang District.

June 28

A self-styled corporal 'commander' of the NSCN-IM was killed in an encounter with the Army at Yankang in Changlang District. An AK-47 rifle and a .303 rifle with some live ammunition were recovered from the possession of the slain militant.

July 1

The Leader of a newly formed militant outfit, Revolutionary Army of Arunachal Pradesh (RAAP), was reportedly arrested at Gremey village in West Siang District. Identified as Anthony Doke, he, along with an associate, was arrested. Various incriminating documents were also seized from their possession.

July 13

India and Myanmar have emphasised that a concerted effort was needed to check the menace of terrorism and illicit drug trade that takes place through their common border. At the end of a two-day meeting held in New Delhi on July 10 and 11, 2002, representatives from both countries deliberated possible actions against the Northeast India's militant outfits. Some of those, including NSCN-K, ULFA and various Manipur-based militant outfits, are operating from the Myanmarese side of the border. Myanmar shares approximately 1,643 kilometers of border with India's four Northeastern States- Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. Various trade related issues and joint development projects were also discussed at the meeting.

August 22

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Mukut Mithi accused the NSCN-IM of threatening Legislators and Ministers in Tirap and Changlang Districts and asking them to withdraw support to his Government.

The Chief Minister said the threats were being made as both the INSCN-IM and NSCN-K factions would be affected by the Arunachal Pradesh Control of Organised Crime Ordinance (APCOCO) Bill 2002 moved in the State Legislative Assembly on August 21.

The Chief Minister also said that the bill, introduced to prevent deteriorating law and order, attempt to murder, rape, extortion, drug peddling and gang warfare by the two NSCN factions, would prescribe award of capital punishment or imprisonment for life and a minimum fine of INR 100000.

The Legislative Assembly also adopted a resolution, which declared that the territorial integrity of the State was non-negotiable. The NSCN-IM, the resolution noted, has been claiming most of the State's territory as part of Nagalim (Greater Nagaland). The move follows growing fears that the Naga peace process would affect the territorial integrity of the State.

The All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU), following its central executive body meeting at Itanagar, has called for a 12-hour bandh (general shut down) on August 23 demanding withdrawal of APCOCO Bill.

August 23

The State Legislative Assembly passed APCOCA bill. Chief Minister Mukut Mithi, while introducing the bill, allayed fears of some political organisations, including students' bodies, and said the Act has enough safeguards to prevent misuse by vested interests. He further said only members of an organised crime syndicate or persons who act on their behalf can be convicted under APCOCA.

The Chief Minister also said the State needed this Act to tackle the various proscribed groups--Liberation Tigers of Arunachal Pradesh (LTA), United Liberation Tigers of Arunachal (ULTA), National Liberation Army of Arunachal (NLAA) and Revolution Army of Arunachal Pradesh (RAAP), among others. Since Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) can not be used against these groups, as they are not included in its list, but by State-laws, the State needed an Act of its own, he added.

Meanwhile no violence was reported during the 12-hour Itanagar (the State capital)-bandh (general shut down) called by the AAPSU, on the same day. The student body was protesting the APCOCA.

September 1

Arunachal Pradesh is taking precautionary measures to avoid any spill over effect of the ongoing internecine clashes between NSCN-IM and NSCN-K factions. State Ministers and Legislators have also been asked to remain alert, particularly while on tours. Both the NSCN factions have been proscribed by the State Government as organised crime syndicates under the APCOCA, 2002.

September 18

The bandh (general shut down) in capital Itanagar called by the AAPSU, to oppose the State government's decision to enforce APCOCA, 2002, affected normal life. A few minor incidents of violence were also reported and approximately 200 activists, including President Dominic Tadar, were taken into custody.

September 25

A NSCN-IM militant, identified as T. Pangsha, was killed by Security Force (SF) personnel at Chopsa village in Tirap District. The report has, however, not mentioned the date of the encounter. It added that SFs recovered an AK-47, a Chinese grenade and 29 rounds of ammunition.

November 16

The Union Government has extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, in the whole of Assam, and in the 20 kilometer-wide belt in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Meghalaya along the borders, for six more months with effect from November 11.

November 18

Arunachal Pradesh has initiated steps to contain militants' activities in Tirap and Changlang Districts. The State would be getting additional resources from the Union Government for the purpose. State Home Minister Kabang Borang informed this while talking to a news agency in Itanagar. However, he gave no details of the steps initiated.

November 16

A NSCN-IM militant was killed in an encounter with SFs at Banfara village in Tirap District. A 12-bore gun with eight live cartridges, 104 rounds of .303 rifles and a Chinese hand grenade were among the others things seized from the encounter site.

December 2

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi stated that terrorism in Arunachal Pradesh was on the rise, especially in Tirap and Changlang Districts, bordering Assam.

December 30

Arunachal Pradesh Public Welfare Department Minister Talo Mugli, addressing a public function in capital Itanagar, stated that activities of both the NSCN-IM and NSCN-K were impeding development in Tirap and Changlang Districts of the State.





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